I have quickly learned that having children who can read presents all sorts of new challenges. My son reads everything and anything he sees. I love it. I love watching the excitement in his eyes as he sounds out new words. I love it when he asks me to what words mean and how to use them. But sometimes it does present challenges.
During a recent trip to the mall we had to make a stop at one one of the bathrooms. The interior of the stall was decorated in the latest graffiti. This was one of those unforeseen challenges that parenting seems to be chock full of.
Son: Who is Julie?
Dad: Julie who?
Son: I don’t know her last name.
Dad: Why not?
Son: It didn’t say.
Dad: What didn’t say?
Son: It just said her first name.
Dad: What did.
Son: The writing in the bathroom.
Dad: It did?
Son: Yes. It said “For a good time call Julie.”
Son: Is she fun to play with?
Dad: I don’t know.
Son: Does she have a lot of good toys?
Dad: I don’t know.
Son: Why did it say to call her? Does she like playing with boys?
Dad: I don’t know. Maybe someone is playing a trick on her.
Son: Would you like playing with Julie?
Dad: I don’t know her.
Son: It says that you’d have fun. Maybe you should call her. You’ve been grumpy lately.
Dad: I don’t think Julie wants to hear from me.
Son: She might. You could teach her things. She might like to learn some tricks from you.
Dad: That’s ok. She probably has better things to do.
Son: But why is her name there?
Dad: Someone is playing a trick on her.
Son: I don’t really like playing with girls.
Dad: I know. One day that might change.
Son: No way!
Dad: I wouldn’t worry about it.
Son: I am not. I run too fast, besides I know what to do.
Dad: Oh? What do you too.
Son: Sammy and David’s mommy have babies in their tummies.
Dad: That is called being pregnant.
Son: Right, their pregnant. They always say that they’re tired.
Dad: Pregnant women get tired pretty easily.
Son: We should get all the girls pregnant.
Dad: What? Why would you say that?
Son: Because if we get them all pregnant they’ll be too tired to bother us.
Dad: There are probably better ways than that.
Son: Sammy’s dad told him that getting his mommy pregnant was really fun.
Dad: Why did he tell him that?
Son: Sammy said that he heard having babies was hard and he didn’t want his daddy to get hurt.
Dad: He did?
Son: Yes, he said that he told his daddy he didn’t want him to yell like that pregnant lady on television.
Dad: So what Sammy’s dad say?
Son: He said that getting mommies pregnant is something that boys like to do, but I don’t think I want to.
Dad: You probably should wait until you’re married.
Son: But girls bother us. If we get them pregnant they’ll be too tired to chase us.
Dad: Believe me, that won’t stop them. Anyway, I don’t want you and your friends running around talking about getting girls pregnant. That is for grownups who love each other.
Son: Jonah’s mom and dad must really love each other. They have a lot of kids.
Ok, that last line was totally fabricated, but it fits in with the theme of the post. I tuned out graffiti so long ago that it didn’t occur to me that it would lead to such a wacky discussion. Actually, I can’t really say that it was a wacky discussion either. In it is own crazy way it made sense.
More than anything else it really reminds me that I have to be extra careful and alert about what kind of reading material is around my kids at all time. Just when you think that you have this parenting thing down something new comes along. Life does have its moments.