We went to the library this week and while we were there I suggested to Griffin that he check out the teen section. He loves to read and I thought maybe he would discover a new series of books aimed at his age group. I thought that by reading books from this section, it might help him with his social skills when he’s around kids his own age. Boy, was I in for a big surprise!
He immediately found a book series that is written in text form which seemed interesting to him, so he grabbed a few of those. He then spotted “Forever” by Judy Blume. He loves reading the Fudge series she wrote so he just assumed “Forever” would be a good choice. As soon as he said “this looks interesting” I told him “This is about dating, I don’t think you’ll like it.” (I remember reading “Forever” when I was younger and how controversial it was back then.) Griffin seemed ok with putting it back (crisis averted!), and we moved on to the section of the library that had the other Judy Blume books…ones I didn’t have to worry about.
Later that day Griffin was sitting reading one of the library books when he said very calmly “Mom, this book has some language in it and I’m not reacting.” He told me the words and they seemed age appropriate and harmless so I let him keep reading.
Cut to dinner when he asks “What’s an ‘F’ buddy and what’s a dildo?” Um, excuse me!! I just about died and was so glad Tom was there to help out. As soon as Griffin asked those questions, he immediately giggled and whispered (again very appropriate) what the answers were. He told me he was asking because the words were in the book he was reading. From the answers he gave, I’m guessing the book must clearly define the words as well. (Thanks for not leaving my kid in the dark or giving me time to answer.)
I immediately blamed myself for being so naive to think that I could let him read a teen book without doing research on it. We do our best to limit what Griffin is exposed to in an attempt to help him not have meltdowns from being exposed to subjects he’s not ready for. He’s thirteen but he can also seem six sometimes, depending on the situation. He has a tendency to repeat inappropriate words, often in succession, at the most inopportune times and places. He’s certainly becoming more mature in many ways, but he’s just not ready for this subject matter. I want him to be more independent, but clearly finding the balance of when to step back and when to let it be is still a work in progress.
The funny thing is that while he was talking about dildos, he started inadvertently calling them “didos”. We were not about to correct him. I have a thousand other things to worry about. Didos, I mean dildos, are not going to be one of them. Luckily I confiscated the books so he won’t be reading about anything heavier than that…at least, for now. There are other words he’s come across that are not ok for him to say because they could hurt people and make them uncomfortable. He gets that, and does not say those words. So we told him that talking about “F” buddies and “didos” was in the same category. But, for now he’s a bit fixated on “didos”.
Then Tom tells him that there is a singer named Dido. “So her name means fake penis?” he asked. Now I have to worry that if he ever meets Dido, he’s going to say to her “I’m so sorry that your name means fake penis.” Oh Lord, now I really do have a thousand and one things to worry about.
&*$@! these books!!