The Birds, The Bees, and “The Movie”

4 May

Driving in the car, the pronouncement comes from the back seat.

“Tomorrow is the movie,” announces the fifth grader.

“What, you’re watching Bolt?” I vaguely remember some talk about a post-standardized test celebration.

“No THE MOVIE. The one I can’t talk about with my brother in the car.”

“Oh, well,” I act calm. “You saw one last year. It’s nothing we haven’t talked about, I’m sure.”

Or, I think, anything she hasn’t read in her 5 million readings of her Care & Keeping of Your Body, book, the Holy Grail of puberty information complete with information about boobs, pubic hair, periods and mood swings. That book is so dog-eared it’s a miracle it hasn’t had puppies.

I have been asked more times than I’d like : “Mom, look at the drawings. Do you think my boobs are stage 2 or 3?”

Also, I’d personally like to smack the authors for writing all about mood swings. Ever since she read about those, someone has been swinging like a trapeze artist on a 3-day crack binge. Ah, the power of suggestion.

Still, we try to stay very open about these things. I get this from my mother. Who, as a nurse, volunteered to do the sex-ed talk at  my church youth group.

Yes, that is what I said. Let that sink in a minute. My mom. At church. Showing condoms, sponges and other fabulous contraceptives to a room of teenagers including boys I had dated.


Anyway, back to the car conversation.

“But mom, I heard this year we are going to see THE BOYS’ MOVIE.”


“MOM! And I heard there are naked dancing penises in it.”

*Hyperventilating begins*

“Uh, could we not talk about this with your little brother in the car? But also, I am pretty sure that is not the case.”

“No, mom! I heard hairy naked dancing penises. That sing ‘Just Around the Corner’.”

I reassure her, having screened the movie, that there will be no chorus line of choreographed genitalia rocking out to “Just Around the Corner” or any other musical number.

I mean, hello? We live in Texas. That’s the California movie, I am pretty sure.

But I also tell her I remember all the speculation about the movies when I was her age. Of course, they were actually film strips back then, so we we could watch them backwards while they were rewinding. That’s a hilarious development when you’re watching a movie about puberty. Look, disappearing boobs!

The movies themselves were fairly innocuous. But oh, the speculation. I remember hearing all SORTS of rumors about the movie the boys were seeing. By the time the week was over, we were sure they were sitting in a dark classroom reading Playboy while we watched animated eggs travel down a fallopian tube roller coaster.

I tell her not to worry, that there’s nothing too cringe-worthy in the movie.

What I do NOT tell her, though,  is *my* most vivid memory of “the movie” in sixth grade, and the resulting question-and-answer session with Mr. Parks, perhaps the coolest teacher in the history of elementary school.

But guess what? I *am* going to tell the internet that story.


Right now, I need to see if  that “Just Around the Corner” number is posted on YouTube.

10 Responses to “The Birds, The Bees, and “The Movie””

  1. feefifoto May 4, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    Wish I could get my daughter to stop cringing and taking a mental trip to Bermuda every time I tried to talk about it. I know we need to discuss it but it makes her so darn uncomfortable.

  2. Ed May 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    I remember the 6th grade movie. We were in Mrs. Kenniston’s class. But you are right Mr. Parks was the COOLEST! By the way as a boy you kind of dated,… I dont remember the “Condom showcase” by your mom. I must have missed it, but I can assure,… you had I seen it? It would be etched permanently in my mind along with my embarrassment.

  3. lettergirl May 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    I had Mrs. Kenniston too, dork! But she was *way* too blushy for the post-movie Q&A. We all ended up in Mr. Parks class for that.

  4. Amy May 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Will you be my mom?

  5. queenofhaddock May 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    My mom’s a women’s health nurse practitioner…she did the sex-ed/STD talk IN FRONT OF ALL THE 11th and 12th graders the day of prom. Pictures and visual aids galore. Ugh.

  6. leah May 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    that is freaking hysterical!!

  7. lettergirl May 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Amy, I will be your mom if you’ll be my coach. LOL
    Queen — YES! We had the same mom. Only prom morning may trump church youth group. LOL
    Feefifoto – as cringeworthy as it may be, I am glad she talks about it. I have to resort to deep-breathing exercises sometimes, though!
    Leah, it *is* hysterical, but wait until tomorrow. HAHAHA

  8. Kathy May 5, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    I saw “the movie” back in the late 50’s. We had to go to the basement of our old school and sit on the floor under the staircase so it would be dark enough to see it against the wall. This atmosphere added a lot of flavor to what we were about to see! I don’t remember how shocked I was back then, but I was definitely shocked when my 8 year old granddaughter told me last week that girls have “jajinas”!

  9. RuthWells May 5, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    Ah, my 5th-grader saw The Movie two weeks ago. As he has an older brother, most of it was kind of old hat (we tend to discuss things pretty openly ’round here). But when I gently probed to find out whether he had any questions, he asked, “What’s puberty like for girls?” Which is how I came to explain menstruation to my 10-year-old, after which my head exploded. The end.

  10. ingrid May 5, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Oh, sweat! I haven’t had any conversations with my 9 yr old yet. She just recently saw “her” movie and said she didn’t want that to happen to her. YIKES! I’m going to run out and buy that book you mentioned and read it with her. My stomach hurts!

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