Monday, May 22, 2006

No. 192 - Adjusting

Ever since X was able to talk he has known the word penis. It was one of the very first times I remember him asking “wa's dat” during one of his baths. I’m thankful that I was the one he asked. If it had been his Dad, I’m sure he would be calling his penis anything but (Johnson, Pee-Pee, Boy-Bits, Tallywacker, Junk, etc. all come to mind with a shudder). I’ve also never given X any reason to think of his penis just like he does with any other part of his body.

Up until recently, that is.

He seems to have developed the habit of adjusting his “Junk” during rather inopportune time. During the “graduation” ceremony from pre-school, I have recorded for all posterity the video image of him with his hands in his pants in front of his peers’ parents and family; in church – which isn’t so bad until he notices me giving him a dirty look to which he announces in his very un-church-like voice, “I’m fixing my penis!”; and more commonly, sitting on the sofa during an episode of Sponge Bob emanating this other TV character.

Now I’m trying to get him to understand that it’s OK for him to make adjustments, but to temper the procedure with discretion.

“X, that’s something you should do in privacy.”

“What’s Privacy?”

“You know how Mommy locks the door to the bathroom when I’m going potty? It’s because I want privacy.”

“But I don’t have to go potty. I have to fix my penis.”

“I mean that I want you to keep it to yourself.”

“But I do keep it to myself because I can’t share my penis. It doesn’t come off.”

Mr. DD jumps in with this: “We don’t want you to stick your hands in your pants. It’s dirty,” to which I nail him in the ribs with my elbow. I don’t want to attach a shame factor to this, but on the other hand, the moment his finger goes up his nose, I tap it away with a hushed and terse, “Dirty!” Will he now be embarrassed to show his nose in the future? Will he have issues with future girlfriends or even his wife who lean in and admire the faint freckling of his nose? Will he be unable to "smell" upon demand?

So, I have a dilemma. I don’t know what to tell him that will convey that it is OK to make the adjustments, but that they must be done in private. I mean, how do you reason with a child who when told it will take 30 minutes to get to Grandma’s house, responds with “Why?”

24 Punches:

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Alli said...

LOL - omg, DD, I have so many of those stories, too.

Boys. . . my 5 y.o. would "adjust" during soccer practice - just stop and pull his pants away from his waist and look down like, "Hey, my best friend is still there!"

We tried to explain to him that it makes others uncomfortable. Not that my husband is the best role model, since he laughs his ass off every time.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger chris said...

We're actually trying to get out son to stop scratching his butt in public, so I have no advice.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Kary said...

DD, I got to your blog through Jennifer's. I get quite a kick out of it. I just started blogging myself.
My almost 3-year old is allowed to put his hand down his pants "at home". Now, he always asks (as he is doing it), can I do this at home? Boys, boys, boys.

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Well-heeled mom said...

I have no advice either, since I have to stifle my giggles everytime The Boy does this. And, he walks around singing "All that junk, all that junk, my hump my hump my hump".

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Alexa said...

DD, I love you. This was such a hilarious snapshot of family life. I wish I had some advice for you...

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Tracy said...

OMG. We SOOOO have that problem with our 5 year old. And he's been very clearly told what "in private" means...and yet...still walks around with his hand on his junk. ARGH! (In other words, I have no advice either.)

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous kate said...

I told my sons, if you can't see it with your your clothes on, you don't mess with it where others can see you. Doesn't really work for picking the nose, but oh well.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Catizhere said...

I still have to tell Joe not to fiddle with his "stuff" in public and he's 43.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Spanglish said...

Boys are the same whether they are 3 or 90. I'm convinced.

 
At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Beth said...

No advice - but what a great view into the life with little boys. I tend to agree with Spanglish - 3 or 103, some things never change with those of the male persuasion.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger MAMB said...

LOL - that's why I'm adopting a little girl. I wouldn't know if I should laugh or crawl under the church pew.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

You've made me realize we don't have much junk adjusting going on around here. Maybe there's less junk? He does take after his father in all the worst ways.

At home, it's naked time whenever he thinks of it and my rule is do to in your room whatever you need to do. If he's messing with the goods around me, then I laugh and tell him to quit playing with himself - not in a dirty way, just not for in front of me.

So, I default to the 'go to your room' privacy stance, but I am honestly not presented with what you're, un, experiencing.

I also default to Bactine. Spray it until he's 25.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Fidget said...

my friend has told her son "hey if you want to fix it or play with it, do it in your bedroom" He then announced he was going to his room to play with his penis and was there for 45 minutes! Sometimes i'm glad i have girls (giggle)

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger One Mother's Journey said...

I had the same problem with my son. He wouldn't keep his hands off it either. As I was a "single mom" during this time I had no male input as to what to do and I certainly wasn't going to ask my dad - who still suffers from the same "affliction". (I don't think they grow out of this.)

Finally, in desperation, after it happened in the grocery store, the bank, the restraunt, the school etc - I sat him down and told him that it was ok but he really needs to reserve those actions for his bedroom. I tried very hard not to make him feel embarressed (though *I* was) and just acted very matter of fact about it. It took a few reminders and several times I was about to tell him to stop but he caught himself and stopped as soon as his eyes met mine - so I didn't have to. lol.

Eventually, we came to an understanding that when his door was closed - that meant "privacy" and it was ok to adjust anything he wanted to in "privacy".

To this day (he's almost 17 now) - when his door is closed, I knock and wait.

Now if I could just get my husband to stop adjusting his tackle in front of me - I'd be a happy girl.

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

That is hilarious! I have nightmares of Emma screaming the "p" word for vagina in church. Now I know that it is very much a possibility. :)

It sounds to me like he's going to be a very well adjusted boy. I like the way he reasoned that he doesn't share his penis. You have to love how they think.

You are doing a great job! X will figure it all out very soon - if not, he'll be a gabillionaire like Dennis Rodman. :)

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Hilarious! I have no suggestions. How do you manage to throw him a dirty look and not laugh at the same time?

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger goldmoon said...

I don't have a clue what to say! Can you tell I don't have kids? Yet? But it's damn funny.

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

I wish I had advice too, but my son thinks *I* have a penis, so we're pretty much the wrong family to be doling out penis advice.

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger Cactus Jelly said...

LOL, we have two girls and trust me when I say that they don't leave their 'junk' alone either. We finally had to have the privacy talk with both girls, even though it was primarily our little one who will go to town anytime/anyplace. We explained that while we both understand how nice it feels to touch our bodies in that area, it is something we should do in the privacy of our bedrooms or even the bathroom...not while laying on the couch watching Sponge Boob or talking to grammy and papa on Christmas Eve beneath the x-mas tree.

On another note, our oldest came home from school today and announced that she and her best friend found the word penis in the dictionary. Ah, the joys of living in an ultra liberal household.

 
At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Mary Scarlet said...

I snorted out loud, DD. I think the funniest part is his explanation. What exactly is it that needs "fixing"?

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger the waiting line said...

hilarious!

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Nico said...

As I said in my comment on Leggy's post from this week, the two of you have given me much food for thought. No real advice from me either, but it sounds like the "that should only happen in your bedroom or the bathroom" approach might work. Thanks for the smiles though.

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger Trish said...

I'm totally not the person to ask. I can't get mine to stop picking his nose in public, much less....You know.
I love little boys. I just take mine for all he is, nose picking, farting, and inappropriate, um, handling. It's so much fun to watch a boy become a man, no?

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

This is one of the greatest stories I have heard in awhile. We had such a laugh about this!!

 

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