Choose the best way to live, and habit will make it agreeable.


Feel thoughts, think about feelings.

Miguel Unamuno

July 1, 2002

Puberty Sucks!

My twin boys are on the brink of turning eleven and odd things have been happening. It all started one day when I was innocently preparing dinner. One of the twins was away at volleyball practice and the other was sitting quietly at the kitchen table working on that tough fifth grade homework. Out of the blue, he looked up and said, "You know, Mom, we had one of those 'talks' today at school."

"What kind of talk was that?" I asked.

"You know.... the talk about our changing bodies..."

"Oh. That kind of talk. What did you learn?"

He went on to explain that he got to see a diagram of how his shoulders would soon broaden and where he might sprout hair and how his voice would begin to change. It all seemed pretty mild. Remember, they attend Parochial school. Then he went on to begin asking really detailed questions about human reproduction.

I was surprised to learn that he actually thought that his saliva contained semen and that women could get pregnant from kissing. No wonder so many kids stop kissing their parents around puberty. I was happy to set him straight on that one and I am sure I removed a huge burden!! We went through many uncomfortable scenarios of who could get who pregnant. Young boy/old lady, young lady/old man, brother/sister, neighbors, and on and on until he was educated about what our culture deems to be socially acceptable.

We were just beginning to talk about premarital sex and STD's when his volleyball playing brother burst in through the door and said,"Oooh, your talking about that stuff. I don't even want to know." And so we dropped the subject and ate dinner.

Later that evening, when they were getting ready for bed, volleyball boy noted that he had his first case of the dreaded B.O. He was utterly shocked and I couldn't believe the coincidence of him developing B.O. the very day it had been discussed at school! Don't ask me how I know he didn't have it before... Suffice it to say that as a laundry detesting mom, I wasn't above sniffing their school shirts, and if there was no detectable offensive odor, the shirt could be worn a second time. Well, not this time! It didn't pass. His brother remarked that it smelled like burnt rubber. Computer boy hasn't developed B.O. yet. We all laughed and I bought some sport deoderant.

Flash forward to the next day. Again, I am in the kitchen preparing dinner. The non B.O. boy is quietly working on his computer. Volleyball boy comes bursting in the door, runs right past me while asking where his twin brother was, and then runs into the room and knocks him off of his chair, and demands to know if he has underarm hair yet. Well, no, he hadn't. Seems one of volleyball boy's friends noticed that he had sprouted some hair under his arms while he was busy getting that ball over the net.

He later asked me why he was hitting puberty first. He thought his brother would hit it first since he's the bigger guy and all. He seemed really disappointed that they weren't going through it at exactly the same time. I guess it's just another one of those twin things that I will never really understand. I can only imagine what we're in store for.

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Next Post Date: August 5, 2002