I've discovered a new method of getting information out of my children. Call it parental bait and switch or surprise attack.
It came to light last week. We were on our way to test-drive a new car. My son was showing my daughter a picture of his girlfriend on his phone. Being the nosy mother I am, I wanted to see too. I asked him to show me. He stalled and stalled, couldn't find it, etc. So I decided it was a good time to have a general sex and growing up discussion.
"So," I asked, "do you have any pubic hairs yet?"
Son nearly choked on his tongue.
"Mum, that's not a question you're supposed to ask. It's none of your business."
"I just want you to know you can always come to me if you have any questions, or even your dad. Do you have any questions?"
The phone was presented immediately with the picture of the girlfriend, who is cute, by the way.
The other night I was taking a break from ironing and watching music videos with daughter. There was a certain dance move I wanted daughter to show me. She was covering her face with the newspaper to avoid seeing my hopeless attempts. Aha, I thought, I'll embarrass her even more.
"So," I asked, "have you kissed any boys yet?"
There was a long, uncomfortable silence during which daughter seemed riveted by the TV. Obviously thinking about her answer, she finally replied.
"Yeah, in Year Six, but you know about that."
Hmm, did I?
Daughter decided to show me the dance move as I was about to probe further.
I picked son up from school yesterday. Knowing that he and his sister exchange secrets sometimes, I asked him who daughter had been kissing. He immediately came up with a name.
"Did she tell you that?" I asked.
"No, but he's really nice to me and talks to me and always tells me how nice my sister is."
"Does he say she's fit?" I probed further.
"That's not something you say to a girl's brother," he said.
Oh. Fit obviously has a different meaning these days.
Ah, this teen phase could actually have potential for fun. I can't wait to embarrass them some more.