Last week, I was driving Isaac to soccer with two of his teammates. I love carpooling because I learn so much about my kids and their friends. I just pretend like I am pre-occupied with driving so they will talk more freely. The key is to not ask questions. You do not want them to think you are listening. Anyway, they were tossing around the term “douche bag,” talking about how a kid at school is always calling people “douche bags.” One of the boys in the back seat made the mistake of asking, “What does it mean, anyway?” Another one said, “Well, ‘douche’ means ‘shower’ in French.” At this point, I could resist no longer.
“Do you guys want to know what it means?” My unsuspecting victims, in unison, said, “Yeah!” “Well, I don’t even know if they make them anymore, but it’s a plastic bottle with a long nozzle on top. A woman uses it to wash out her vagina.” A short pause of absolute silence. Then a collective, “Ohhh, don’t say any more. That’s enough!” I told them, “If you guys ever want to know anything, just ask me.” Obviously, I get a giant kick out of doing this kind of thing. I am not shy about telling it like it is. The bonus is that my son will actually ask me things. So far he has asked me about condoms, periods and all kinds of things about puberty. If you want your kids to ask questions, my advice to you is to just be straightforward and fairly brief. That gives them time to let it soak in. And, they will know that a simple question won’t lead to a long, involved and uncomfortable conversation.