The jig is up.

zoey-101-tv-02Supergirl came home today and announced that her favorite show, Zoey 101, is over because Zoey is pregnant. Shit. Shit. Shit. How did she find out? Curse those too-wise-for-their-years-kids-with-older-siblings! When she and Saint James started watching the show, Jamie Lynn Spears’ indiscretions were old news to this pop-culture vulture, and I actually considered banning the show. I decided against it, ignoring the feeling that this might come back to bite me in the ass. I suppose I deserve this for letting them watch crap TV, but no one can be highbrow all the time – and if you are, you’re an asshole. The show is harmless and Jamie Lynn, despite her sad, misguided older sister, is actually rather cute. As long as her abdomen remained innocently flat, I saw no reason to pull the plug.

But the jig is up and Supergirl wants to know exactly what Zoey did to get this baby when she was so young. Oh dear sweet patron saint of child rearing, whoever you are, and I’m sure you exist because there are patron saints for everything, including mice and dysentery, help me, I beg of you! Supergirl is only six and not only is she fishing around for the birds and bees talk, she’s treading on teenage pregnancy issues – the urges, the hormones, the fumbling, the peer pressure, the danger. No way, man. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. I was utterly flummoxed and said something which I fear came out sounding like babies are nothing more than TV show squelchers. I know this was one of those “teachable moments” everyone is always nattering on about, but I’m the one who needs the teaching. What am I supposed to say? How much is she ready to hear?

I begged off in a panic, telling Supergirl that we would talk about it when we had a little more time and Devil Baby wasn’t around to bug us. I need to come back to this with her. I need to close the loop, clarify, make sure she is not left wondering and confused. I need to begin the conversation about sex and sexuality which, hopefully, will go on for a very long time. I feel pressure to make sure I get this right – I want to be the one she comes to when it really matters. I’ve got no problem with the biology part – I think she wants to know the truth. I have trouble with the fact Supergirl has connected pregnancy with this sweet little girl on TV. Were all those judgmental, conservative alarmists kind of, I can’t believe I’m going to say it, kind of, sort of, right?

I don’t think so. No. No. They weren’t. This is why I didn’t ban the show to begin with. I think the atmosphere of witch hunts and sanitization we live in is totally counterproductive. My kids need to learn to separate entertainment from real life. They need to know that you don’t make heroes out of TV characters. They need to understand fallibility and consequences. They need to know that everything is not black and white –  they need to see the gray and learn to navigate it with care, with confidence, with open minds, with a strong moral compass, with humor, with humility. Celebrities shouldn’t be their role models. Dash and I are their role models. Their sweet babysitters who play soccer and musical instruments are their role models. Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy is not teaching little girls that it’s ok to get pregnant. With the right conversation, it could teach quite the opposite.

I just.

Need. To think.

A bit more.

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