Prior to arriving at our new home in Latin America I’d had plenty of opportunities to feel uncomfortable watching TV with our boys — particularly in regard to the ads. “Daddy, why doesn’t that woman feel fresh?”
We evaded some of this by using Netflix and by doing our best to watch what we felt was age-appropriate material. I’m far from prude, but there’s a definitely a line at what a 7-year-old needs to see/hear.
Flash-forward a bit and we find our same, slightly older crew now entrenched in Latin America. We spend a lot more time outside these days so TV isn’t much of an issue. Instead, our challenge comes via the Latino version of search engines and home pages.
#1 was sitting next to me the other day when I clicked over to Yahoo. It may sound odd, but I’m learning a lot of useful slang from the sophomoric articles that dominate the Spanish version of this search engine’s home page. While #1’s Spanish, like mine, is still a work in progress, you don’t have to be fluent to understand this headline:
¿Cómo saber si te estás masturbando demasiado?
In case the headline for this “top story” wasn’t provocative enough, the accompanying picture of a guy with his pants around his ankles did the trick.
An awkward Q&A followed and I bravely declined to explore the full ramifications of this particular topic. Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin…
A day or so later #2 wandered by when I was again puttering on my laptop. He pointed and giggled. The headline that had caught his attention was, of course, this one:
¿Por qué en las estatuas los hombres tienen el pene pequeño?
Yeah, not a huge deal (pun intended) but this is also a top story? Note: one positive aspect of this particular article is its foreshadowing of the potential problems faced when ordering a specific type of pasta.
The juxtaposition of bikinis, children’s programming, high heels and crucifixes is woven in to the fabric of the culture here in Latin America. Thanks to previous trips, and Univision, I knew all of this going into our move. There is, however, a difference in being aware of cultural quirks versus being immersed in them for an extended period. It’s probably healthy. Maybe.
It’ll be interesting to see if this exposure impacts #1 and #2’s interest in the fairer sex. #2 has already exhibited a precocious approach, best exemplified by his outburst at the tender age of 4, “I kissed a girl — and she liked it!”
And, speaking of things that will come to pass way to soon, I have a feeling that I’ll need to come up with an actual explanation for that first article much sooner than I’d ever hoped.