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The superhero sex story - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
One rare evening my boys and I were all sitting quietly reading. A small voice interrupted my paragraph asking “How do you spell fat?” I considered asking him how he thought it was spelled, or what he was reading, but instead answered F-A-T wanting to get right back to my book. “I thought they made a mistake- they spelled it P-H-A-T” At least I understood his confusion. “That’s a joke (do I introduce jam bands this early?) It’s the other way to make the F sound. Do you know how to spell phone?” “Yes, P-H-O-N-E, and also philosopher. P-H-I-L-O-S-O-P-H-E-R.” Beside us Oliver is reading the second “Sidekicks” book that my mother sent him. The first was a graphic novel. As Leo phinished his book Oliver suggested that we read Sidekicks together. Leo proposed the wonderful world of cross sections. Once again superheroes trumped science so we settled in to read “Sidekicks” beside each other on the bed. In the first scene of the book the teenage superhero sidekick rescues an attractive woman and feels something happening “below his belt.” A typical mother might have skipped it, glossed over it, or put the book down. None of these struck me as the right option. “I’m wondering if this is interesting to 7 and 8 year olds?” I ask the boys. “Did the first book have all of this sex stuff?” Four eyes are on me. It is at this point that I realize any one of the other three options might have been a way to go. “No.” Oliver says, “The other one didn’t have any sex stuff.” “What sex stuff?” Asks Leo. I keep reading. Our sexed up sidekick is trying to calm himself down reciting math facts, and thinking about baseball. But then the woman whispers something to him and he is “standing at attention.” I should just barrel forward bravely, but it is really difficult to ignore a vivid accident such as this one. I glance back over my shoulder. Oliver gets it. I put the book down. “It can be difficult to talk about.” I tell him. “What? What is difficult to talk about?” Asks the little filisopher. “Do you know what the character is thinking about?” I ask. “I have an idea.” says Oliver. “I DON”T have an idea” stresses Leo. This may be the very worst thing in the world. A conversation that he can’t follow, let alone lead, about S-E-X. This was supposed to be a superhero book and he is getting left behind. Here Oliver sighs, squares his blue fleece clad shoulders (it is a day that ends in Y after all) and says: “You know how your penis practices getting ready to have a baby? Well. His penis is practicing.” Then he continues. “What I don’t understand is why he is embarrassed about his penis practicing, I mean everyone that has a penis has a penis that practices.” All of a sudden Leo is the expert. “Well his penis is practicing ...