Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Penis Issues

Penis Issues...yep, I got 'em, and I don't even have a penis to call my own. I am the mother to 2 little boys and the Step-Mom to a tween boy. Never in my life did I ever imagine I would be surrounded by this much testosterone without being at a gay bar. My husband thinks I am destined to only conceive the male species due to some karmic debt he thinks I am paying, for being mean to boys as a teenager. My Scottish friend Lindsey thinks I only make boys because, (before becoming a parent), I told her that I could never get a male dog because their, "lipsticks", freak me out too much. So here I am surrounded by men.

When we first found out that I was carrying a boy, I was freaked out that there was a penis growing inside of my belly. I am not sure if this thought crosses every preggers-with-a-boy Mom's mind or not - but I have heard at least one other friend express this emotion to me. I convinced myself that I vomited for the entire pregnancy (except for a 2 week reprieve at around the 6 month mark), because my body wasn't used to the male hormones that were invading my system. I puked in every square inch of our rented townhouse, on my husband, the dog, (just as she came out of the groomer, of all times), restaurants, in the car, in my Mother-in-Law's passenger seat, in the grocery store; I even vomited en route to the Operating Room.

So, I TOLD my husband that he was in responsible for handling all PENIS ISSUES. After all, he is a man, and that is his turf. Little did I know that these said issues would ARISE (pun intended), so early in my little human's life. So here I am finding myself faced with penis issues (literally) nearly every day with my 2.75 year old, and Daddy is conveniently at work. Out of necessity, I needed to start getting comfortable talking to my son about his penis. Otherwise, I would have a little boy proudly displaying his member in the Post Office (true story). I finally got to use my favorite line of all time from a commercial, "BIG BOYS DON'T PULL THEIR PANTS DOWN IN PUBLIC". I wish I could remember what that commercial was for - I think it should be required viewing for all Mommies of little boys. A fruit snack spot, I think, anywhooooo....

It innocently began when he discovered his penis ala bathtub. It made me feel strange when he found it, over and over again. But I like to think that I am a progressive parent, so we teach him that it is ok to touch himself (in the privacy of his own home, of course). Sex is not dirty, it is perfectly natural. We made an active choice to teach him the anatomical name (penis) for his genitalia. We're still working on testicles - as does not roll off the tongue as easily.

Side story (I apologize for getting off track, but this cracks me up) - When I was teaching Art to 6th Graders (oh, the hormones, and the overwhelming scent of Axe body spray)...the wise-beyond-her-years daughter, of an editor at the Washington Post, told a fellow student that his drawing of a shoe looked like a penis. Talk about the chaos that erupted. My entire class was ready to stone her for saying a word, which is the technical term for this particular organ! I distinctly remember one young man saying, "My Daddy would whoop my behind if he ever heard me say that word". I gently reminded the class that penis is not a bad word; it is the correct name for male parts, but that this was not a discussion that we needed to have in Art class.

Getting back, my son has trouble keeping his pants on. I hope that I will not find myself saying this during his teenage years. My Mom keeps telling me that I am going to need to keep a close eye on him, because he likes to "make-out", with the ladies. He really likes kissing, he is very passionate, and it scares the heck out of me. The minute he gets an erection - he swiftly removes his diaper and tells me that his penis is "stuck", and that it hurts. No book on toddlerhood could have ever prepared me for the first time this happened. That is why I consider it my civic duty to Mothers everywhere to educate them in the realness of these matters. A good laugh was shared when an acquaintance told me that when her little boy was almost a year old, she called Pediatrics because his penis was hard and red. She remembered that after his circumcision, she was given explicit instructions to call immediately if these conditions presented themselves. This was almost 12 months later, so the office informed her that it was an erection, and that it was normal. She was embarrassed and is quite sure that they had fun retelling her story. Forgive me if you are a seasoned Mother of boys, and this is all old hat to you. You may have teenagers and be dealing with (gasp) sex…

Good thing none of this occurred while the teenage, German babysitter that we decided to try out was at our haus. Her Mother informed me, over coffee, that her daughter would not change boy diapers...besides, she has never seen a penis, and she wouldn't even know what to do with one. Too tempting, I am not even going to go there. Needless to say, THAT relationship did not work out. My boys would have scarred her for life.

"Your penis is just saying good morning to you, it's ok", is my response for erections. Personally, I think it is brilliant. Now if I could just tackle the pesky problem of him stripping down and urinating in the Entertainment Center cabinet, I would be a happy frau.


  1. Oh man, that was a great read....almost choked on my cereal! I have a little man also, he is goes away I swear. My little guy was very interested in it also. Sorry about the entertainment cabinet, Im sure thats no fun to clean!

  2. OMG that's so funny!! The whole pregnant with a boy and penis thing crossed my mind and was a lil freaky to me but I let it go very quickly!! I am so lucky Matthew hasn't "discovered" his penis yet and it "only said good morning to him" (cracking up...good one tho!) when he was a baby...first one being only a couple weeks about freaky! But Timmy's (sorry Shaun) "says good morning" frequently and he says it hurt, in fact he use to cry when it was happening a couple years ago!! Great blog! so glad ur mom invited me!! xoxo miss u

  3. Keep your boys faaaaaaaar away from mine :)--we haven't really had issues yet. Have I just jinxed myself?!?!

  4. Oh Rachel, you crack me up! I am sooooo going to start using the "saying good morning" line, next time Kellen's penis stands up at attention!

  5. This post is hilarious! When my little cousin was still in diapers he "greeted" me this way. He had the biggest grin on his face. I for one did not share his enthusiasm!

  6. Rachel,
    I had a few laugh out loud outbursts reading about your boys...They are adorable...enjoy all the time because it flies by so, so fast.