Thursday, March 4, 2010

Once we find it, we never let go.

So said our pediatrician to a friend of mine regarding her three-year-old son's apparent obsession with his little penis.

Skip to our house, two nights ago, just as the boys had cleared the table and were sitting down to dessert. K was at his place and ready to dig in when TZ arrived in the kitchen, smirking. "Lookit!" he said, and pulled up his shirt to reveal his penis dangling over the waistband of his sagging pants. This is a trick that K discovered a few weeks ago, one day at the store as he waited for me to make a purchase. As a baby and a toddler, TZ never really used his, er, equipment as a plaything, but K is constantly finding new ways to enjoy his.

"Ah," said I, "Just like K," and indulged him with a half-laugh. "Now pull your pants up and sit down for your dessert."


Instead, TZ waddled into the dining room and showed a delighted K what he had done. Within seconds, K's penis was out, too, and the two of them were shrieking with laughter, and hootin' and hollerin' and carryin' on, as one of my Southern sister-in-law's Southern bridesmaids once said, like all get out.

Brainy, liberal, I-understand-my-boys me tried to let them have their fun, but a few seconds later, control-freak, why-can't-they-be-more-like-girls me could stand it no longer and started trying to get them to behave. Another few seconds of ineffectual admonishments, and I finally shouted, "Okay, that's enough. I'm coming to the table now, and if I see a penis, I'm going to eat your treats."

Even as I said it, I marveled at how absurd it sounded. They tucked themselves back into their pants in a hurry as I approached the table, and I half wondered what weird sexual lesson they would learn from this moment and reveal to their therapists in the future. But they kept giggling, and I had to join them. "You two are a couple of goofballs," I told them. No pun intended.

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