Friday, January 30, 2009

What the books don't tell you...

Childhood milestone #1 that they don't tell you about in any book: The day your son discovers his testicles.

The other day I went into the bathroom to check on E after he had spent a disproportionate amount of time in there alone. My assumption was that I would find him flushing golf balls down the toilet or repainting the walls with lipstick. Instead I found him standing in front of the toilet, intently fondling himself down there. While I am certainly aware that this, in and of itself, is not surprising behavior in any male at any age, I was curious as to what was going on in the little guy's brain (give me credit for not saying 'In his head'). Also, I strive to be the uber-hip-and-with-it mom who encourages her children to have a healthy relationship with their bodies and to be able to discuss things in an open and supportive way. Or at least, I was. The following is our actual dialogue that has not been edited in any way. Oh how I wish I could edit it, but it has been tatooed on my brain...

Mommy: Hey E man, whatcha doin'?
E: Mommy what's this? (much fondling of his junk)
M: It's just a part of your weenie, honey.
E: Oh. (pause). There's something in there. What is it?
M: (Think, brain, think! What the hell do I say? Testes? No, too clinical. Gonads? No, too weird. Nuts? No, also too weird and will definitely lead to issues the next time we make cookies and put nuts in them. Oh crap. What do I say, what do I say?? Isn't it the daddy's responsibility to handle questions about the boy parts? Where the hell is he? Crap, crap, CRAP! Need to come up with an answer now....) Well, honey, it's... um...
E: Mommy, it's like a little ball.
M: (whew) Yes, baby. It's a little ball.
E: Mommy, can I play with it?
M: Um, yeah... well sure, you can play with it. But it's the kind of ball that is only to be played with in private. And, um... it's only for you to play with, okay? No one else can play with it.
E: Okay Mommy. Can I throw it or bounce it?
M: Um... well... I don't think that's such a great idea. Hey, who wants to eat some cookies and watch Fireman Sam?!?!?!?

Note the swift mommy-diversion tactic I employed at the end. I've got mad skills when it comes to child rearing, people.

Now, I've read all the books- What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Toddler Years, The Over-Reactive Type A Moms Guide to Childrearing, etc- and I have never (NEVER) found one bit of advice that would have been useful to me in this situation. Not one little nugget, little factoid, little blurb, that even in an off-handed manner mentioned "Oh, yeah- in about 3.5 years your son will start playing with his nutsack and start asking you uncomfortable questions you are thoroughly unprepared to answer. And by the way, he will probably loudly repeat the same questions days later while you are standing in line at Wal-Mart, so be warned."

Publishers and writers of America take note: how can you write a 500 page tome about 'What to Expect' and not even mention this? You waste my time with flowcharts and diagrams about when to call or not call the doctor- knowing full well that any mother anal enough to buy a 500 page book on how to care for a baby (and the 3 subsequent volumes) is going to page the oncall physician at home the day Junior spikes his first 99 degree temp- yet give no mention of how to handle delicate topics like 'testicles' and 'why poop looks like chocolate but it isn't really chocolate'. At least that information would be useful.


Cassie said...

I think you handled this wonderfully. I would have freaked. I am so glad I have two girls. =) no penis and balls for me. Well atleast until they are 30 years

Kierstin said...

ty for showing me what i have to look forward to! i know i will have to look to you for advice.

Maybe you can help me to explain to a 3 yo girl that she is not going to grow a penis like her brother when she gets older? lol

Lisa said...

Kierstin- I still have come up with a good answer to the "Momma, where's my weenie?" question. When I do, I'll let you know ;)

Amber said...

That is HILARIOUS...quick thinking on your part!!

Jenn said...

Okay, I think I just peed my pants a little. LOL

Christie said...

I'm with Jenn - this made my day!