Monday, August 25, 2008

Private parts

Okay, it's been quite a while since my last post and I've pretty much been in a bad mood the whole time (save and except my anniversary celebration with Chuck Saturday night), so you all probably didn't want a post from me anyway.

Friday, I got fed up with work and took off early after a hearing in federal court in which I won the hearing, but felt like an idiot in the end. Long, boring story over $5.43. That night, I wanted to do something fun for the kids so I decided that we should venture out to the Rainforest Cafe. Great idea, right? I thought the kids would love all the decorations and moving animals, but no, instead Luke sat with his hands over his ears the whole time (eating his hot dogs without his hands like a dog) and Evie cried every time the animals started going. The only high point of the dinner was when this teenager made these amazing balloon animals. Luke got a cricket and Evie got a butterfly. Pretty pathetic Friday night, right?

Saturday, I took the kids to the park. They had a great time and I felt good being able to do something fun for them since they clearly did not enjoy the Rainforest Cafe. Then we went shopping at Target. I've totally got red-basket-fever! Love the place. We stocked up on some items for the new College Station Estate (aka the redneck trailer). As mentioned above, Chuck and I spent the evening celebrating our anniversary over fondue. Yum.

But, Sunday, while boring, had some interesting highlights. We decided to spend Sunday driving around looking for where we want to move. We hit Aledo first (way out West and too far from anything, but great schools and good homes for the value). Well, we were in the car and decided to stop at our local Jack in the Box for drinks all around before setting out on our long expedition. (Good idea, except when you have a two year old who isn't stellar at holding it when she has to go potty). So we're pulling into the drive through and I'm asking the kids what they want to drink. Luke, like his Daddy, wanted diet coke. To convince us, he explained that "Caffiene makes me sleepy. I like caffiene. If I have caffiene it will help me sleep." He had a lot of conviction in this belief, much to our surprise. I said, "We'll see." We ordered him a small diet coke (which we all know is probably more than a can of coke). He drank almost the entire thing. Just like his Daddy.

Later that day, we are driving along a country road, fairly quiet, looking at houses when Luke (out of nowhere) announces with wonder, "Mommy, my penis is beeping!" My eyes widen in shock. Chuck cracks a smile and shakes his head silently. I bite the inside of my mouth to keep my laughter in check and then responded, "Just leave it alone, honey, and it will stop." Now clearly we all know his private part isn't beeping, but Luke has always had a problem distinguishing between beeping and blinking and one can only assume that he understands it to mean something that happens in a repeated fashion. I'm sure you can all guess (as we did) what he was trying to tell me. This is not the first time he has discussed his privates with me or anyone else. He has also asked Chuck what happened to Evie's penis. "Did it fall off?" To which Chuck responded, "No it didn't fall off. Evie never had one. Girls don't have penises." This was profound.

Days later, while we were socializing with other parents at Central Market, Luke announced to his little friend Savannah that he has a penis and asked her if she has a penis. (Must be a slow learner). Savannah then ran to her mommy and asked, "Do I have a penis." Thanks Luke, for introducing the topic of sex education for Savannah's parents. I'm sure they were just waiting for the opportune moment to explain the differences between boys and girls. Poor Savannah. Chuck and I grimaced, buried our heads and hoped Savannah's poor parents didn't kill us. I apologized profusely and told them that he has been asking about it since he is fascinated by his own private part and intrigued in the differences between himself and Evie.

For me, this is all new. My brothers were both quite older than me and we never bathed together. Luke and Evie, on the other hand, are very close in age and so we still bathe them together in spite of the differences in their anatomy. I guess we'll need to start curbing that. But, the dealings of Luke and his new found glory has been an eye opening experience for me.

In the morning, Luke will announce proudly in a wondrous voice, "Mommy, my penis is big!" To which I respond, "yes, just leave it alone and it will go back to normal." Then, on occasion, he will start hitting it. I have no idea why. I've asked Chuck and he has no idea why either. I have to tell him to stop and that it will go away. I'm totally at a loss as to how to handle this. Chuck says I should ignore it and not comment on anything that has to do with my child's private parts, but clearly I can't have him walking around at school after nap time hitting his penis. What is the solution? Chuck's suggested tactic seems wrong to me. (Sorry, Chuck). I believe in being forthright and honest and calling his penis by its proper name, but I'm not sure what else I can do to derail his fascination with it. Then again, perhaps that is just the difference between boys and girls, and a fascination with private parts is just a guy thing to do. As I've said before, it is like he's already a 15 year old boy. Luckily, it is all innocent and not constant. Anyone else know what to do?

As for Evie, we have a similar problem with her nipples. For a while, every time she took off her shirt or dress she would reach for her nipples, rub them and say proudly, "Nubbles!" Her attention to her "nubbles" has waned a bit, but I feel like I should really emphasize that there is a time and place to discuss your private parts. This feeling, of course, is in direct contradiction to my feeling that you should be open and honest about your kids' bodies and sex. Similarly, I don't think the Ken doll should be anatomically correct or that toy horses should be anatomically correct. Who knows what the right answer is?


Joan Burnham said...

Okay, I can relate to this one as my son is also an eye opening experience. Both Amy and Colt had issues with the difference in their anatomy and we did bathe them together - (why clean up twice the water?) Like in Kindergarten Cop "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina" It's just the way it is and that there is a time and place for discussing and touching, that place is home with family (Mom and Dad). I told the kids that talking about their bodies is okay but some people don't like to talk about some things, like how Amy doesn't like to hear elephant sounds and Colt does not like styrofoam sounds. If they have any questions come talk to me and Dad because sometimes people will tell you things that are not correct. Now my kids are starting to be more self conscious about their bodies and that is okay too. For a while there Colt would make his penis talk to us - at least you don't have that - YET. Remember, this too shall pass - Really!! Love you - Joanie

roxy said...

oh my, NOT looking forward to this. I think I might chicken out and tell crazy stories to avoid teaching them those "real" names. we just call it a pp, and i would like to keep it that way for at least 30 more years :).

Ashley said...

I have never laughed so hard in my life. Today was the first day of school, and I am so tired, but reading this has just made things so nice! I am sorry that you are having crazy troubles with your kids, but for me it is entertaining! I wish you the best of luck with this situation. I can't give any advice, but I am sure anything you try will be good.

Good Luck!

Ashley M.

lisawitt said...

Oh my Lord, I so just busted out laughing!!! And while I am sure this is not funny for you...I had to chuckle thinking that this is what I have to look forward to with the Z Man. We were just talking at book club last week how this is about the time when they start discovering themselves. Ah boys, I do agree, they are just different! Good luck with all this and I will be sure to ask you for advice in the coming years!! :)

Theresa said...

Honestly, girls, this is pretty funny for us too. It has its moments, but almost all of them are comical to some degree.