Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Put on the Spot

'What does it mean to have a w**k?' asks the ten-year-old carryingly as we enter a peaceful country tea room.
'It means to have a walk,' says my brother quickly. Our mother, reared in wartime Bristol when provincial slang was out of synch with modern pleasures, routinely suggests a nice little w**k after lunch.
'We can't let her think that,' I hiss, fearing the implications of our lengthy morning walks to school.

We both turn to the Vicar who is masticating placidly on a scone.
'It means,' he says, 'to, um, touch yourself...'
'We can't let her think that either,' I say, mindful of the ten-year-old's obsessive fiddling with her hair.

Luckily I recall a piece of intelligence passed on by a parishioner during casual conversation in the vicarage garden.
'We all,' I repeat doubtfully, 'have a 'happy spot'...'
'In our house it's the sofa,' says my brother.

The ten-year-old is looking bewildered. Worse, her young brother has left off his perusal of the cake stands and appears pruriently agog. I flounder. Occupants of the surrounding tables are sipping their tea in disconcerting silence and I'm sure the flagstoned floor is causing us to echo. Yet I am conscious of my resolve to answer all biological enquiries with factual frankness.

The ten-year-old is poised to probe further and just in time I remember the killer response that I always deploy in sticky situations: 'Wait till we get home,' I tell her, 'then Dad will explain it!'

How would you have enlightened your young daughter and an audience of elderly strangers?


25 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, I've got all this to come! I've noted your 'killer response' and will keep it handy for when we get into those kinds of sticky situations!

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  2. In this context, you might enjoy this video. I suggest watching the first ten seconds or so, then skip to 3.50.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6KeG_i8CWE8&list=UUEZweGVXrU-Lm4NmEAD_Dlw

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    1. I will apply myself to it just as soon as I've got my comfy slippers on.

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  3. Rofl! Oh thank you for having older children than me. I can learn everything I need to cope here. And if not at least I'll know what NOT to do ;)

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    1. Who's Rofl? Any time you need factual advice, dear, you know where to turn!

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  4. Surpassed yourself yet again...this really did make me laugh. Probably because I can relate (we had a similar conversation involving wet dreams). Thank you!

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    1. No thank you! But you've alarmed me now with the prospect of Things to Come!

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  5. Oh my. A tough one and with an audience! I can't really help as we are still only at the stage where Bibs peers into Mr B's tummy button and asks if there is a baby in there (she keeps a regular check on my tummy).

    What I want to know is how Dad did actually tackle it when you got home. Or had the moment/danger passed?

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    1. I think we need a blog post written by the Vicar. He's a somewhat shadowy figure, lurking in the background of your blog. Bring him out! Yes. What exactly DID he say when you all got home?

      Out the Vicar!

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    2. Luckily my brother took the kids straight off from this cafe to a five-day holiday club 100 miles away so the moment gently passed. One day the Vicar might let me post some of his sermons...

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  6. Lordy! I think you did the right thing.... diverting the response until later. Children's sense of timing is just impeccable - your brother's response had me howling (not as a wolf but with laughter)... 'In our house it's the sofa'.... genius! Hope you are enjoying your summer! X.

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  7. Oh my goodness, we've always been truthful and honest when asked a question by our kids - this one would have me struggling for an explanation though!

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    1. Yes, she's still not much the wiser for the Vicar seems to have forgotten to raise the issue again.

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  8. I let my husband do all the explain, which he does with true honesty, while I bite my tongue trying not to laugh.

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  9. Ah, what a shame you didn't take the opportunity to regale the occupants of the tea rooms with a frank and factual introduction to the pleasures of the happy spot. Just think. You could have introduced much-needed colour and variety into their day, given them something to talk about later, perhaps even helped save a stale marriage or two. I'm more than a little disappointed to be honest ... x

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    1. I take your point, darlin', but what would I know about it?!

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  10. They do pick good times to ask these questions don't they? Really not looking forward to dealing with these sort of things.

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  11. Aaagh! I'm squirming for you! Hilarious post. No advice I'm afraid, I think you dealt with it very well and I will remember this technique if my 9 and 7yo ever ask awkward questions!

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  12. Oh my goodness.

    Like The Fool I am not looking forward to this stage at all but it seems as though you handled it well. With hindsight I think that was often the tactic my own Mother used to deflect difficult questions!

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    1. My mother was always far more eager to communicate on these themes than I was to listen, hence, probably my inadequacies now!

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