We watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” yesterday. Sitting at the dinner table last night, Cindy (9) said, “Mama, I have two quotes from Ferris Bueller going through my head.”
Me: “Which ones baby?”
C: *Singing Twist & Shout by The Beatles* – “Well shake it up baby now, shake it up Baby…”.
Me: “What’s the other one?”
C: *Ditsy voice* – “‘I heard that you were feeling ill.
Headache, fever, and a chill.
I came to help restore your pluck,
’cause I am the nurse who likes to…’ (pause) What comes after that?”
Me: “Well, what rhymes with ‘pluck’?”
Marcia (10) interjected, “Firetruck” –because it is her substitution for the F word– “…take away the ‘ire’ and the ‘tr’.” (it’s not acceptable to me for her to use the word…yet)
It took Cindy a beat to solve Marcia’s Rebus puzzle in her head. Then Cindy said nothing but smacked her eyes open, looked at me bug eyed with her eyebrows raised, mouth agape (we tried but cannot accurately recreate the look. This is close).
What is the Lesson here: Ferris Bueller can be inappropriate? No, it’s simply part of our pop culture.
That nurses just like to…? No, that’s not it either.
There doesn’t have to be a Lesson for every interaction you have with your kids around sex and sexuality. What is recommended is a setting or environment in the home where it’s OK to talk – and laugh – about these topics.
Most kids are smart, savvy, and can understand humor even when someone isn’t trying to teach you something, just funny for the sake of being funny. I hear language like this is spoken on the playground at elementary school these days. Also, I remember being in 4th – 6th grade and hearing my peers use those words. Ok, fine. I used them too (Sorry mom). I don’t think it scarred me…or maybe that’s why I’m doing this work now?? But seriously, this stuff can be discussed in a non-threatening way and in a way that kids develop a sense of safety and security with you about these topics.
Conversations about sex and humor are ok in my household. My children understand many things in the world around them and it has not affected their “innocence”. In fact, I think they gain wisdom from these talks if nothing else. And I believe it will lead to all kinds of good judgment on their part in the future.
© 2013 The MamaSutra