Friday, 30 November 2012

You Don’t Have a Penis!

J-man is absolutely obsessed with his penis. That’s right, ladies, and it started basically as soon
as he could figure it out.

I spent the entire summer cleaning sheets because J-man would pull his penis out of his shorts
and fiddle with it while he was falling asleep. I would diligently go into his room before I went to
bed and tuck it back in — hoping I could manage before he’d wet the bed. But inevitably he’d
find it in the middle of the night. “Mommy, I’m all wet.” One night it happened three times —
seriously! “What happened?” I'd ask. The answer, either, “I pulled out my penis,” or “I played
with my penis and I pee.”

He loves to say the word. We never react, and speak very openly about his penis in the hopes
that he’d get bored and stop talking about it. But that hasn’t worked at all.

Potty training has been particularly fun. “J-man, you have to tuck your penis into the potty.
You can’t pee when you are playing with your penis.” I’m convinced the fun of the potty is free
access to the penis!

I was thrilled when fall came. By this time J-man knew he could play and then tuck and then
pee…and then play some more. Yes, we do a lot of hand-washing. But more importantly, I was
happy for the cool weather and the onesie pj’s. “I can’t get my penis,” he says every time I pull
a pair out. Then he laughs hysterically and shows me how he can’t find it. He’s so long his toes
are about to poke out, and no one — I mean no one — makes them in size 4. I may have to just
cut off the feet.

I still have to remind him to keep his hand out of his pants and to point his penis down when
we are out and about, but because we are potty training we are working on going to the potty
enough that there are fewer accidents.

We are also working on who else has a penis. He goes through the list often. “I have a penis,
Mommy doesn’t have a penis, Daddy has a penis, Nana doesn’t have a penis, Grandpa
has a penis.” You get the idea. We go through all of his friends; his daycare teachers; his
cousins, aunts, uncles, and brothers. Sometimes multiple times a day. He’s developed a
joke: “Uncle ‘John’ doesn’t have a penis; he’s a little girrrl!” He can laugh at this joke for a
remarkably long time.

I have explained that girls have vaginas, but that appears to be of no interest to him — they
merely lack a penis. An interesting development for a mom with a women’s studies degree:
how do I change this thinking? I have not yet explained to him that actually I do have a cousin
who is a boy but is trans-gendered and therefore actually does not have a penis. Probably too
confusing at this age, and it might raise more questions than it is worth. We’ll hope it doesn’t
come up at Christmas dinner.

Anyway, for someone who has never had a penis, and quite frankly never thought too much
about them, my life is entirely about penises. Welcome to Motherhood, at least if you have my

-Sleepwalking Mama

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