Birds, Bees, and Ear Wax?

8 years ago


For the past few months, one of my children, who shall go unnamed, has been coming into

my room nightly, getting Q-tips, and cleaning out his ears.

Apparently, Mr. Un-named has quite a bit of ear wax (gross, I know, I believe ear wax is a product of sweat so it’s not terribly surprising during the summer.)

This has become a nightly routine, Mr. Anonymous stealing my Q-tips and plunging his ears.

One night he thought it would be cute to take the gross by-product, and throw the Q-tip on his brother sitting on the couch, where it landed squarely on his face.

We nearly had a UFC style cage fight in the living room that I could have required a cover charge to view. (I can’t say that I blame the victim, that’s gross, even for brotherly standards.)

So, you can just imagine my shock on this lazy Saturday, when I read in today’s Houston Chronicle, the following disclaimer for an article in the ‘Parenting Teens’  Blog, discussing teens and the STDs:

Editor’s note: There’s a rumor going around that you can tell if people have a sexually transmitted disease by smearing earwax on their genitals. If it burns they’re infected. If not you’re home free. “

Sweet Mother of Mercy.

I have read it all.

And this was in the Houston Chronicle, a local paper! This was NOT in Globe Magazine!

We have always had an open dialogue on the S word in our house (which I leave out of this blog for search engine reasons.) Two of my kids have now been through Health class where STD’s are openly discussed.

And with three boys, how stupid would I be NOT to make this an open conversation?

My feeling is that, parents who avoid talking about these topics up front, end up talking about them later on in a doctor’s office. Uh, no thank you.

So, being the oh-so-not-shy mom that I am, I called them all in the kitchen, FRONT AND CENTER, just to be sure there was no confusion on what an STD is, how you get them, how you test for them, and how EAR WAX is not related to any of it!

I told them I had read an article in the Chronicle, and told them the rumor going around.

We shared a moment of silence as they realized I was not joking.

Chase finally howled with laughter and said, ‘how stupid can someone be?’

Tyler looked disgusted and said, ‘Really mom, I mean REALLY?’

Jordan didn’t say a word.

As the rest of us laughed at the absurdity of it, he finally said, ‘it’s not true, is it?’

Thank goodness he’s not the Q-tip thief. I might have fainted.

I quickly cleared up any confusion about ear wax and where it should go, other than the trash.

And I also made sure he had an idea of what a STD is and how it’s diagnosed.

The thought that kids would believe this is scary and all the more reason parents need to know what’s going on at school, and know what kids are hearing from their friends.

And it looks like we should all start guarding our cotton swabs and keeping an eye out for compulsive ear cleaners.

Where’s that manual on parenting teens again?

Somehow I missed the chapter on ear wax and STDs.


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