Let Me Geni-Tell Ya ...

I can't find a non-pornographic picture for this post, so please enjoy this illustration of a happy cloud.

If I hear the word "penis" one more time .......

I know. I guess I should be happy they're using its proper name, rather than one of its slang-term (and infinitely more embarrassing when uttered in public) counterparts. But I wish they were using it in a different way. A proper way. For example, "Mommy, I am going to put on some pants so that you don't have to look at my penis all day long."*

*Heh. I wish.

But instead? My boys have recently decided it's funny to substitute "penis" for words in songs. Stories. Their names. Ad infinitum. Their formula is predictable: take any old sentence, replace one word with "penis," cackle hysterically. And it's getting old with a quickness.

I've tried hard to be the mother who is open with her children about all things. I've always been age-appropriate-yet-frank when Colin asks me cringe-worthy questions (and ohhhh, the questions ... remember when he asked me how babies are made and whether my nether-regions stretched during childbirth ?). I have worked to foster an environment where it's okay to talk about that type of stuff; where genitalia is not dirty or shameful, but just another body part.

That being said, the word "penis" can never be uttered as casually as, say, "foot." And I've had to explain that there are certain places we can't say it: like in school (because I'd reeeeeally like to avoid awkward phone calls from the teacher like the one I got a couple months ago). "It's only appropriate at home," was the penis-talk stipulation that I hammered into the boys' heads, over and over.

But now we are at home. Didn't I say (in repeat mode, repeat mode, repeat mode) that it was appropriate at home? Yes. In fact, I probably overstated that they could be comfortable saying it here, in hopes of nurturing said "open environment." And now, I'm forced to contradict my own teachings. It's just that I never expected, "What do you want for lunch?" to be answered with, "Macaroni and penis," or a beloved nursery rhyme to morph into "Penis Bo Peep."

I mean ... seriously?

I tried ignoring it in hopes that the phase would fizzle out. But no luck so far. I tried dirty looks at the mere mention of "the p-word." Nothing. I tried saying, "It's fine to talk about penises at home, but only when you are asking a question about them or need to tell Mommy something about your own." But much like the phrases, "Don't pick your nose," and "Leave your brother alone," it just hasn't seemed to sink in.

So for now, I'm stuck with an even greater-than-usual amount of genital jabber. Penis this and penis that. I'm surrounded by penis. And trust me ... that's not nearly as fun as it sounds.



  1. Just hope they don't learn the "Penis Game" where they see who tries to say it the loudest in public without getting embarrassed. Good luck.

  2. Hilarious. One day you will look back and laugh your bum off!

  3. Just remember boys mature slower than girls and at this rate you will hear it until they realize what embarrasses them most is talking about stuff like that around their mom.

  4. "Macaroni and penis" made me laugh out loud.
    Little boys...they kill me.

  5. ahhh, to raise 4, um, 3 boys and a husband, such a joy!

  6. Although, I still have to say, hearing penis seems a wee bit easier than hearing vagina all the time!

  7. Having three boys I can relate (well 4 if you count the husband). It reminds me of when they were in a period of saying "wenis" which is the flap of skin on your elbow. We would go out to restaurants and they'd be talking in the loudest indoor voice possible shouting "wenis" which of course sounds a lot like penis, especially to neighboring dining patrons.

  8. LOL....This is too good...Just hope they dont learn how to play Star Wars, and have saber fights.

  9. At least they're only doing it at home. Maybe if you ignore it and refuse to answer any penis comments other than the normal ones, they'll eventually quit. Some things about raising little boys just never change......;o)

  10. My youngest likes to walk in the room naked and dance a hip jiggling dance while his penis swings around in a full circle. He thinks he is just wonderful.

  11. HA! That made me laugh. Not at your expense of course. But really, you wrote it so well. Sorry for the penis troubles. My kids still think poop and pee are hysterical inserted in every sentence. Its always something.


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