Kids can say the funniest things. Art Linkletter, in the days of black-and-white television, has clearly shown that children, when given the opportunity, can make unexpected and hilarious statements.
When our children were young, like many Louisianans, we would go to Destin, Florida, on the Cajun Riviera, for a few days at the beach. In this particular year, we lived in Monroe, Louisiana, where I was a professor at Northeast Louisiana University, now the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Our daughter was six and our son was four when we started this summer, on the sunny shores of Destin. This was before Interstate 10, so we traveled the scenic Highway 90 route when it was time to head east. With our beach towels, inflatable water toys and a reservation at a beachfront hotel, we were ready to leave and we were all looking forward to the trip.
Your parents who have traveled by car with children know that experience can overwhelm the nervous system, patience, and the desire to stop the car and leave you on the roadside. "He's touching me." She is on my side of the bench. "" He's not taking turns with the binoculars, daddy. "" Mom, she's pinching me. "And finally," Are we here yet? "We sang songs, played" I spy "and count the number of animals we saw on the roads we walked. Charlene, my wife and I looked at each other and wondered why we wanted children. We scolded them, threatened to turn around and go home. We promised them "breaks" when we arrived at our hotel room and many other powerless threats to their welfare.
I have always believed in sex education for all children, starting at a very young age and extending throughout their school years. Unfortunately, the state of Louisiana and its school systems during the time when my children were young and in public schools did not. Therefore, my wife and I feel the need to inform our children about important questions about their sexual parts, regarding their age ability to understand and value the knowledge imparted. I share this information with you now, because it is pertinent to this true and funny story of the five-legged horse. Part of our initial introduction to our children was to teach them the proper names of their genitals. For example, it was not called a 'wee', or tee-shirt ', but its penis. For her, it was not called, you know the names; it was her vagina. Other sexual parts were given proper names.
Now back to our journey to Destin. We were driving through a rural area and in the fields there were some horses. I was busy eyeing the road when suddenly my son was slapping me on the shoulder: "Daddy, look, a five-legged horse!" I looked toward the pointing finger and there was a horse with a rather impressive erection. Before I could respond to my son's excited announcement, my daughter interrupted, "Hey, stupid, this isn't a leg, it's a penis and you have one too!" My son started crying immediately, I suspect that fearing his penis would grow to this size. My wife and I couldn't stop laughing, thinking, "Son, if you're so lucky."
Our children are now 48 and 46 years old, with children of their own, and have heard my account of this trip several times, and we still find it funny. So when I hear someone plan a trip to Destin, I am brought back to the memory of the five-legged horse. Art, you're right, kids say the funniest things.
I used this true and hopefully funny story as a long introduction to the importance of sex education for our children and to draw their attention to an important parenting function – sex education. Today, kids know a lot about sex, especially from other kids and the media, especially from social media, Facebook and so on. Much of what they are exposed to is inaccurate and is not linked to healthy values and responsible guidance. Parents can offer appropriate knowledge housed in a manner consistent with the values that will guide their child to make safe and healthy choices.
Parents should not be concerned about their important role in sex education. I wrote about this subject earlier in a previous post. "Tips for talking to your teen about sex." Please go to this article and take the initiative to help your children. When you remember the story of "The Five-Legged Horse," smile and teach.