25 August 2008

Middle Schooler

Last week, I took trip to the Health Department to get my kids immunized for school. which entailed taking an elevator in their massive new building. I despise public elevators for the germ factor alone. Elevator buttons are on my short list right next to lick grocery store floor and suck on end of post office pen. Ewww.

This glorious government office had only one employee working. She never once looked up, and when she finally stood it was to grab her purse and go to lunch. I waited 10 minutes for them to tell me to go to the free clinic next week. Typical runaround.

During our wait though, the kids started whining for candy in the jars by the front customer service windows. They were light colored, round, and in green wrappers and no, not candy.

Most places give out little freebies for kids or patrons. My mechanic gives out magnets. The doctor's office or bank has calendars, pens, or suckers. The Health Department apparently gives out condoms.

My middle schooler spotted them first. She nearly shouted, "They have green apple suckers! Can I have a sucker? CAN I HAVE ONE, PUHHHHLEEEEEEZE?!"

Her brothers and sister chimed in quickly, "We want suckers! I want a sucker! Why can't I have a sucker!"

I tried to suppress my laughter, "Um, no sweetie," I whispered to my daughter even quieter, "those aren't suckers, they're condoms."

 "OH!" She smiled, looking red-faced over her faux pas.

"What's a condom?" asked my 8 year old. The entire waiting room was looking at me by this time as they probably wondered if I knew the answer with my four kids in tow and all within 6 years of each other.

Lord help us, where is your father when I need him?! 

I started to answer and realized that my older son was beet red. I whispered, "It's for married people."

I had most of the Health Department staff and patrons ready to burn me at the stake. So shoot me, they are young kids and I only tell them enough for them to satisfy their curiosity. How else can I teach them my values without standing strong? But I'm not going to lie to them and say The Health Dept. only sees sexually active marrieds with unwanted pregnancies and STDs.


~Bee will go ballistic if they give out "caramel green apple suckers" in school.


Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Dis. Turbing.

That Janie Girl said...

Oh, my Lord.


You handled it well, Bee!

Heffalump said...

Wow...our Health Department doesn't have those at the front counter...and I am SO glad!
My oldest is heading for 6th grade this year...that means that this Spring is Sex Ed...we have tried to give him "the talk" a couple of times, but he always avoids the topic. This year he has no choice, because we will be giving him the talk so he doesn't just have to hear it from all the other kids in his grade.

R said...

Good grief.

I am glad you are an involved parent. I would not expect anything less. I think it is absolutely crazy too that teachers and parents do not get together. Nuts.

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

My friends who are just ahead of me in this mothering thing - my daughter will be in 5th grade this year - tell me that unlike elementary school, where your presence is demanded, the middle school really wants nothing to do with you.

Until there's a problem.

It just makes sense to at least meet the teachers, make eye contact for heaven's sake.

Where does the time go?

Leslee said...

I'm one of those moms that give just enough information too.

Good for you for demanding to be a part of your child's education. It's a group effort raising these kids right if you ask me.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey, I thought my Doctor's were a bit iffy with some of the posters they have on display, but condoms?
My kids would have thought they were lollies too, or stickers or balloons. They always get given stuff at the dentist and Doctors. Tsk, mad people.

You handled it brilliantly though babe. And I would want to meet my kid's teachers too. Go girl.

ancient one said...

You handled that well. I would want to meet my children's teacher also. I went to middle school several times to pick up a sick grandchild and everyone was very nice to me. Just had to make sure we signed out.

Once one of the coaches came down to talk with me. He said if my grandson could hang out in the office for 20 more minutes it would count as being present, then if he felt better in the afternoon he would be able to practice with the ball team. We stayed, but the boy was sick. He didn't get to practice.

ancient one said...

Hope you don't mind.. but I put a link to this post on my blogspot. If you mind I will delete it.

holly said...

what business is it of theirs *what* you tell *your* kids.

you're way better than i. i would have said something really silly (ssshhh i use humour to diffuse a situation. don't tell anyone.) which resulted in the children and staff laughing (probably).

McBunni said...

Ya gotta love the uber-classy Health Department.

Doozie said...

I"m pretty sure my sons middle school teachers are going to be keeping in touch with me. I met up with all of them at the bar over the weekend, and we bonded

Skerrib said...

Fantastic answer...if anyone gives you grief you can always say something like "everyone's different, but those are our family's values" before the scissor kicks.

Angela said...

Seriously. You are hilarious. I'm sitting here all by myself (The glory days of all four children in school!!!!) laughing incredibly hard at the mental picture of you in the health department. I'm also feeling guilty because I keep reading and reading and reading your posts I have missed because I have been busybeyondallreason. I should be mopping more floor or cleaning up dead ants that I torched on my stove instead. Oh, to live in the Northwest. We'd be fast friends, I dare say.

Millie said...

It's getting to where you have to blindfold your kids before you take them to any medical or health facility. The gonorrhea posters alone!!!!!

(I believe this may be the first time I have ever used the word "gonorrhea" in a comment - probably the sign of a boring life)

Millie said...

P.S. My children have never brought home condoms. At our home we use this amazing birth control device called... the ZIPPER.

Dapoppins said...

I wonder, do the green apple suckers glow in the dark too?

Mary said...


Just dropping over from Ancient One's place. What a great read this was. You handled the situation very well, I think.

I am not really happy about the schools of today. The school my grandsons go to doesn't really like parents or grandparents showing up at the school and that makes me very uncomfortable. However, my daughter, their mother, makes sure all of their teachers know her on a first name basis and that is great.

Be sure to drop over to my Writing Nook and enter my Harvest Giveaway. It was nice to meet you.

Blessings and good luck with the school year.


Mrs4444 said...

That's bizarre. You're a great mom, Bee.

jenny said...

As a word of encouragement, we are beginnig the 2nd year in middle school (6-7-8th grades at his school), and they have been great about inviting parents into the school. And e-mail may not be a face in front of them, but they all seem to communicate well this way, so at least concerns can be addresses quickly.

They'll find out someday about non-marrieds doing this. This si all your younger needed to know at this time! :-)

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at the whole "sucker" ordeal, you see, that would have been me, if it had not had been you! You handled it well too I must say. My first is in middle school now...I am feeling your pain.

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