Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rock and Roll to the Rescue

Both my boys love the song Smoke on the Water, which is so funny because I remember when I lived in Couer D' Alene, Idaho and hearing it for the first time. I was in 5th grade. It was one of two songs having a catchy and distinctive guitar riff—the other being Love is Like Oxygen—hard crunching, repeating, toe-tapping. It was common to see your friend tucking their lower lip under the front teeth and doing a spot-on imitation. It may have inspired many first-time air guitarists, and not a few of the real thing.

At the dinner table Emmett sang his own words to the song instead of eating, real imaginative lyrics such as, "Poop on the water, and farts in the sky," while mom and dad rolled their eyes and said for the hundredth time, "No poop-talk," (trying not to smile).

Then Jackson got into the action, as he didn't like what was on his plate either. When Jackson gets involved, it's like that mythical amp from Spinal Tap that cranks to 11. In other words, it gets loud and out of control.

"Ok, settle down boys," I said, which has the effect of a lion cub facing down a stampeding herd of wildebeests. But after a few gentle reminders that there is food on their plates and that there are people starving in the world that would kill for a single bite (yes, it's true, we've become our parents), the boys went back to a subdued state of planning their next diversion. It came in the form of a question. The question.

Jackson asked, "Where to babies come from?"

Easy: "From momma's belly."

"But how does it get there?"

My wife and I exchange The Glance.

I decided to dance around a bit. I am the master of diversion after all. "It's like a seed, Jackson. Like the flowers we started in the egg carton (irony, eh?) at the start of summer. The seed grows into a baby until its big enough to come out of mommy's belly."

That should hold him.

Jackson is in third grade now. Though it may not sound like much, it was in fifth grade when we were introduced to sex education. If the pattern held true, that's only two years away. Perhaps the timing for modern audiences is a bit late.

"But how does the seed get there?"

Is verklempt a word? If it means to be at a total loss for words, that was me. It was time to pass the baton. My wife smiled as she took it and used it for an air-microphone, took a deep breath and screamed, "SMOOOOKE, ON THE WAAATER…"

And we all joined in, "…and fire in the sky-hayyye."

And that is the story of how Rock and roll saved the day.


Toni Anderson said...

LOL. Oh my. The next few years are going to be interesting for both of us :)

Kathleen said...

LOL! 5th grade? I went to a Catholic grade school. The nuns certainly didn't teach that. It was 7th grade for me and only because I asked about something at the dinner table. Got me out of doing dishes. ;-)

magnetbabe said...

Scott! You're going about this all wrong! Third grade - when girls still have serious cooties - is the perfect time for the nitty gritty details. The few of us who had learned the truth around that time (yes, I was inquisitive even as a child) could barely keep our young maternal hopes alive at the prospect of where babies REALLY come from. It took a couple years even after that to think that maybe I could close my eyes twenty years from then and do it just once in the interest of procreation. Obviously that changed, but I say they're never too young for the truth.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Hee hee!

So when he meets Mrs. Right and she asks if he fancies making babies, he'll take her out to the lake, set fire to some trees and then wait for her belly to swell up.

'Smoke on the water' was the first riff I learned.

Jada's Gigi said...

Too funny! Yep...its almost that time...5th grade was when our elementary school advised us as parents to have "The Talk" and we did...I'm not sure any of our kids understood...or remembered a thing but i sure do remember those shocked expressions on all 3 little faces! LOL SO funny! and to have to keep a straight face! Smoke on the Water for sure!

Alan said...

Man, I love you. I love your handiwork. " It was time to pass the baton. My wife smiled as she took it and used it for an air-microphone..." I love your wife. I love your boys. I love your family. I love the humor.

I love the love.

Now where's the boom-boom?! Come on, I wanna hear how the seed gets in there!! And how many times!! Per day!! LOL!!! ;-)

DixieBelle said...

That is such a cute story!

Beth said...

Sad thing is he probably already knows. When my children were very young, they asked and when they finally admitted it, a kid had given them an "education" on the bus. Ah, the innocence of youth.

And like Natalie, I totally told my kids the truth. Big words and all. I believe my son was like, "Oh, okay, ya, we're good. You can stop." =D

Alan said...

Penis!! You have to say words to the boys like "peeeeenis" and "va-JAY-JAY" LOL!! You have to say, "You see fellas, when Daddy's pe--URK!" "Someone call 911!! Your father's just had a stroke!"

Good ol' Scott! I love that you're sheepish on the matter. So clearly, you're not as bare knuckled and let-it-all-hang-out as some fathers. I remember when you told the story about being with your son at sleepaway camp and some other dad stepped over your head wearing only his underwear--LOL!! And it sparked my curiosity to know how many others' dads, or themselves, strutted around the house in their skivvies, all unfazed. I remember some telling stories of their boxer/tidywhiteyclad dads fixing the roofs of houses and whatnots.

You must not be one of those, because then you'd prolly be already at the stage where you could just point and say "With this," when your kids asks how babies get into mommies' stomachs. Show and tell!!

Sure, I talk, but I wonder how it'll be with any kids of mine? Just practice saying it in the mirror.

"Penis. Peeeeenis." HAHAAAAHAH!!

Scott said...

Sorry it's been so long in reply. My usual excuse: work has been stressing me out.

Here's my blanket reply. I hear what everyone is saying, that I should just be up front about the true nature of the birds and the bees. I suppose in many ways I'm old fashioned with some progressive tendencies here and there. If I were raising my kids alone, the kids would probably get a lot more information, and quite possibly about this too. For instance, I wouldn't tell them there is a Santa Claus. I don't make these decisions alone, however, and there is some advantage to letting a kid be a kid for just a little while longer. It's a beautiful world as a child. Kids are so mercifully free of any pressing weight, and still have imaginations that can believe anything is possible. There's no hurry. Adults today want their kids to be the first to know and the first to be, and it's kind of sad in many cases. See Honey I Shrunk the Kids as an exaggerated example of putting adult pressures on children. I'm not saying that anyone here is suggesting anything like that. I once had the same attitude when Jackson was young when I told him that eventually the earth is going to blow up. This is something he has never forgotten and asked about at an alarming rate. It brought out the issues of death: "don't worry about it; it's so far in the future that you won't be around--er..." Some conversations have their time and place, though we judge the timing based on our own experiences. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

mr. schprock said...

It's not too early for him to learn we're all pod people. Better he hears it from you.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

What a great story, Scott...keep on rockin' in the free world!

Tee said...

LOL! ... I remember those days and I decided to get it over with. I sat them down with an age appropriate book with lots of pictures and just did it. They've known from a very young age where babies come from, how they're made, and how men and women look different, etc. It's so much easier to just tell them more than they ever wanted to know. My boys stuck their fingers in their ears, "Please - I don't want to hear any more about sex!"

LOL. Reverse psychology rocks.

By the way, verklempt is so totally a word. I had no idea you speak Yiddish, Scott :) Mazel Tov ;)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Alan said...


Scott, I can't help it! This makes me giddy like a nut! HAHAA!!! "NUT!"

Go be Dad, the best Scott Ellis way you know how. :-D

The Zombieslayer said...

Ritchie Blackmore is hands down my favorite living guitarist. If you haven't heard him with Blackmore's Night, you're missing out. I got my blogger buddy Neal into them. He's heavily into Rush and liked the old Blackmore's Rainbow so I told him about Blackmore's Night and now he's hooked.

Kids are funny. I used to put the word "butt" in every song title. Like "Smoke on the Water" would be "Smoke on the Butt."

Have fun with "that talk." I'm not even going to touch that one.

Jenn said...

Hahah! I LOVE this post! And your wife!!

Totally my inspiration. I fear the day I get asked THE question and thank God(!) my son loves "Smoke on the Water" as well!

trinamick said...

"You see, son, when mommy and daddy love each other very much, and there's nothing good on TV..."

Alan said...


DixieBelle said...

Scott, You haven't posted in a while. I hope all is well with you and your family. Happy Holidays!