"Megan has a fireman's pole in her living room," my daughter said at the dinner table last night. "It is really fun to play on."
"You should see what Heather can do on it," she added. "She can run up to it, climb to the top, lock her legs around it and swing around."
My wife and I looked at each other and smiled.
"She called it a dancing pole," my wife said but we both laughed at that. Henry, her husband, installed it a few weeks ago but my daughter has not been over to her house since.
We both knew that the mom worked at a strip club because my daughters karate teacher is a bouncer at the club and she mentioned she knew him from work. Mind you I would say gentlemen's club but this place is pretty seedy and definitely in a very seedy part of town.
I was under the impression, originally though, that the mom was an administrative person in the club, either manager or some other office staff because she works a lot of daytime shifts. She was probably a dancer at one point but she is late-thirties and has an eighteen year old daughter as well as a eleven year old son and a nine year old daughter who is my daughters friend.
Of course she could still dance, giving the location of the club it is not the highest caliber and she is an attractive woman.
Even though I am pretty open when it comes to sex, having my eight year old daughter exposed to that at this point makes me cringe a little.
She has already been exposed to the conversations about sex from some of the 5th graders she hangs out with. Which makes me cringe even more. When I was that age we were not even remotely exposed to that until middle school, definitely not elementary school. I know times have changed but I am not ready for her to start that path.
My wife and I have talked about sex with her, how to protect her in situations and to tell us if anything bad happens to her. That is extremely important at this stage of her life, especially since she is a beautiful little red head. We have not had the conversation yet, mostly talking about good touching/bad touching.
"Should we still let her play with Megan at her house," I asked my wife after dinner.
She sort of laughed it off but we both had our reservations. Just like with sex we want her to understand her body and that she has the ability to control it. She can also make decisions for herself but she has to understand the consequences, at 8 she does not know what those are or how her life would be different based on her decisions.
At 8 she barely understands that she can not just eat candy for lunch and dinner.
Having her refer to the stripper's pole as a fireman's pole, I know the mom did not explain to her what it really was for. I do know the mom called it a dancing pole and my daughter watched her dance around it, clothed of course. I also know that the news has been reporting on several fitness clubs that are using pole dancing classes to get in shape so maybe we can explain how it is used without revealing the other things that may be associated with it.
All I can do is empower my daughter to make the right choices in life and hope that she will when the time comes for those decisions to be made. I know now though she is still too young to understand.