parents

"My four-year-old is begging me to buy condoms."


By CHERIE MCKAY

The correct terms these days for sex education is Knowing and Growing (KnG). Sure, the school can give my son a diagram of a woman’s vagina and ask him to label the labia and clitoris but they can’t actually call his class ‘sex education’.

Last year in Grade Six, Number One Son (aged 13) attended KnG classes. You can imagine his delight when, once a week after school he would tell me about the stuff he’d learned. I’ll never forget the moment he pulled out THAT diagram and proceeded to tell me that the clitoris has the same number of nerve endings… yada, yada, yada.

Recently, I went through the whole KnG saga again with Number Two Son.

I was in my bedroom folding washing when the boys came home from school on the last day of Term Three. Number Two Son wasn’t as keen as his big brother was to discuss the finer points of KnG and explained that today’s topic was contraception (the irony given the spacing between these two boys).

Awkwardly, he started to tell me about how the teacher of KnG rolled a condom onto a banana and Number One Son started to reminisce about when he saw that spectacle last year! Lost in the chaos, I recalled a friend telling me that he made sure his teenage boys always had access to condoms. Suddenly, my mouth spoke words I thought I’d never say (and would regret).

“There is a packed of condoms in my bedside table”.

I bought them several months ago in a moment of sheer liberation. Thoughtfully, I chose the ‘Ansell Lifestyles Large’ (I have a thing for black men and thought I should be prepared). I hid them in the red Coles basket under a loaf of wholemeal bread and strutted proudly to the check out. The young girl at the checkout didn’t bat an eyelid that this old bat was buying LARGE condoms, but she must have been a bit of a joker because she actually packed the condoms with the cucumber I purchased.

By now Number One Son had basically swan dived into my bedside table and was already trying to get the plastic wrapping off the box. Number Two Son was throwing himself dramatically onto my bed while crying out words like “Ewwwww” and “Gross”. Before I know what the heck was going on the eldest boy has a fully inflated condom on his head and the other one was still hiding his face on the bed. The emotional maturity difference between these two guys never fails to amaze me.

Three condoms were lost that night, never making it to their call of duty, instead they suffered a slow, painful death by way of water bombing.

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Midway through the school holidays I caught a cold that left me feeling exhausted and needing to spend a day in bed. In a moment of fever ridden, delerious-ness I agreed to Number One Son’s pleadings to use the remaining condoms as water bombs. Technically, I was giving up condoms for sleep, which equates to giving up sex for sleep. It seemed like a no-brainer to me, who wouldn’t trade nine ‘water balloons’ for an hour rest from four very bored boys on the school holidays?

It worked a treat, I got a much needed nap. The boys had a water balloon fight. It was a win-win… or so I thought.

‘Who wouldn’t trade 9 ‘water bob’ for an hour rest from 4 very bored boys on the school holidays?’

The next day, in the middle of Coles, Number Four Son (4 years old), used his ‘outside’ voice to declare that he had stayed in bed all night and wants CONDOMS for his present! It’s the first time I’ve happily bought him a Kinder Surprise without feeling ripped off because of the minuscule amount of chocolate covering a cheap toy that will be vacuum fodder in 24 hours time. He asked me every day for the rest of the school holidays for a packet of condoms.

My humiliation didn’t end there.

This week I was in my back yard trying to work out how to light our BBQ. I was mumbling under my breath that this is why I need a man and Number One Son saved the day by pointing out the red ignition button that I needed to press. In that moment a man’s voice called out “Cherie” and I actually jumped and screamed. I didn’t realise I was fit enough to still have a startle reflex!

It was my new neighbour, his head peeking over the fence, grinning at me. This man is single, in his late 40’s, about 6’4 and is a pilot. I can’t look at him without imagining him naked, in his uniform, or a partly dressed state between the two. This causes 80 of my IQ points to go into hiding. I’m lucky if I can say hello without blushing or stuttering, and in my already flustered state because of my inability to light a BBQ I am surprised that I didn’t faint.

Handsome neighbour made small talk and then threw a soccer ball, a cricket stump and a matchbox car back into my yard. He then started to tell me that he had found other items. His smile grew bigger as he described the items as “rather large water bombs”. I tried to explain and must have sounded like a mad woman, yet his smile grew even more. I think he was enjoying my awkwardness! I died.

I haven’t heard the word condom in my home for a few days, but I am dreading the moment when Santa asks my 4 year old son what he wants for Christmas…

Have you had the sex-ed talk with your kids?

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