You know how you’d have to fill out those “What I Did on my Vacation” worksheets in elementary school and how it’d normally be filled with things like “Went to the beach with my family” or “Visited my aunt in New York City”?
Well, for my seven year old niece, her worksheet will consist of an intimate knowledge of what marijuana is, what testicles are, and why on earth some people consider placenta a delicacy.
What? She asked! Also, that’s way more interesting for the teacher to read anyway, so relax.
But let’s start from the beginning.
First off, it should be noted that I really have no idea how to talk to kids and often don’t think before speaking in general. So, that combination can quickly lead to frustration by parents who have to clean up my mess. Luckily for me, this parent was my sister, so she totally had to know what she was getting herself into, and so let’s just go ahead and blame her if my niece ends up in juvie.
Oh, also, she knows what juvie is.
So my sweet, kind, whip-smart niece does this thing where she tricks you into thinking that she totally knows what you’re talking about, and lulls you into a false sense of security by starting the conversation talking about our matching glitter shoes and love for all things pink.
But then, out of the blue, you drop some testicle humor into the conversation and she’s all like “Wait, I’m seven, what’s a testicle?” and then your eyes dart over to your sister, who gives you a look of “What the hell is wrong with you?” combined with “You brought it up, you explain it” and then goes back to her iPad with a delightful glimmer in her eye, reveling in the fact that she will not be describing a testicle to a seven year old.
Me: “Well, you know how girls have vaginas and boys have penises?”
Niece, fascinated: “Yes.”
Me: “Ok…so boys also have these things called ‘testicles’ that are part of their whole outside package.”
Niece, staring blankly.
Me: “Ok, you know how our parts, as girls, are on the inside?”
Me: “Ok, well for boys, their parts are on the outside.”
Niece: “Their penises.”
Me: “Yes! And they have these two…..well……”
At this point it’s important to note that my sister is laughing to herself while I proceed to hold my index finger upside down as “the penis” for a visual aid.
|Sorry, sis. I thought first graders|
knew these things! My bad.
Me: “…..sacks, I guess, that sort of hang behind and below the penis.”
Niece: “Oh. And people eat those?”
Me: “Well, not usually, but sometimes, like for a dare on a reality show, they’ll dare you to eat cow testicles or something.”
Niece: “I don’t think I want to eat testicles.”
Me: “Oh thank God. Yeah, you definitely don’t.”
Niece: “What other gross things do people eat?”
Me: “Well……I mean, all sorts of things.”
Niece: “Like what?”
Me: “Um….well, sometimes people will eat placenta.”
Niece: “What’s a placenta?”
Shockingly around this time, I got a very similar look from my sister. It’s like I just never learn.
But I’ll spare you that description since, as it turned out, I wasn’t 100% sure what it was, either, and have very little actual understanding of everything surrounding children, including how they’re nourished on the inside.
Anyway, a little while later, as we were leaving for dinner, we stepped out into the hallway and my niece and sister commented on the aroma wafting through the stairwell.
Niece: “What’s that smell?”
Sister: “It’s rosemary.”
Niece: “Mmmm, I like the way rosemary smells.”
Sister: “Me too.”
During this time, one could find me starting at my sister to see if she was using the word “rosemary” as a euphemism for pot so we wouldn’t have to go into a long explanation about drugs after the anatomy lesson.
Sister, looking at me: “What, you’ve never smelled rosemary before?”
Me: “Um..have YOU?”
Sister: “Yeah, all the time.”
Me: “OK, so you know that’s not rosemary then, right?”
Sister: “What? Yes it is!”
Niece: “What is it?”
Me: “Wait, ok, are you using ‘rosemary’ as a code word?”
Sister, laughing: “What? A code word for what? Do you know what rosemary is?”
Me: “Of course I know what it is, which is why I’m confused!”
Niece: “What’s that smell, Aunt Becky?”
Sister: “WHAT are you talking about?”
Me: “The fact that you honestly think that’s rosemary….”
Sister, staring blankly.
Me: “Um, it’s pot.”
Sister, laughing: “Oh my God, that IS what that is!”
Me: “I KNOW!”
Niece: “Aunt Becky, what’s pot?”
And then we spent three blocks explaining marijuana to a seven year old.
Sister: “You know that she’s going to go back to school and will tell all of her friends about marijuana and testicles and I’m the one who’s going to have to field those phone calls from parents.”
Me: “Hey, better you than me. Plus, they need to relax. It’s New York. People smoke pot and have testicles.”
And that, my friends, is what my niece did on her spring vacation.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!