Raising boys, it becomes clear early on how much they love their penis. In case there was any doubt about it, check this out:
I just said to my completely nudey, just-turned 4yo, “I will play with you only after you put your underwear on.”
He replied, “Then I don’t want to play with you.”
9 years into being a Mother of Boys (M.O.B.), boys’ connection to this “thing” still surprises me.
Here’s an updated version of a post from last year to share the information, the horror, and the laughs with other M.O.B.s out there. I know you can relate!
Let’s just get this out there. The p word. It sounds a little funny, it makes me a little uncomfortable, and I used to blush at the mere mention of it. Penis. That’s the word I’m talking about. There, I said it. (Sorry, Mom). It’s not a word I used or heard often when I was growing up — partly because I lived in a house dominated by females (my dad was outnumbered by my mom, my sister, and me), partly because we had a code word for it instead of the word itself, and mostly because I had no need for it in my daily vocabulary.
Things have changed. If anyone had told me ten years ago how many times this thing would come up in conversation in a house full of boys, I would have laughed my head off and told them that clearly they had some bizarre fixation. But now I know. These things really have a presence, physically and conversationally. I kind of wish we had been clever enough to give it a code word, but I didn’t have the foresight to know how prominent this word would become in my vocabulary. I had dinner with another M.O.B. tonight, and when I mentioned this topic, she quickly replied with, “Oh, yes. I could talk about the penis all day.” In fact, all moms of boys I know have shared laughs over this topic with me. We all seem to have the same stories and say similar things. And it’s like we’re part of a special club now — the club that knows more than it ever thought there was to know about the penis. I’m willing to share. Here’s what every mom raising boys needs to know, and some of the many things we M.O.B.s have had to say in these situations:
THEY WILL BEND IT:
- No, I didn’t know you could fold it up like that. (Doesn’t that hurt? Apparently not.)
- I really didn’t know you could flop it around so much while waiting for the bath to fill. Yes, if penis-flopping were a sport, you’d win gold.
- Wow, I didn’t know it could be twisted like that.
THEY WILL TOUCH IT:
- Take your hands off your penis.
- (One minute later) Take your hands off your penis.
- You don’t need to hold your penis to brush your teeth.
- Please don’t hold your penis at the dinner table.
THEY WILL PLAY WITH IT:
- Please take your penis off the carpet.
- Stop playing Penis Tag — that’s not a real thing.
- Take your penis off his head.
- That’s a toy gun, not a penis — stop it.
THEY WILL SHOW IT TO YOU:
- I don’t need to see your penis in the kitchen. Ever.
- Nope, I don’t want to see what you can do with your penis when I first wake up in the morning.
- I don’t want to see it peek through the bubbles in the bubble bath.
THEY WILL THINK YOU UNDERSTAND IT:
- No, you didn’t crack your penis. Those are just little blue veins. They’re keeping you alive.
- What do you mean your “penis went up,” and that’s why there’s pee all over the bathroom wall now?
- Nope, I didn’t know I was supposed to point your penis down in your pull-up diaper.
- I didn’t mean to zip your penis in your pajamas.
Penis, penis penis. Everywhere. All the time. (Sorry, Mom. Really, I’m sorry!)
I admit to having seen a penis prior to having a baby. But, boy, are they full of surprises I never knew about. Did anyone else get a shock the first time you changed your son’s diaper? I remember calling my husband into the room. I was very concerned about the — dare I say it? — erection. An infant with an erection? That’s something I (naively?) thought didn’t happen until puberty. My husband simply said, “Yep. If you had one, you’d understand.” It was the beginning of a new world for me, and the first of many times my husband has used that same line. Boys love these things and are proud to possess them. In fact, my boys can’t fathom how I’m able to live without one of my own.
I remember long before I was a mom, hearing a colleague tell a story of her then-4-year-old son. He was naked, watching cartoons on the couch. She asked him, “Can you please get dressed?” He replied, “No, I’m good. I’m just hanging out with my penis.” I found it ridiculous and strange and hilarious all at once. But I get it now. Raising boys has opened my eyes. I love that my boys have each other as built-in buddies. But apparently, even if they didn’t, they’d never feel alone thanks to their beloved — often floppy but always fun — companion: the penis.