The other day I told my boys that it was time for “quiet time”.
This is the time in our house where the sole purpose is for everyone to leave me alone.
Even though I tell them it’s for more than that.
I tell them that they need time to rest… which is true.
I tell them that they need time alone… which is true.
I tell them they need to time to think, time to reflect, and time to pray if they feel so led… all true.
But really… quiet time is in place so that this mother has a few minutes to collect herself and prepare for the evening shift.
If I don’t get quiet time… everybody knows it.
So last week I told my boys (the three of my five children still at home) to prepare for quiet time.
In our home quiet-time can mean you are 1) Flat on your back (F.O.B.) in your bed with nothing to do 2) in your room (bed or floor) with a book or two, or 3) playing quietly in your room with toys (legos usually).
This day was a reading day.
Now please keep in mind that I’m a homeschooler. I have tons of books. And I pride myself in having a variety of educational books available for my children to grab and read when they are too bored to do anything else.
And I have all kinds of educational books.
My 5yo was the first of the three boys to start his quiet time. He asked me the obligatory “Do I have to?” question and got my obligatory “Yes, you do.” He then reluctantly yet obediently made his way to the room. I heard him stand on a chair to grab some books off the shelf and then settle in on the floor to browse the pages.
My preschooler turned kindergartener came out once or twice to ask me about a word of which he was unsure. Once he asked me a question about “Go Dog Go”. Another time, he came out of the room to ask me about a word in “Hop on Pop”. And then all was quiet.
Quiet in my house normally equals mom-get-up-and-check-on-that-child.
So I got up to check on him.
I walked in the room and saw him on the floor deeply engrossed in this:
I quietly moved closer to him and glanced over his shoulder.
My son had the book open to the pages that discussed and illustrated well the development of human sexuality.
I was torn between 1) wanting to run up behind him and snatch the book, grab a match, and set that book on fire and 2) calmly chatting with my 5yo to see exactly where his head was.
I chose the later.
Me: Whatcha lookin’ at?
5yo: I can’t tell you.
Me: Why not?
5yo: Cuz it’s a bad word.
Me: No it’s not.
5yo: But you told me not to say it.
Me: I told you not to say it in public. It’s a private part so we can discuss it in private places. You can always talk about it with Mommy and Daddy. So tell me… what are you looking at?
5yo: Are you sure I’m not gonna get in trouble?
Me: I’m sure. Tell me what it is.
5yo: Boobs (he says this word in a barely audible whisper and as if he has just discovered all the secrets of the universe).
Me: Yes, son. And that’s a private part for girls.
5yo: Look Mommy. He points to the picture of the boobs in the book.
Me: Yes son. I see them.
5yo: He goes back to staring at the page.
Me: Don’t you have something else to read?
I walk out of the room plotting how I can grab the book without making an issue of it and stirring up his curiosity even further.
5 minutes later I hear my 5yo talking to his brothers.
5yo: Hey brothers! Look at this page!
Me: Whatcha looking out now?
5yo: All the girls and all the boys.
Me: Let me see.
I looked at the book as he’s holding it and see that he has found a two-page spread where the anatomy book shows the progression of girls and boys from childhood to the elderly.
Two pages of the bare compare.
With all their parts showing.
Granted this is a human anatomy book so the pictures are not shown in a sexual way or in a way that is beyond educational in nature.
But still, my 5yo is only interested in this book for these particular pages.
Since then, I have moved the book multiple times.
My 5yo has found the book multiple times.
And each time, I have found him fixated on one of those two pages.
Apparently there are accidental homeschooling moments that I was totally unprepared for.
And in the midst of the last few days before my oldest child gets married, I’m still a homeschooling mom who has to deal with a 5yo that wants to look at pictures of naked people.
This is my life.