Sometimes, what they know is embarrassing

Profile of a man and study of two riders

This is a story from September 17, 2008, so Cinder is 6 and change.

Part I, the Background

Two or three weeks ago, while curled up on the couch in the living room, Cinder gave a big sigh and, apparently out of the blue, said, “I wish my penis was bigger.” His mother went—inside her head—”AAAargh! He’s only six! Does it start this early?”

His sister—three and a half, and well-schooled in penis envy, as Cinder has only recently stopped waiting for her to grow one—turned to him seriously and said, “Why?”

“Well, if I had a long penis—a really long one, you know, one that uncurled like a chameleon’s or a frog’s tongue?—I could just whip it up the stairs and go pee without having to get up. Wouldn’t that be cool?”

From the same great minds that brought you the television remote controller and the Clapper…

Part II: The Consequence

Fast-forward to yesterday, when Cinder found our big roll of butcher paper and asked me to trace him so he could draw in the body organs (we’re spending some time with anatomy books again in preparation for our Edmonton Science Centre “Bodies” visit). I traced him, he drew in the lungs and heart, and then started doing the circulatory system, blood vessels going to his toes, fingers, brain, everywhere.

His mother, doing the dishes while this is going on—and the other child is putting together an alphabet puzzle in the other room while humming the alphabet song to herself—is brimming with self-conceit and pride. “These are the sort of moments no one ever believes you happen spontaneously,” she narrates in her head. Then she starts wondering where she will put up this poster. Not that she wants to “stage” the house for the up-coming facilitator visit, but Cinder will surely want her to see it.

“There, almost done,” says Cinder. “Now I just need to add my giant, retractable penis.”

And, well… there are many blood vessels in it, and the word “erection” is now well-defined in our house.

Not sure if I’m going to trot the poster out for the facilitator’s visit, though… ;P

Who is this facilitator of whom you speak?

In the province of Alberta, homeschoolers are governered by The Homeschooling Regulation. We register with a willing school board, and that school board “facilitates” the homeschooling process. We can choose to school according to that school board’s curriculum—any other curriculum—or, as in our case, our own uncurriculum. The facilitator visits with the families in the fall to discuss plans for the year, and at the beginning of summer. If you have a great facilitator, as we do, this is a terrific opportunity for the kids to go through what excited them over the year, to brag about some of their accomplishments, and to share some of their future intentions.


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