Yesterday, I was standing at the sink, using my new reverse osmosis water system, giving my orchids a drink and silently going over the vertebrae subtypes (“Certain Doctors Love Saddling Coeds”), trying desperately to get the Facts of Life theme song out of my head, when he laid it on me.

“Mom,” my eldest asked. “What’s a ‘sexual favors?'”

Had I been drinking anything, it would have ended up on the window in front of me.

After I stopped choking on my tongue, I carefully said, “What do you mean?”

“In a Mario video, they said, ‘Why does everyone try to rescue the Princess?’ and then Bowser says, ‘Sexual favors, of course.'”

I silently thanked autism for giving him the inability to read my face, because if he had, it would have said, “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT.”

“Well,” I said, the cranial nerves long-forgotten, “it means like, kissing and stuffs.”

EWWWWWWWWWW!” he yelled. “GROSS.”

He scampered off to play with his siblings and I returned to watering my orchids. I stood for a minute, watching him before I sang under my breath, “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have, the Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

61 thoughts on “The Facts Of Life

  1. Uh yeah we have banned YouTube Mario videos after 1) seeing one where Mario was peach’s baby daddy and b) my 4y/o Mario addict started dropping f-bombs. When I asked him what it meant, he said “it’s what you say when you kill someone!!”

  2. Oh, this made me chuckle. I have a 13-year-old son, so right now my house is all puberty, all the time (so it seems). He is currently reading a detailed book on puberty that his dad bought for him.
    He seems to love asking me those type of questions while I’m driving. Last week it was “Mom, what’s a vulva?”

    1. I NEED the name of this book! I have two sons and both seem to be hitting puberty at the same time. (send me vodka) Two weeks ago we had an hour long conversation about STDs. It seems that after the Benchmark test the teachers didnt have anything else so they brought in a sex ed teacher to use up the time. I love it when my 13yr old starts a conversation with “Hey Mom, what do you know about syphilis?” (and xanax) I have been looking online for some books that might pick up where the pamphlets they gave him left off.

      1. Here you go! It’s called What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: The New Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Sons, by Lynda Madaras.

        Good luck. Is the Xanax for you? 🙂

  3. Well done Becky. I have 3 girls that are in their early 20’s and teenagers now but my favorite response was always, “Do you really want to know?” and if they said yes they got the FULL clinical description of whatever they were asking about. A few of those conversations and they blessedly stop asking. Geez, do what I did, go ask your friends!

    Now we’re to the point of ME asking the uncomfortable questions. “And just what WERE you and the boy doing out front for so long tonight?” (that’s what I call them so I don’t call them by the wrong name) HAHAHAHAHA!

  4. Cripes. Thank God no coffee or vodka were wasted decorating your window.

    And thank you, I now have that freaking song in my head. But that’s okay–it’s pushing out Mr Moon’s magic Circus. What a day.


  5. At least you didn’t give him the pop-up book of sex, like my parents did. When I was five. *Shudders*

    Your way = MUCH better. And less emotionally scarring.

  6. See, this is why I might not have kids… ever. That way I only have to field sexual knowledge questions from my husband. Kidding, kidding… kind of.

  7. OH. MY. GOD.

    I think I just died a little bit in fear that my son will one day ask me this same question. Which? If you think about it, isn’t quite so far fetched. With all of our “colorful” politicians these days, that phrase is thrown around the news more frequently than Obama.

    Good save though. I’m totally going to file your answer away in the depths of my brain, to pull out if I should ever find myself in this predicament. Oh, the horror Bex, the horror!

  8. I think you handled it great – in fact, when mine ask that question, I’m using your exact phrasing. But I’m going to just try to avoid the problem by not letting them watch Mario videos.

  9. Damnit, I’ve been walking around the lab for the past hour with that song in my head. Desperately need something to replace it now. 😛

  10. You need to get something in writing. You know, find a notary, too. Cause when he’s 14 you are going to want to revisit this and plead with him to reconcile with his past.
    The Facts of Life? Turn on the radio, woman!

  11. It’s bad enough that Youtube has Beth and Scott singing ‘Hello my name is Joe’ but it’s extra cringe-worthy when V (who is 3.5 btw) clicks on the next video. Thank you YouTube.

  12. I am so glad that YouTube didn’t become so insanely popular until my daughters already knew the answers to questions like ‘what are sexual favors?’

    ……..although that sounds really bad. Perhaps I should say that they knew how to Google the answers to those sorts of questions rather than ask me. Yes, let’s say that. It makes my children sound much smarter, much less like they might be having The Sex (No! They are NOT! I swear!), and me much less like a horrible mother who ought to be on the Jerry Springer Show.

  13. I think you rock at this. I will send mine to you. My girl (6.5) was asking how babies get out and I’m trying to skirt it and am all “Well ya know there’s this special thing inside a Mommy where the baby grows..” and she’s like “yeah, the bag so they don’t get out, right?” omg I almost wrecked the truck lmao. YES, the non-escape bag. riiiiiight. Luckily my laughter was contagious and thus ended that ride on the crazy train of thought. Duly noted, no you tube. thanks!

  14. Good Answer… I banned YouTube a long time ago… now I’ve banned the local 6:00 News. Apparently the police chief in a nearby town was arrested recently for overlooking and covering up his friend’s (Chester the Molester) inappropriate activities with minors. The police chief’s kid was in my kid’s class for a couple of years in elementary school, he spoke to their class for “career day” in kindergarten. To make a long story short – my kid recognized him in the Breaking News video. Then “Mom, Mom, that’s *** *****’s dad! He gave me that police patch in kindergarten, remember? What’s sexual battery on a minor??” Ummm… OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT!!!! Unfortunately, am not as eloquent as you, I don’t exactly remember what I said besides screaming, “Where is that fucking remote?? No more news!” It still haunts me!

  15. You rock! I’m with Penbleth, you should write a handbook. Aunt Becky’s Sex Education….’ how to say what you don’t want to say to your kids.’ Is there anyone better than Aunt Becky to light the way? i doubt it.

  16. The fact that I had to agonize over penis diagrams on Wikipedia makes me hate my parents for their silence on this…subject.


  17. Yeah, I had the “How do babies get inside your tummy?” and I thought I was going to wreck the car. God Bless The Aspergers! Once I composed myself and put is back in our proper lane and tried to defer the conversation, I asked, “What do you think?” His response was so ordinary and not scary that I don’t remember it. It also wasn’t technically wrong, just not nearly elaborate enough so I went with it. Phew! I think he said something about a Daddy loves a Mommy very much and gives it to her. He left the ‘how’ to our imagination. It’s not like him to miss such details, so I am sure I will need to be coming up with another answer that will work for next year’s third grade class, because once he knows, he masters the information and shares it with everyone.

  18. I had to explain what a prostitute was the other day to my 7 year old. Hmm not so easy…..when a man pays for a girlfriend was what I went for. Then turned the talk radio to Absolute 80s!

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