We’re running late for the billionty things we need to do this morning, and all I want is for the four-year-old to Get. Dressed. Now.
This, inevitably, results in much running away, giggling, and hiding under the table. A phenomena which rarely occurs when we are not running so tight on time.
Anyhoo, I grab him and pull his pyjama pants off.
This mere action sets of a process of giggling and yelling “Look at mine penis!” and more running away, the word “penis” wafting about in his wake.
I am, yet again, finding myself saying “no one cares about your penis, mate”.
The alternative saying is “seen it before, it’s not impressing me.”
It’s not new, not for him or for me. My experience with boys, and 100% of the ones in my care, is that penises are hilarious and everyone wants to see them. From the moment they can reach it (around 6 months of age) they are reluctant to let it go.
Of course, between my three, other little boys I’ve had the pleasure (??) of caring for or merely being in the presence of, and anecdotally (mostly from my friends who have experience a girl child before a boy child) this is quite common behaviour.
They fiddle with them, they love running around nudey and thinking everyone is impressed by their willies and have no concept of size or penis envy and do not care. When they’re erect (the penises, not the boys) it is, at times, apparently, even more funny/interesting/worth pointing out to anyone who happens to be nearby.
Even if that “nearby” happens to be a packed Gloria Jeans at Christmas time. Just sayin’.
As a friend recently said to me “NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TALK ABOUT FOUR YEAR OLD’S STIFFIES, AMANDA!”
She’s right, in a ‘perfectly normal’, non-sexual or perverted way, it has become a taboo topic that has led to numerous myths and
phalluses phallacies about the very normal behaviour of toddler and pre-school aged boys.
So … back to this morning, as I’m trying to pull a pair of knickers over a little bum (also a topic of much unwanted discussion) and a hand that is firmly gripping a doodle, I’m reminded of a thread I saw on another parenting support site.
It commenced with a post from a highly distressed mother of a pre-school aged daughter, whom had had a fellow kindergartener flash her his doodle.
From there, the discussion got scary … it escalated to the point that accusations were being made about this boy’s parents, from exposure to sexual acts through to out-and-out claims that this boy was being sexually abused by his father!
Concerningly, no one, at any point, suggested a four year old flashing his penis was in any way “normal” behaviour. No one even alluded to it.
No one stood up and said their kid did anything similar, I guess for fear that they, too, may be accused of such horrible and horrific behaviours.
I will admit that, just for a moment, I had a heart stopping moment at bath time with my pre-schooler, and, at a later day, at the local pool where a friend’s pre-schooler went all silly with his willy and the ensuing talk between our youngest as we set off for our cars.
Whilst I don’t feel that anyone, of any age flashing their penis is acceptable in public, and that the actual doodle-exposure needs to be dealt with in an appropriate manner, I was sick to the stomach and horrified about what this family of this small child was likely to now experience.
What trauma they may face because someone who just didn’t know about little boys (at best) or whom had worked herself into a state of such fear (at worst) had asked “what do I do”.
The fear that we have had thrust upon us spiralled into an even worse scenario that was almost a competition to see who could come up with an even more appalling situation that this little boy was living in. So …