October 23, 2005

After the Sleepover

Last night we had a sleepover for half a dozen boys, eight year olds and ten year olds. It went remarkably smoothly as such things go – a couple of hours of aimless backyard tackling and shouting, during which we tried vainly to stop them from calling each other names or dousing each other with hoses (our kids being the main guilty parties) – after which it settled indoors for board games – Risk and Go and Stratego, with most of the time spent on debates about the rules. No television was watched except by adults watching the World Series, and the kids went to bed at eleven, the younger ones conking out early and the two ten year olds talking quietly past midnight.

What do ten year old boys talk about in the middle of the night? We didn’t eavesdrop, but this interchange from earlier in the evening gives a clue. Agent 95 and his friend were sitting at the dinner table talking, and my wife was putting away some of the pizza accoutrements. Agent 95 looked up at his mother with grim astonishment and muttered, “I can’t believe she’s had oral sex.”

She paused in the midst of putting glasses into the sink.

“Mom, how many times have you had oral sex with a man?” asked the indefatigable pursuer of knowledge.

Well, we’re liberal parents and we want them to grow up believing that sex is natural and we always want to be truthful with them.

She told him she couldn’t give him an exact count.