Thursday, May 14, 2009

good book/penguins/d is for douche canoe/snooping

a couple of you have asked about the girl and how she's dealt w/ "becoming a woman." i can't take all of the credit, though my kids know they can ask us anything, and often do (the boy asked the hubs what jacking off is the other day--yes, he heard it on tv at some point) and i am sure lots of parents would probably cringe at some of the conversations we have in our house. my kids have known the correct names for their body parts since they were toddlers, mainly because i got tired of them calling everything below their waist their butt. i know talking about sex and private things makes some parents cringe and they dread having "the talk" w/ their kids, but i guess because i didn't get any of that from my parents (other than my dad, drunk, telling the hubs he should wear a raincoat in the shower--this when we were dating in high school) and i wanted to make sure my kids had the information they needed and knew they could ask me anything. i've digressed. so, another great thing is this book . i gave it to the girl early last year when she started hitting that tween growth spurt--when she actually needed a real bra and she'd shot up 6" over night. she has read it cover to cover, asked questions about things she's read, etc. it doesn't just talk about periods, it talks about all the changes going on right now--emotional, physical--and about relationships w/ friends, boys, parents. it's a good source of information. however, if you do get this book, look at it, read through it before you give it to your daughter (there's one for boys too). i didn't have a problem w/ anything in here, but it does talk about masturbation and other sensitive topics.

yesterday there was a news story online about the secret life of penguins, so of course i read it because of my fascination w/ them. the story actually wasn't that exciting--some french scientists had tagged some macaroni penguins to find out just what the hell they did when they went out to sea for 6 months before coming back home to breed. duh--extended bachelor party dudes. no, seriously, they swim thousands of miles and eat. a whole lot. i'm almost embarrassed by the story because they should have known this. maybe there was more to it--maybe i should read the actual published, scientifical (as the girl likes to say) report. maybe they really knew they were going out to sea to tank up and were just trying to figure out where and what they were eating. yeah, that's it. but also, they had pictures of the wrong damn penguins w/ the story. really people? is it that hard to be correct w/ your information???? this is a macaroni penguin--they showed a pic of king penguins (those and emperor penguins are probably the ones people recognize the most). yes, i'm a dork. in high school i had dreams of becoming a penguinologist (is so a word, shut up) and going to antarctica. as it turns out i have no less than 9 books about penguins and antarctica on the shelf directly in front of me right this minute and i've probably only read one, partially. they're boring.

i'm seriously thinking about this d is for douche canoe thing. at first i was just going to slap something up here as a blog post--cos that's how i roll people. do you think i actually sit here pondering blog topics, editing them, making sure they're good before hitting publish? uh, no. this is all on the fly baby. stream of fucking conscious writing. or unconscious as the case may be.

i have inadvertently snooped in the boy's email. about six months ago we let the kids set up email accounts. we talked at length about online safety, not opening email from people you don't know, yada yada yada and that was that. they have a few friends they email, but it's a hit or miss thing and they don't email much. i know, because their computer is in the den and we can see everything they're doing. in the last month or so the boy has been emailing much more than usual. i would ask him about it and he said it was a girl, but he was private about it. a couple of times in the morning he's left his email up and since i've been home during the day i use their computer rather than my laptop. i see all these emails to and from this little girl, we'll call her the little red haired girl. the thing that's irking me is that she's jerking him around. the boy is typically a leader, not a follower when it comes to his peers. but this girl has him following her around like a puppy dog. i am alarmed. she teases him with things like, oh, when i break up w/ my boyfriend i'll go out with you because you are my best friend. dudes, they're in 3rd grade! i think this little bitch is going to hurt him. i think he's wearing his heart on his sleeve too much w/ her. oy vey. plus there's the whole snooping thing. i didn't intend to snoop. but it was there and i read it. and, technically, i could have done this at any time because i know the boy's email password, but i never did that intentionally. what are your thoughts on snooping through your kids' stuff?


Pandora said...

Oh dear Lord,are they seriously already talking about dating and boyfriends in 3rd grade?!

My niece is in 2nd grade right now,and she is still grossed out by boys.Which is the way I like it.

What the hell?Kids start really early these days.

And as I'm saying that I realise how extremely old I sound.

Pseudo said...

I have a thing for penguins too. My daughter used to call them pengalins.

My almost 17 year old left his AIM account open the other day. Yeh, I read what was sitting in front of my face.

Kristin.... said...

Thanks for the book! I must get it, pronto. She may be 8, but it would be good for her.

I love douche canoe and I shared with my husband. He loves it.

I'm not ready for my kids to have email accounts. they grow up too quickly for me these days.

cheatymoon said...

I have a ton of leftover penguin mementos that I think I may put in a box and mail to you one day. A few of them are super cute. I lost my fascination for penguins when my marriage ended...

My child knows he has zero electronic privacy rights. I only snoop when he is acting sketchy. Which is a lot. Sadly.

Astarte said...

I do look at things I find l;aying around from time to time, just to make sure I'm in the loop. BUT, I never let her know that I do it, and I wouldn't tell him that you've seen his email. It's plain that he's wanted to be private about these emails, and I would give him that chance, since it's nothing dangerous. My mother used to snoop through everything - my notebooks, schoolbooks, backpack, mail, everything, until I left the house, and would ridicule me / punish me for the things that she found. One time, she ripped up a picture I had of my fourth grade sweetheart because she thought I was too young for such a thing and it meant that I was a tramp. If she didn't like what she saw, like a note about a teacher from someone, I would be called home from wherever I was and punished for it. Obviously, you are not psychotic like she is/was, but her actions made me really paranoid, and more evasive. If anything, it's to your advantage to watch silently, because he'll never know you're doing it, and thus won't go to greater lengths to be secretive. BUT, I think you should stop reading them now. You've verified that he's not doing anything wrong, so it's time to back off, I think, and just check in once in awhile. His heart is, horribly enough, going to get broken, and it's a lesson that he will learn on his own. Maybe you could start a discussion about dating in a roundabout way, or watch a movie that would lead you to talking about it, so you wouldn't have to let on why you know.

drollgirl said...

ack!!! i don't have kids and all of this stuff is alarming to me! i would have no idea what to do! but that book sounds like a good idea. and the email thing is tricky. i know you want was is best for your son and that you want to protect him. i am not sure what i would do. but i'd sure like to meet that chick if i were you and GIVE HER THE THIRD DEGREE! :)

p.s. my sister is super busy. i'll get back to you on that thing as soon as she gets back to me.

Ali said...

I'm the same with my kids knowing the names of their body parts and having very open conversations about things. All sorts of things! I just think it's best that way.
I am all for the snooping as long as you use your powers for good instead of evil. I would try to engage the boy in a conversation about her without letting on that you snooped and see if he will talk about it to you. You may be able to help without him knowing you knew anything you weren't supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, my mom was also a snoop and I HATED it. She would read the notes that we passed in high school if she found them in our pockets or something when she was doing laundry. Once I got in trouble because a note a friend had written me had curse words in it. I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Dear god.

I remember my neighbor getting that book and her and I reading EVERY.SINGLE.PAGE. thank god because it is not like my parents EVER talked to me about sex or even getting my period.


Hotch Potchery said...

I also got in trouble for LIES I would tell in notes...I got busted a bunch for notes.

As far as the computer, if something falls in my lap I look. We had some issues with the highschool kid and bizarre porn, so we were vigilantes for awhile.

I can't wait to read the book!

Fragrant Liar said...

I'm so confused. D is for douche canoe? WTF is a douche canoe? I mean, nothing of a canoe size goes near this chica's hoo-ha. 'kay? That's just my rule.

I don't like little kids having email. Call me old fashioned, but I just think kids feel like they can say whatever they want to people on it because "it's so private." Except for when Mama peeks . . . :) I'm betting they wouldn't say half the things in person that they would in email.

My rule used to be (used to be because the kids are grown now) that they were entitled to their privacy UNLESS they did something that made me feel my need to know outweighed their need for privacy. I stuck by it too, to their dismay.

Not Your Aunt B said...

Glad to hear I am not the only one who is open to talking about the sensitive topics. The girls are too little for most of those conversations, but I used to teach sex ed and am an ER nurse, so we will be having plenty to talk about in the future. Mama does not play around with that stuff.
I hope she doesn't break his heart, but I don't know what you can do without him knowing that you saw it unless you bring it up in a roundabout way. Not much help, sorry!