My friend, Mel, at AccordingToMags is getting back at me for making her publish a post with the word penis in it. Now …. before you get all excited … hers is a very innocent story. When she initially told me about it, she had no intention of putting it in her blog …. until I pushed. And pushed. And then had a snack and went to check the mail. And then pushed a little more. Anyway, her post is a hysterical little account of taking her young kids to see a movie. Click here to read it.
And, in my quest to push her out of her comfort zone, I may have inadvertently mentioned that I had a similar story involving my son from 2005. He was only five, kindergarten-bound and very observant. These three qualities ensured that all of the thoughts that crossed his mind also crossed his lips. And I was usually more than happy to answer any and all of his many, many, many questions.
(Oh, God. This story is so embarrassing. Mel, I’m dying here.)
So anyway, my family was on its first trip to Disney World. It was the four of us (son, 5 and daughter, 2) as well as my parents. My kids had a blast and wanted to ride everything they could but their age differential enabled my boy to take on a lot more of the rides than his sister. And he was still too young to know to fear the scary rides.
Enter that stupid Mission: Space ride at EPCOT.
Now, first of all, I know what you’re thinking. “Mission: Space??? Michele, are you nuts? He was only five. I can’t believe you brought him on that terrifying shock to the nervous system.” To which I can only say, yes. Well, sort of yes. Disclaimer – the tragic story involving that ride happened just six weeks after we were there. Truly, no one realized how intense this ride really was at this point. But I digress …
So, because my daughter was clearly too young for this ride, Dave opted to sit it out with her. And my parents hung back with them. My boy was all excited about the space ride so what’s a mom to do?
Right? Of course, right.
It was one of the newer rides at the park so it comes with the tedious experience of waiting in a Disney line that weaved through a maze of snotty ropes, germy handrails and darkened corridors intended to get us all in a space-y mood by the time we reached the core. After nearly an hour had passed, we got to the end of the line and waited in a small holding room with maybe 25-ish people to get into our respective “pods.” (Can’t you just feel the nerd?) And we waited and waited. And waited. Something was clearly wrong. There was a loud beep and everyone got quiet in anticipation of a voice coming over the PA to tell us what to do.
We’re all familiar with the expression “you could have heard a pin drop,” right? Well, that’s exactly how it was when my sweet little son, back then always armed with a million questions, turned to me in the deafening silence and said “Mommy” … and then he paused … ’cause clearly there was gonna be more.
I turned to my boy and said “What?” … expecting any number of predictable, mundane statements from my five-year-old.
- “I have to go to the bathroom.”
- “What’s taking so long?”
- “I’m huuuuuungry.”
- “My tummy hurts.”
- “This shirt feels itchy.”
- “That guy sure has a fat belly.”
Any of those (and many, many others, by the way) would have been fine. But that wasn’t the direction he was going. Cut back to me. “What?” I said innocently.
Nothing could have prepared me for this next moment as a parent.
“Why do you have so much hair on your vagina?”
*** PAUSE FOR LAUGHTER ***
Okay. You know that special effect that they have in cartoons where the character’s eyes bulge out and you hear the old-fashioned Model T car horn blaring? Well, that was me. Me and EVERYONE ELSE in the room.
Then, at the exact moment that my body was debating its fight or flight options, a voice mercifully came over the loudspeaker to announce that the ride was experiencing some kind of technical difficulty. Or something like that. Honestly, I have no idea what it said. My vagina had just been the topic of a small focus group! I was too busy picking up the shattered pieces of my dignity from the floor and trying to keep every ounce of blood from rushing to my face.
Then, somehow, I made it worse.
I can’t explain why I felt the need to defend myself to these strangers. Fearing that everyone in the room would think me some sort of deformed, wooly mammoth (and not understand, as any human should, that ANY hair there is foreign to a child), I found myself blurting out … “It’s not that much really” … to the room and then hauling ass, my boy in tow, for the exit. I don’t think I stopped until I reached the space under my bed in the hotel room.
And, for the record, I have never told this story outside of very tight circles. Why? Because even to this day, I fear judgment. I’m a hygienic … and manicured … person. I swear!!! But a five-year-old boy, with different parts than this mama, is going to ask questions. I guess I should be counting my blessings that it wasn’t in church.
(Dear God, did I just really talk about “myself” on the internet? I think I need to go throw up.)
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Short attention span?
Click the image below to view this post as a picture book.
In honor of MamaKat’s weekly writing challenge, I am revisiting this old
post standby friend in response to the following writing prompt:
4. Look into your archives. What were you blogging about a year ago around this time? Are you still dealing with the same thing? Your thoughts?
ODNT Trivia: Since this story was published a year ago, it has gone on to become my most viewed post of all time. That can’t just be a coincidence. …. Right?