The 6 year old had a friend over; let's just call him Justin. They wanted to play Spiderman. They needed lots of space to run around, climb walls, sling webs, etc, so they’d claimed the basement as their lair. They were out of my sight for, oh, 4 minutes. I noticed the door to the basement was closed. That voice in my head said, “Go check on them.”
I tried to sneak down the stairs, but those are basement stairs and our house is really old. The guestroom door was closed. I opened it. And there, on the bed, in all his 6 year old glory, lay Justin, sweats and whitey tighties around his ankles, with my sweet cherub pulling his pants. Couldn’t tell if she was pulling up or down, and it didn’t seem to matter at that point.
I believe her exact word, when she saw me, was, “What?”
“Go upstairs now, please,” I intoned, channeling all the Dr. Spock I never read.
“Justin, pull your pants up and go sit on the couch, please.”
Following my child, I pulled her to a quiet spot and requested, “Tell me what was going on downstairs.”
Now, keep in mind, I’m doing my uji breathing and controlling my blood flow. I was so Yoga I scared myself with my calmness and clarity of mind.
“He said his bum hurt and he needed my help.”
“Please wait here while I talk to Justin.”
I journey to the couch.
“Justin, what was going on in the basement?”
“She pulled my pants down.”
“Please wait here while I talk to her.”
I offered the child a chance to change her story. I told her Justin had told me something different. She wanted me to tell her what he’d said. Oh, no, I’ve seen more episodes of Law and Order than that.
“Tell me the truth, child.”
She wouldn’t change her story, so I sent her to her room to consider how much she wanted to disclose.
And then I prepared myself to call Justin’s mother.
This was a first playdate. I’d never actually set eyes on either the mom or dad. (Personally, I wouldn’t let my kids go play at someone’s house without having met the parents, but whatever.) And here I had to call her and say, “Hey, so they’ve been together for about half an hour and my daughter saw your son’s dangly. How do you feel about that?”
It gets worse. The whole truth? In true doctor fashion, they had swapped. Yup. She showed him her yah-yah and he showed her his woo-hoo.
Now, I’m not so upset about that. We’ve talked about private-bathing-suit-area-no-look-no-touch before, but kids are curious, they like to get a hand’s on experience, not to put too fine a point on it, so I get that. But they both knew better, as evidenced by the whole “lie for all you’re worth” method of convict behavior they chose. And the lying! If they’d said, “Oh, we were curious,” we could have had a lovely discussion about how special body parts are, how we’re different and beautiful, all that granola stuff. As it was, by the time I got to the bottom of the story, my head was so drained and I had no Gaiam breath anymore, so I left them with a simple, “Bathing suit areas are off limits. Go apologize to each other.”
Right now, they’re putting glue on paper and chasing each other around the kitchen. Oh, yes, Justin is still here. Turns out his mother is a preschool teacher. Enough said.