It’s kind of interesting for me, living in a house full of men. Since Rio left us, it’s just been me, the boy, the dad and the fat-ass cat – who is most definitely male. I grew up with girls. Just me, my mom, my sister, my aunt and my grandmother. When the doctor told me we were having a boy, I looked at Bryan with such shock and awe: “What the hell am I going to do with a boy?”
Now that I am used to the idea – and watch all the female bitchy hormones that eventually swirl around in our friend’s kids…. I am glad we have a boy. Except when we start talking about his penis. Hell, I didn’t even know what the word penis was until sex ed in 6th grade where we were forced to read aloud from some book written in the 60’s about male and female anatomy and how they fit together. I drew many giggles from my friends for repeatedly pronouncing that particular word as “penn-is” – and then being repeatedly corrected by the very embarrassed 6th grade teacher.
Lately Declan has started playing with it any chance he gets. You have no idea how uncomfortable that is for me. But, as a mom who is trying so hard to help my son avoid all those body issues I have… I finally just told him, “touch your penis all you want… privately.”
For a while, he didn’t get it. He was using those kid earmuffs that only hear half of what you say. Last night, while he was playing with his penis at bedtime, I said, “What have I told you about that?” and he says, “I’m not supposed to touch my penis.” Knowing full well I was in soooo over my head on this one (and damning Bryan for being out for the evening)… I launched in to, “Look, you can touch your penis all you want. It’s your prerogative. I just ask that you do it when you are alone.” (Adding in my head: Because if I see it again, I am going to run screaming into the night).
Well, the boy listened to me this time. As I passed the bathroom while he was doing his final business at bedtime, he yells to me, “Mommy! Mommy! I am touching my penis! But it’s OK because I am all alone!”
And in one of my more surreal moments in parenting, I congratulated my son… for touching his penis while he was alone in the bathroom.