My oldest son at Age 5
Family Feud has always been one of my favorite shows. I remember watching it with my entire family growing up and ‘playing’ along together. Now that Steve Harvey is the host, it is the best ever. He doesn’t do the typical “Good Answer” host line. When a player gives a terrible response to the question, he is hilarious and pokes fun at them. (which I have to say I love).
So, a couple of years ago, when my oldest son was six, I decided to introduce him to my favorite family-friendly game show. My husband was gone for a few months for job training, and my son was missing his daddy terribly. I felt the need to find something we could “bond” over. My son loved watching television with us, and especially loved it if it wasn’t a “kid” show. Family Feud was perfect. I just knew he would love it.
And I was right.
He instantly fell in love with the game show. I was thrilled to be sharing this with my son, and glad that he loved it just as much as I did.
One day, while watching the game show together, a contestant slapped the buzzer and yelled, “SEX!” I didn’t change my facial expressions. In fact, I didn’t do anything differently, hoping he would just seem uninterested and wait for an answer he recognized.
But, my inquisitive six-year-old called my bluff.
“Mommy, what’s sex?”
Geez. Ugh. Gulp. I must say, I usually struggle with thinking before I speak, but that day, I was stumped for an answer. I knew this one had to be thought out. This is NOT how I thought this would go down. I thought it would be some well-planned discussion down the road, like waaaay down the road. I had pictured it happening on some picturesque father/son camping trip. But, where was his father? Eight hundred miles away!
My son, being the intuitive person he is, sensed that he had stumbled upon a topic that he wasn’t supposed to know about…yet. This made it all the more intriguing.
“You know what, buddy? That is a great question. Let me talk to Daddy tonight on the phone and we will discuss it later, okay?”
“Okay,” he responded, his face dropping in disappointment.
Later that night, after he was snug in bed and before I dialed my husband, I did the only thing any other good parent would do to get advice on tackling this sensitive subject with kiddos. I Googled it.
I worried that I was kissing my son's innocence good-bye. But, after speaking with my husband, he assured me we would figure out the best way to handle it. I hung up the phone feeling a little more confident and sure of myself.
But, tomorrow hadn’t happened yet.
The next morning, I got my son ready for kindergarten, and climbed in the car. On the way to school, he noticed a house that had chickens in the yard. He was fascinated and began asking me a lot of questions about chickens. I must say, I knew most of the answers. (I am full of chicken knowledge. Hope that doesn’t sound too ’cocky’. tee-hee-hee)
I told him how his father and I had done mission work in Honduras and how families raised chickens there so they could have food. I explained how they didn’t have grocery stores everywhere like we did. I told him how valuable chickens were to these poor families and how one family cooked a chicken for us one night to welcome us into their village.
“Momma, how did they kill the chicken to feed it to you?” he asked.
I responded, “Before I answer that, I wanted to let you know, I spoke with Daddy last night and we both decided that we will tell you about sex. I just wanted to let you know I hadn’t forgotten about your question, okay?”
Now, why I made that conversational detour, I don’t know. But, why I continued back into the chicken conversation without a proper segway is even more puzzling.
“Well, son, once you catch a chicken, you break it’s neck. Then, you chop its head off and pluck all the feathers out. Next, you boil it and eat it.”
There was small silence from the backseat and then in a puzzled voice, my six-year-old said, “That’s how you have SEX?”
Could I have messed that one up any more royally?