And then THAT Happened
It’s always fun for my children to visit my mother in Maryland because her house is kind of a Shangri La for kids. (And since I’m her kid… the place rocks for me too, and really anyone who visits, even the GrownupGrownups.)
Mom has giant house with a dock, perched on a beautiful creek. There’s a giant pool, lots of wildlife and forest-ish stuff for kids to pretend to get lost in, a jet ski and a motor boat that are always the hit of the party despite occasional whiplashy side-effects.
My stepfather is cranky but completely loveable and he seals the deal by holing up in his ham radio shack all day to escape the madness (did I mention he doesn’t like mess? and when we visit it’s like we brought the NY zoo with us?) and when kids venture to his shack they are rewarded with gizmos and dials and hoozy-whatsits more dazzling than a 747 cockpit, along with Oreo cookies and personalized ham radio postcards to take with them.
My mother cooks and bakes and buys nonstop goodies so we all enter into a sugar coma immediately and usually only wake up from it about halfway back on the 6 hour flight home. And while the outside is fun and the kids would swim from sunup to sundown if we’d let them, the giant TV in the upstairs playroom is the perfect babysitter, keeping the kids quiet and happy while the adults get some ‘us time’ at the dinner table downstairs.
No one knows how to use the TV remote. Or maybe my step-nephew does, and possibly my brother does, but they usually aren’t around. To my stepfather’s credit, he FINALLY got rid of the “Universal Remote” (that was literally IMPOSSIBLE TO USE) after only 5 years of insisting “it works” so it is now sort of possible to navigate around the various shows, but it’s not easy.
So when I went upstairs to take my son through the play room to my bedroom where his night clothes were, the TV show programmed for the kids had ended and there was another program running.
Hmmmm, how shall I put this delicately?
A pornographic program.
Regardless of who is watching it, I think porn sucks. But when it falls under the unsuspecting gaze of my EIGHT YEAR OLD????!!!
My son went hyper immediately (may have had something to do with my hand that slapped down hard over his eyes), and it was him-against-me for a few seconds of primal struggle until I managed to grab the closest remote and NOT figure out how the fuck to turn the danged thing OFF.
I finally got it – close enough – the TV still buzzed but no show ran – and hurried my giggly son off to the bathroom to brush teeth.
The whole thing was forgotten in a minute, as no pornographic show holds a candle to a new toothbrush that lights up like a firefly when it comes to an eight year old.
Or so I thought.
Because as I walked my darling boy from the bathroom to his bedroom, he remarked sweetly, “Ima? When I’m thirteen, can I watch whatever TV shows I want?”
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)