I, having two sisters, have never understood the excitement of the penis until I had sons. I do have a brother, but he mostly lived with his mom while we were growing up, so I never got to be around what I believe to be the potty-talk humor that has become my life. Once my boys found it, it's been a constant in our daily discussions. I was never really fond of using other words for the genitals and while my Munga called it "tinkling" I prefer to just call it pee. So, when Henrik and Theodor first discovered their penis, we called it what it was. No reason to hide it, I didn't want to shame it, I didn't want to discourage the touching of or playing with it. But never, NEVER did I think I'd have to talk about them all day long.
From being naked, to potty training, to getting Henrik to poop on the potty, these boys have completely changed my outlook on the penis and being naked. They are matter of fact, so I try to give truthful, factual responses and since Eric isn't around right now to field these ones for me, I've got to do it on my own and someday my sons will find this mortifying. While potty training, I pulled out all of the stops: stickers, cars, candy, a bribe of any kind, but when that didn't work, I stopped and tried to think like a boy. I remembered when I was a little girl I played with a lot of boys, I wanted to be just like them and when they peed on trees, I wanted to too. But, it didn't work so well for me and I remember being livid that I peed all over myself when they quickly peed, put it away, and went back to playing.
To entice Henrik, I put Trix cereal in the toilet and asked him to pee on those standing up to make it fun. And fun it was. I've never seen that kid smile so much! When we were outside, I told him that we could stay outside and he could pee right on the tree! (It really makes my job much easier and he now aims for ants). I even let him pee off of the deck and we can watch the pee fall onto the ground (his preferred location). I thought we'd be done with the whole excitement since he was successful at peeing, but I was wrong. Pee, poop, and the penis have entered all realms of our life. For example:
H: I'm gonna hit in the nuts.
A: Who said that to you?
H: I don't know.
A: What does it mean, hit in the nuts?
H: I don't know. Why would you hit a seed?
This is language that I would never say and I don't think I have refered to them as "nuts" ever, but now that Henrik goes to school, he's promptly picked up on a few more terms, even if he doesn't understand them. Or how about this one:
(Henrik got soaked in a super soaker fight. When the other kids had to go inside we went too. Henrik wanted to get out of his wet clothes so I stripped him down to his undies)
H: I wanna go back outside and play chalk.
A: But you're just wearing your underwear. You can't just wear your underwear outside.
H: (starts to take his underwear off)
A: (shocked) No! You can't go outside naked!
H: (looks at me like, have you got a better idea?)
A: Fine. Just go out in your undies.
H: (ran out the door before I could finish my sentence)
He has no shame, he just wants to play, he doesn't care if the world sees what his daddy gave him. But one day when our friend Hannah was going to come over, he informed me that he had to put his pants on "because you have to wear pants when girls come over". I agreed that it was a good rule and quickly got the pants. You see, most days, my boys just run around in underwear or in Theo's case, a diaper with underwear over it because he prefers to take the diaper off while running about the house yelling, "Fun-ny nak-id boys. Diaper off".
Or how about my most recent favorite:
A: Hey, do you have to go potty?
H: No. Does it look like I'm touching my penis or my butt?
To this I had no reply. I just sit back and think, man, I wish Eric were here. It's not fair that I'm having all of the fun.
And when we sit down to read books, do we grab the Caldecott winners? No. The Newberry winners? No. We grab "Even Firefighters Go Potty" a flip book where all sorts of professionals take a break from what they're doing to take a poop. "Where's The Poop" an animal and child flip book where the parent asks the baby if they've "made their poop" and your child gets to flip the flaps to find all the poop. And "Everyone Poops"where we see all the different kinds of poop as well as a pretty graphic image of a child pooping. Yes, I purchased these books for my boys because all of the reviews suggested that they aided in potty training, but I couldn't have predicted the love for these books. Even the baby grabs these books, studies them, screams for them and then asks to pee on the deck. My boys bring these books to guests at our house, they want to read them over and over and over again.
We have conversations about toots and farts (they do have to say "pardon me" after they do them), we run around the house having Naked Boy Time, we even have lots of photos of my sons playing outside in underwear, shoes of their choice, and a jacket. It's just become a part of my life that I didn't know about when I became a mother. Yes we had to make the choice about circumcision or not, but I kind of thought that was it. Now I'm explaining why your pee makes such a large arc in the morning and why you peed on your leg because you were sweaty.
I never thought that having boys would be so, exciting? Is that the right word? I'm learning a WHOLE new genera of things that I didn't know needed to be explained. While some may cringe at this post, I've got to be honest, it's what I deal with ALL. DAY. LONG. I remember being a High School Senior and rolling my eyes at the Senior boys who could literally just say the word "poop" and laugh for hours. Well, I'm living that life now. Henrik even laughed when I said, "I have to do my duty" NOT talking about poop. Really?! He knows dooty? We've officially entered the world of potty training and all that goes with it. With a 15 month old that knows when he has to go, and a three year old that is pretty trained, I have a feeling I'll be checking the toilet for large ones, small ones and responding to cries like, "Mom! It's stuck! It won't flush down!" for several years to come.
And while I prefer to have a few minutes of privacy when I have to go, I don't get that luxury any more, every time someone has to pee or poop in our house, it's a family event and we get to be excited and do the potty dance, sing a little song and even break it down. It's kind of fun to be that excited about life, and like the book says, "everyone eats, so, everyone poops". There's nothing to be ashamed of.