23 January 2010

Lookit This Picture, Mom!!

Elf waves me over to see a photo of two scorpions looking like they're holding hands.

"You have to hear this," he tells me, and settles in to read. "When scorpions reproduce, the male uses his pincers to hold the female's pincers. Then he drags her around until he can fertilize her."

Here Patrick, who was standing nearby, has to smirk and raise his eyebrow at me. Shut up, Patrick.

"When scorpions do this, it looks like they are dancing," Elf read.

"Um, yeah, it does kinda look like they are dancing, I guess," I told him as I tried to do the "look like I'm really busy and in too much of a hurry to talk right now" thing because I am uncomfortable. Mostly because I just faintly heard Patrick snort.

"Sometimes getting dragged around makes the female angry," Elf continued. Man, that kid CANNOT take a hint. Now Patrick is devoting his full attention to this reading. He's nodding and his arms are folded. My heart is sinking and I'm probably turning red. Great.

I wish I left that so-called "kids' book" on the library shelf but noooo. I had to get all homeschool-y and make the kids research a report on "something about a desert animal that is interesting."

"The male will then sting her," Elf read as Patrick came over to check out the pictures and nod. YES! There is scorpion porn, right in the middle of this children's book! I'm flabbergasted, but Elf just keeps reading as if scorpions *ahem* doing this were an acceptable topic of conversation. "This does not kill the female, but it numbs her so that she will stay still. The male can then fertilize the female."

"Interesting technique," Patrick comments.

"Once the dance is over, the male scorpion runs away. He does not want the female to try to eat him. It does not happen very often, but sometimes she does." Little Elf has his eyebrows up in that chubby Spock "isn't that interesting and odd" sort of pose.

"Ohhh," Patrick nods and does the "hmm" pose. Clearly he has no interest in directing the attention *away* from this awful book.

"Well... that's very... disturbing, Elf," I sputter, hoping that was positive enough. "I guess the female scorpion gets kinda mad about being dragged around and stung."

"And fertilized," Patrick interjects with a grin. He's 16 and I'm still not sure how I'm going to raise this one.

"Um, we have to go now," I tell Elf. "Lock us out there, would ya?"

"Sure! So... did you like the story? Was it interesting?"

"Welllll... you read a bunch of stuff I didn't know about before, I'll tell you that!"

"OK!" he said proudly as he was shutting the door. "See you later!"


  1. I remember reading a book when I was about his age - all about how different creatures reproduce - lobsters, bedbugs, pigs. Quite graphic - and fascinating in its sheer copulative diversity, actually - but certainly not written to titillate. I'd recommend it but I suspect it is not the sort of thing you want in your house :)

  2. Eeek! No! And probably saying "titillate" would get you into trouble around here, too, missy!

  3. Awwwww Mrs C. I would have loved this conversation.... and I would have loved to be right there beside Patrick snorting!
    Kids gotta learn what they gotta learn... eventually!
    I'm surprised Elf didn't want to know what 'fertised' meant!
    Well fended off that one Mum!

  4. Love it! Learning at it's best. To cutie.

  5. Whew! You made it out of that one safely. Until next time anyway!

  6. When I was pregnant with WGO, the boys were 6 and 7 and asking questions, so we got this wonderful little book "where did I come from?" One son was happy with that, while the other asked more probing questions. I answered them, as honestly and age appropriately as I could. Big sister (aged around 16 at the time) took the lad to the Mall and as they were walking, he decided to inform her of the female 'cycle' etc, complete with large arm movements... She came home totally mortified and vowing never to take him out again.

  7. [laughing]


    [shuts digital mouth and forces himself not to type and thereby get himself in trouble with Mrs. C]



    You crack me up, Mrs. C. The image of you getting so flustered just tickles my funny bone.

    In all seriousness, these kinds of things don't bother me. My juvenile glee comes from how uncomfortable reproduction makes others. Granted, I don't have kids seriously interested in this yet, so perhaps my tune will change. But I figure, if they're going to look at this from a purely factual standpoint, I'll play their game.

    ...but thinking about it as "scorpion porn" is pretty stinking funny [laughing]. Oh my, the giggles are returning...



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