My kid found my vibrator

As kids get older, certain topics of conversation get more uncomfortable. We once could dismiss a concern with a quick and animated, “We’re missing Sesame Street!”

That goes out the window when they hit middle school.

All of a sudden, tweens are demanding answers.

I am rarely speechless. Oh sure, there was that time when doctors told me I was carrying twins and I had nothing to say for at least ten minutes. Remember when we learned that Prince was safer than Bill Cosby?

That stumped me for hours.

Where my children are concerned, I spend a lot of time thinking about The Tough Questions, inquiries regarding sex, drugs, and Donald Trump’s popularity, to name just a few of their five thousand concerns. They seem to get through each question-and-answer period with little or no permanent damage and only occasionally do I need a sedative.

Then this happened.

I picked the kids up from school, got us all home, and a few minutes later, Zachary walked past me dressed only in shorts and a baseball cap.

“I know we’re in Florida,” I said, “but put on a shirt.”

Later, I went into my room and noticed him standing in front of my Special Drawer, which was open and overflowing with X-rated secrets. My sweet and innocent son had been looking for one of his father’s oversized t-shirts.

Instead he found Grown-up Lady Toys.

I took a deep breath, not wanting to scar him any worse than I already, inadvertently, had.

“You’re not supposed to be in there,” I said calmly.

Understatement of the year, Katie. Well done.

My son pointed at Mr. Rabbit and turned to me.

“What’s this Mommy?”

Curious and patient, he waited for an answer.

Smirking, like I always do right before an aneurysm, I searched for the perfect answer.

“Teach it to mow the lawn and that’s your new dad.”

“The best thing to happen to my vagina since Pledge Week.”

“My reason for living after five hours of Algebra homework.”

Zach wrinkled his nose. He was still waiting.

I almost told him he could eat the entire chocolate cake, cooling in the kitchen, if he’d please drop the subject and never bring it up again. Instead, I smiled and whispered, “Please go put on a shirt and finish your homework. That will buy me the kind of time I need to come up with an answer.”

Sex, accessories, and curious children make me nervous because I am painfully aware how the wrong response could screw them up for the rest of their lives. An inappropriate facial expression, statement, or tone of voice might turn them into either deviants or religious fanatics.

Who wants that?

While trying to think of something to say, I quietly and quickly moved the contents of my Special Drawer to the top shelf in our closet. My children wouldn’t be tall enough to reach that shelf until they hit high school. By that time, I hoped they’d be too consumed with online porn to set foot in their parents’ room.

After about ten minutes, the kid had finished his homework and asked to talk to me privately.

“What’s up?” I closed his bedroom door, hoping he wanted to discuss hockey scores.

“Mom, what did I find?”

I was still stumped and must’ve said, “Umm” at least nine times. I started to say something about mommies and daddies getting married and buying toys, but he looked as confused as I felt.

I tried the scientific approach and began a dissertation about how he wasn’t ready, developmentally, to understand the topic at hand.

He didn’t really buy that one.

I switched gears again, summing up the entire episode by explaining that he needed to trust me.

“One day soon,” I said, “you’ll understand everything. When that happens, the last thing you’ll want to think about is something like that in your Mom’s dresser drawer.”

“But what does it do?” Zachary wanted to know.

“It massages my back,” I said, a little too quickly.

He sighed.

“Among other places,” I mumbled.

“Huh?”

“Look kid,” I said, silently praying for a stroke. “That’s the best I can do right now.”

“I’m sorry I went into your drawer. I know I’m not supposed to go digging around in your room.”

“It could have been worse.” I shivered at the thought.

“Yeah, Jimmy looked through his dad’s drawers and found a gun. He accidentally shot the dog.”

I was thinking of an entirely different scenario, but when in Florida…

“Remind me the next time my back hurts that you have a way to massage it,” he said, leaving the room.

Jesus. Explaining Donald Trump has got to be easier than this.