La La La, I Can’t Hear You!

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Today at breakfast my 11-year-old son informed me he had good news and bad news. Not only was he finally allowed to bring his recorder home from music class but he was going to take his first puberty class at school.

I’m still trying to figure out which was the good news.

Later that afternoon after he slid into the backseat of the minivan and played a few notes of “Hot Cross Buns”, I immediately began plotting how and when his recorder would meet a tragic fate. As soon as we came to the first stop sign it was clear I wouldn’t have to wait very long for the “when” part.

“Hey Mom!” he yelled, in between rapid huffing and puffing and what sounded like a mockingbird having an asthma attack.  “Guess how puberty went today!”

There was that word again. Instantly, my mind seized up. **DANGER! DANGER! RED ALERT!** Abandon all innocence! Kiss it goodbye! It’s all over now!

I tried a distraction tactic. “Hey, how ’bout you play some more music? You take requests? Know ‘Smoke on the Water’?”

“I SAID guess how puberty went, Mom!”

“Guess how you and Bert went?”

“No! Puberty!”

“Phew, a birdie? Yes.”


“What? I can’t hear you.”


Worst chant ever in the history of the world.

“Oh yeah? So how did that…uh…go?” I asked and held my breath.

“Terrifying,” he sighed from the backseat. “Absolutely terrifying.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

“Okay, ” I said. “That’s okay. It’s good we’re talking about this.  This is what I’m here for. We need to communicate because it’s healthy. Yeah. Very healthy. Sooooo very healthy….” Now it was my turn to sigh.

“So today we found out about uteruses! All girls have one,” he said.


“And the uterus gets really big when the baby grows.”

“Yes, it does. Big uterus. Yep, indeedy. Big big uterus.”


“So…” I peered into the rearview mirror. “Any other questions that you have for me? Because I would be…” I slowly dragged my hand down my face and took a deep breath. “Because I would be happy to answer any y’know…” I cringed as a few more gray hairs sprouted on my head “…any questions you may have. About where babies come from. They told you right?”


“The teacher told you how the baby gets inside the uterus?”

“I don’t think so.  I must have blacked that part out. Maybe she’ll tell us tomorrow.”

“Hmm…well, tell you what. You can tell your father all about what you find out in puberty class tomorrow and he’ll answer any questions you might have, and I’ll listen to you play “Hot Cross Buns” as much as you like the rest of the day. Deal?”

“Okay,” he said and the car was once again filled with the Devil’s elevator music.

Sometimes being a mom requires making the tough choices.

Actually, this was an easy one.

I think.

Ask me again tomorrow after my first puberty class is over.












116 thoughts on “La La La, I Can’t Hear You!

  1. Ah, this made me laugh, especially “I don’t think so. I must have blacked that part out. Maybe she’ll tell us tomorrow.” LOL!

    I don’t even have kids but I can imagine myself cringing so bad when the time for *that* talk arrives!

  2. The great thing about spending your whole life working with other people’s kids not in a school setting is that you never have to have this conversation. Although now that I’ve said that, I predict that for some inexplicable reason, I WILL have to. (Do I press ‘post comment’ and seal my fate forever? DO I?)

  3. Puberty class? What am I missing here? I bet if you find an awful enough porn clip online showing where babies come from, you can turn him off of sex for at least a decade. Two decades, if you find a clip that has a midget.

  4. Hahahaha! There is always a time and a place for the Devil’s elevator music …. lol! FYI: Boys have no problem asking all sorts of questions when you’re behind the wheel … drive safe and avoid trees & guardrails.

    1. Y’know, I forgot to put into my story how I was basically swerving all over the road the entire time. I was also holding my breath and sighing so much that I must have blacked out most of the conversation.

  5. LOL 🙂 Sadly we never had this kind of class when I was at school (we learned a bit about rabbits) and when I asked my Mum she gave me a book to read that coincided with my first pack of sanitary hammocks. Brother found them absolutely perfect for polishing the chrome on his motorcycle.

    1. haha! Oh, those sanitary hammocks are so versatile. One of my most horrific memories of puberty class was when the teacher handed a maxi pad around to us girls. It was as heavy as a cement brick and about the size of a small station wagon. (this was the 1970s before the invention of super-slim pads with wings)

    2. Yeah, I went to a small private Christian school, and this class was . . . an elective? I was terrified of such topics well into my 20’s, (plus that “elective” conflicted with all the college AP prep-courses I was into taking at the time) so I avoided the class and my parents gave me a book about gerbils. Or hamsters. Or something. It didn’t help. Or maybe it did.

  6. Very well done. I mean, your ears will suffer a horrible fate, but at least you very deftly skirted any more talk of uteruses and pretty much punted that off to your hubs. Smooth, Dar. Smoooooooth.

  7. Just wait until STD day. Have some saltine crackers in the mini-van. My son puked his guts out in the middle of “puberty class” that day. Motherhood is awesome, isn’t it?

    1. That was the other thing he told me, that they saw pictures of anatomy and it was, in his words, “GROSS GROSS GROSS” I said to him–remember that, burn those images into your brain until you’re 35.

  8. Brillaint, I can feel your anguish!

    I don’t think we were ever taught these things in school, that is probably why when I did my own puberty guidebook at school I was given detention, I put it on my blog a year or so ago.

  9. My son’s class had that talk too this year, but he was out sick that day. He did make it for the talk about Aids though; which I never had because I’m just that old (the talk, I mean). So there I was checking in with my kid about the possible ways to transmit Aids because quite frankly I wasn’t sure. Way to pass it off to the Hubster!

  10. Hilarious! Thanks for this read. It made me smile and trust me, I need it.
    Speaking of PUBERTY, I’m currently dealing with a 13 yr old girl who looks like she is 17, and is as smart (sneaky) as a 30 yr old. Awesome.

    1. You are welcome! And thank you for reminding me that I also have a 7-year-old girl who will be 13 one day. Now that I’ve passed my son off to my husband I have no excuse when it’s her turn.

      1. Well, he did have another class and they did tell him what sex was. But he didn’t have any conversation with my husband because he doesn’t want to talk about it. I think the shock might wear off once he turns 35.

  11. I think when the time came for the “talk”, my daughter (I am still in shock) told ME the facts of life. It is a blur, I may have passed out. I guess it was good that at least one of us knew the real facts of life. I am a single mom and I am glad the mystery how that happened was finally solved. I am from the generation when mom thought it was a sin to tell us girls anything, that was what marriage was for. Of course that didn’t prepare us for what can happen before marriage. Life is fun.

    1. My mom and dad never ever ever never ever said one single word to us about anything sex related or puberty related. That was their generation. I’d like to think I learned on my own eventually and I turned out okay but now I wonder.

      1. Don’t worry, you turned out good.
        In our house it wasn’t sex but S. E. X. and whispered. Like we could not only hear but couldn’t spell before we got out of grade school. It was “with child” not pregnant. I often wondered how my mom had 8 kids.

      2. Oh and I forgot, in 8th grade they had sex ed. but the parents had to sign a permission slip. My mom would not sign so I was the only kid sitting in class while the others were learning about life. I didn’t care about see the dang film, I just didn’t want to be the only one left out and made fun of and I was.
        The very next year I got to see it without them saying a word to mom. I didn’t tell her either, I didn’t want her to know I was going to hell in a hand basket.
        Alas I found out about the equipment but but not how to use it. Nor did I learn the difference between love and lust- that is what got me into trouble later.

  12. They call it puberty class in the states? We’re a bit more upfront here, we just call it sex education! I do always feel sorry for the teachers who have to deliver it though, dealing with a mixture of shock, confusion and giggles – and that’s just the teacher, ha!

    1. I think they called it sex ed when I was a kid. In a way, the word puberty to me is much ickier. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the teacher! Whoever it is, I hope they get paid well.

  13. I’m not sure you’ve made the right choice. You may have just subjected yourself to years of recorder music. I don’t know if a trade of few gray hairs for your sanity is worth it.

    1. Well, so far so good. His recorder is already buried underneath a mountain of dirty laundry in his closet. And, I asked him today if he knew how the baby gets in the uterus now and he said, “I do know and I don’t want to talk about it because it’s gross.”

  14. Until I read this post, I had never considered the similarities between “Smoke On The Water” and “Hot Cross Buns” – both of which are usually preferable to uterus discussions with 11 year old boys.

  15. Loved pensitivity101’s remark. Love the new use her brother found for polishing his motorcycle chrome! Actually, loved reading about your conversation with your son. I never heard of a puberty class. What will they think of next? Ha.

  16. “I’m still trying to figure out which was the good news.” Perfect!

    What is it about boys and cars and sex? Do they always need to go together. I can’t tell you how many near fatal collisions I’ve had trying to (1) not laugh and (2) not puke at the questions. Enjoy the ride, Darla!

    1. haha! I know, the worst thing about this whole conversation was the fact that I had to keep driving the damned car. Almost swerved into a ditch several times.

      So today he told me he DOES know how the baby gets in the uterus. It’s the absolute worst feeling when I realized that now not only does my son know what sex is, he knows his parents had it at least twice.

  17. At 11? Hm – the uterus thingy was covered in primary school for me, as far as I can remember – and that was a catholic primary school and it were the Mid-Seventies – and it was Germany. We saw (very unexciting) drawings of women’s wombs (right cut through) and had to name the parts of the womb. Not the genitals, mind you, those were done later, in what YOU would call high school. And not puberty or sex-ed-classes – no – it was biology, you see, right there among boring science topics. But how I old I was then has escaped my memory.
    Thankfully both puberty of a child of mine and The Talk I will be spared – no children, no TALK … And no recorder playing! 😀

    1. I can’t really remember, but I think they taught me sex ed in fifth grade (just like my son). I remember them telling us about anatomy and periods. Then we asked questions of the teacher about sex. My parents had never told us kids anything at all, so we learned from our friends mostly. But one thing was for sure, no matter who told me this stuff, it was always horrifying for me.

      1. It was always fascinating for me, the pure biological development of fetus/embryo … nothing horrifying – the horrifying things (like STDs or all the crap that happens during labor and birth or so) I learned from sources much later in life – and THOSE stories were horrifying!
        Or all the sh.. that comes with a youth growing up on porn – and their rather violent sexual dreams (just look up some things on urban dictionary and you will know what I mean) – that was horrifying. But sex ed? The german word for that is Aufklärung – enlightenment. Much better than the dark ages … 😉

  18. I still remember having “that talk” with my mom. I saw an ad for tampons in a magazine, and I asked her what they were. Then I got really annoyed when she started giving me what I thought was a completely unrelated biology lecture instead of simply answering my question.

    1. My entire puberty talk with my mom involved her coming home from grocery shopping, then putting a box of maxi pads on my bed and telling me I would need a bra soon. That was it. (In a way, I’m thankful that was it.)

  19. “The Devil’s elevator music” HA HA HA !

    Nothing like Puberty class. Humiliation in ample doses for all concerned!

    Hang in there Mom, it’ll be over in like … 20 years!

  20. In my day Puberty Class was called Health Class…and the girls were in a different “health” class from the boys. My mom had to sign a permission slip for the class. I bet she couldn’t sign fast enough.

  21. And just think, in a few more years he’ll be saying the opposite to gross gross gross wen it comes to girls.
    Love this post, I’ve been there with two and the third is right on the mark to start sex ed. it’s gonna be interesting times. All I can say is thank god I have boys.

  22. “The devil’s elevator music” – ha! I think that was actually the soundtrack of the sex ed videos I had to watch growing up. Hey – I know! The music teacher should have to explain where babies come from!

  23. We didn’t have sex ed or puberty class. We had biology and health, and by the time we got to them, the teachers assumed everyone already knew about the mechanics of reproduction. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who didn’t. Gross as it seems, I guess knowing is better than not knowing.

    Have a great summer, Darla.

  24. I’m. It sure I’ve ever heard a record that doesn’t sound like an animal in pain. So glad the only instruments my sons took up were guitar and drums and the drums stayed at school! 🙂

  25. The thought of the puberty talk makes me hyperventilate. Thank goodness for your husband. He can do the boy talk, and you can just hum Hot Cross Buns to yourself when it happens.

  26. That’s what they call it now, Puberty Class? Not Health, or Sex Ed? Interesting. You done good with a minefield of a topic.

    We were very protective of our kids – filtered what they watched, no PG-13 movies, etc. I didn’t think we had to sensor the evening news, but that was before President Clinton took office. Our oldest was just hitting puberty then and I was delighted when trying to keep up with current events prompted her to ask “Mom, what does “oral sex” mean?”

  27. This was just what I needed after a long, long day at work. I suspect that if/when I have kids and they get to this point, I’m going to have very similar conversations with them.
    I never actually had any “health” or “sex ed” classes at school (bouncing around school systems will do that), but my mom sat me down when I was about 10 and gave me the basic “biology lesson” version. Mind you, I’d more or less figured it out by then, but I’m glad she thought to let me know what to expect when I hit puberty (though that didn’t really kick in for another couple of years). Apparently her mom hadn’t and she didn’t want me to freak out like she did. I didn’t freak out, but it was still a bit awkward.

  28. I was out of town when you posted!
    This is hilarious! I was the opposite. My kids wanted their dad to tell them about the birds and the bees. They thought I’d be too gross.
    It’s the recorder this week, next week it’s the drums…
    Hope you’re enjoying the summer!

  29. OMG, this was hysterical, right from the beginning where you can’t tell which piece of news is the good one. You did well, dancing around the topic of the birds and bees. I think listening to your son’s rendition of Hot Cross Buns for the rest of the day in exchange for pawning the PU-BER-TY thing off on your husband was a brilliant compromise. So, your son would be around 17 now. Did you guys finally have “the talk” with him? LOL.

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