Monday, August 31, 2009

Have a Laugh At My Expense

Several years ago, I had a short essay published in an online magazine. It was a true story, and today, I'm going to share it with you. It's the 'sad' story of how I learned that there are no secrets from children.

Much of motherhood flies by in a blur, while other things stand out as pure joy, extreme fear, or intense pride. Or, in my case, absolute mortification.

The day of “the incident', I was sailing through the task of mothering two little boys and thinking things were going very well. They were happily occupied playing in their room and I was actually getting things done. I guess things were going too well. After almost four years, I should have known better.

I also should have gotten a lock box. But that comes later.

Parenting Tip #1: When they’re quiet, there’s trouble.

My husband and I were in the living room reading when my older son, Adam, entered. Being wise – not really – I had spaced my children close together. They are the best of friends. Because of this, my younger son, Drew, entered right behind his brother.

Now Adam has always been bright and mature, and sometimes his tone reminds me of a voice from my past. My mother, in my teen years.

I realized suddenly that he was glaring at me, with his hand hidden behind him.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, setting aside my novel and segueing into concerned mother mode. His hand whipped from behind his back.

“Momma, what extactly is dis.”

“Yeah, ma,” his little brother echoed.

Oh. My. God! I think my eyes rolled back in my head. Actually, I’m surprised I didn’t faint. If ever there was a time, this was it. How on earth did I explain? I had never even admitted to anyone that I had one of those.

As my husband -- who had bought the “dis” by the way -- choked with laughter next to me, I realized that my son held my pink, anatomically correct vibrator in his chubby little hand. His other hand on his hip, he stared at me, waiting for an answer. His brother struck a similar pose. Where is it written that the children get to gang up on their mother?

What they received as an answer was a particularly un-motherly shriek, and a “Give that to me!” That’s when my brain finally clicked back into gear. This wasn’t exactly something I left laying around. The last time I’d seen it, it was tucked safely in the back of my drawer under a pile of underwear. Once I’d put it back there, I returned to the living room and cornered my sons.

“What were you doing in my dresser?” I demanded. I’d told them often to stay out of my bedroom, a directive they patently ignored. I never expected them to go through the dresser drawers.

Parenting Tip #2: Always expect the unexpected.

Adam blinked up at me, full of innocence. “I was lost.”

I think I developed a twitch right about then. It reappears frequently – usually in conjunction with my older son.

Adam received a time out while I wished for valium. Triple strength. His brother went back to his room to play after I’d ferreted out that he was an innocent bystander in the mommy humiliation project. As soon as Adam was released from time out, he asked, “Momma, can I play wid your handcuffs? Why you hab dem anyway?”

Did I mention the water I was drinking and the fountain that resulted? He giggled maniacally, thinking I was just being funny, and begged me to do it again. I shooed him off to play, with the admonition to stay out of my bedroom.

I sank into my chair, my head in my hand. Visions of Adam performing the same “What is this?” stunt in front of company haunted me. What if he brought it up at my mother’s? At least he didn’t know what "dis" was called. I added a lock box to my shopping list.

Nothing more was said about “the incident". I fell back into a state of mommy-bliss. It would take a few more occasions for me to learn mommy-bliss is a dangerous place. Thankfully, none of the subsequent occurrences involved the pink, anatomically correct vibrator or any similar device.

Except for one. Did I mention that it was anatomically correct? Perhaps not. So in case you missed it, it was anatomically correct.

Fast forward to a few days after the first “incident". By now, I was hoping maybe Adam wouldn’t remember his foray into my dresser, that maybe he wouldn’t drag out my personal items in front of guests, and that maybe he wouldn’t be scarred for life. Lord knows, I would be.

Was it too soon for the birds and the bees talk? It was definitely too soon for the sex toy talk. Is there a sex toy talk? I can tell you, at this point, it’s a discussion I hope to never have.

Anyway, as I was dusting, I could hear my dear sons downstairs in the family room. As background, they had on a mommy-screened, child-friendly video. Only they weren’t watching it. Adam had decided to take the sex talk thing into his own hands. While I began to see black spots before my eyes, he talked earnestly to his younger brother.

“It’s not right to cut off penises and keep them in your drawer. . .”

The twitch was back.


Anny Cook said...

Heh. Ah, I love it! It reminds me of that scene in the movie Parenthood!

Molly Daniels said...

Hahahaha...That's exactly what came to mind, Anny!

Love you Brynn:)

Bronwyn Green said...

This will never not be hilarious!!! :D

Jambrea said...

o.m.g. I can SO see my 5 year old doing that!

I can laugh now...but, man...I would have died! lol

Brynn Paulin said...

Thank God I have about a decade of distance from it. Now it just makes me laugh.

joyroett said...

Oh. My. God.

I can't stop laughing!

silverpixies said...

As soon as i was done wiping the tears of laughter away.. i sent the link to Wayne to read.. then we giggled about it together.. 4 kids.. 3 has pulled similar stunts.. my oldest found my collar and leash and wanted to be lead around like a dog.. at one point i think i have heard my 3 oldest Mumble Yes Master to wayne... I can so see my son saying the same thing your oldest did. i wont even tell you about what they did when they found the paddle and crop i use to haves

Devon Rhodes said...

Oh, ouch, so freaking funny!! I am laughing so hard, and that's no joke with a cracked rib.

We had a similar incident, only ours is glass striped like a candy cane...which of course is what they thought it was. No secrets from kids, I swear I've tried 4 different hiding places.

Devon Rhodes said...

It's a Christmas decoration.

Why isn't it in the box with the other stuff?

Don't you need to pick up your room?

mamasand2 said...


You just topped anything my 5 kids ever got came up with, and that takes some doing.


Bella said...



Susilien said...

Nieces and nephews can pull this stuff too! When I was 3 or 4 I got a hold of my aunt's glass item and pulled it out in front of my grandmother and all of our family at a baby shower to ask what it was.

That was over 30 years ago. LOL

Simone Anderson said...

ROFLMAO! Not only can I see your boys doing that, I can picture my daughter doing that.

Kathy K said...

Kids... gotta love 'em.

What is it about anything sex-related that demands a public airing?

Of course I found that turning the tables, so to speak, is great fun!
At last I can embarrass them... and all without trying.

Loved the huge laugh-fest this morning... really brightened my day. Thank heavens, I think, that mine were on a different track.

Fran Lee said...

I have to laugh. My 6 year old grandson found mine...also anatomically correct, but not a vibe...just an old fashioned "do it yourself" one. When I came into the bedroom, I said in a conversational manner, " found my old fake penis. You really shouldn't be poking around through my private stuff."

He handed it to me and he asked, "Why do you have a fake penis in your drawer?"

I wrapped it back into it's silk scarf and put it away as I said calmly, "It was a gift from a friend, and you never throw away gifts from friends." (It was a bridal shower gift..."just in case...")

He looked sorta impressed and then said hopefully, "So if someone gives me a fake boob, you won't make me give it back?"

LOL! Remind me to clean out my drawers before I die and my kids find it again.

Ashley Ladd said...

OMG! That's too funny. I never had "toys" when my kids were little or sure enough my oldest would've found them. Luke could pick any lock and get into anything. He was the ultimate sneak. He caused a lot of trouble. Now, the youngest, Steve, isn't sneaky or quiet, but he gets into everything and if he were ever to find them, he's the type to blab it to everyone he knows to embarrass us. And of course, now that Luke's a mature adult and oh so respectable, he'd be the first be all over Steve's case for doing it.