G'day folks. I'm almost back. Still on my house-building/novel writing sabbatical from the website but I'm itching to get back to some regular blogging and will be doing that as soon as the novel is finished and dished off – end of July I'd reckon.
I've included this guest post today from Lori, Random Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mum, to warm the site up.
Lori is an engaging writer – insightful and funny – who has navigated her way through a recent personal tragedy to offer something positive to others. I've attached her blog and twitter account at the end of the article.
And on to the post, and a subject I consider myself a bit of a suburban scholar on – penises. With four boys, RM and I have daily, almost hourly, interactions with them. And of course I have my own to deal with. It takes up a fair bit of our time as well...
What I like about this post is that Lori's genuine desire to learn more about them eventually gives way to exasperation. Ha!
They really are unknowable, even to those who possess them. (And not as ugly as Lori makes out.)
Puppetry of the Penis (Penii?)
When you're a mum blogger, guest posting for a dad blog, what do you write about...? The one thing I've never really understood about men (besides football, beer, boxing, cricket, cars, urinals and ball scratching in public)... penises.
Or maybe penii is the plural? One is never sure.
They are strange things, penises. For many years they weren't much to me but somewhat terrifying alien forces who had minds of their own and were responsible for all kinds of lewd and anti–social behaviors. Being married and having, as my husband so succinctly put it, "a complimentary penis I could use at any time", served to make those awkward, kind of ugly, dangly bits (sorry guys... but it's true) seem far less threatening. But they remained a truly alien entity... until I found out I was, technically, growing one inside of me.
Finding out that I was, inexplicably, pregnant with a male child when I had specifically asked for a girl was disconcerting, to say the least. I got used to it – the boy child ensured I vomited on an hourly basis until I reached a point of weak acceptance. Resistance was as futile as those freaking pointless morning sickness acupuncture bands that they try and flog you in the chemist for fifteen bucks a set. (In case you've dropped in here off Google, searching for morning sickness cures... the best one I have is called 'birth control'. Use it vigilantly).
And then, a good three months before the poor kid was even technically a citizen of anywhere – before he'd even made it safely into the world, in fact – the issue of circumcision reared it's potentially ugly, possibly disfigured head.
Now, I'm going to put a disclaimer here and say – as a long standing member of a parenting forum that had a tendency to be 'gentle' only if you breastfed, co–slept and used cloth nappies – I've had this debate many, many times over. I'm really not up for it right now. But feel free to argue amongst yourselves, if you wish.
I was against circumcision on the basic, logical premise that an unnecessary scalpel near my baby was a bad idea. That's biological maternal instinct for you.
My husband was on the 'for' ('fore....?') side of the scalpel. He threw a lot of un-researched, easily debatable arguments my way; ranging from "Isn't your family part Jewish anyway?" to "It makes it look bigger, babe, trust me." But when push came to who's-going-in-to-hold-the-three-week-old's-tiny-vulnerable-sweet-little-hand, his reasoning was..." so my son will look like his dad".
And – not being a fortune teller – who was I to argue to with that? The bottom line was – in my house my husband was the authority and bearer of knowledge on penises (penii?), not me. The final decision was his.
Which I reminded him of, repeatedly, over the next three days as our tiny baby screamed blue murder, in pain I don't even want to think about (and whoever tells you it doesn't hurt them at that age is lying. Lying.)
With no lasting harm (erm... beside, you know, the missing foreskin) done to our little man, I happily resigned all penis-related duties (including photographing the child's first erection at about eight weeks of age) to the Man, who relished in it. The only time I ever poked my sensibilities in was to campaign for use of the term 'penis' as opposed to 'doodle'... it never really caught on.
My husband passed away when our son was three. And suddenly I'm the authority; not only on penii but a whole lot of other inherently man-type things that I just do not understand... rugby, beer, cars and urinals being just a selection off the short list.
Exactly what does a sole mum who never heard the word penis until she was ten years old do when her four year old laughs at her and asks her to kiss his doodle better cause he's hurt it? When does the rhetoric of "It's ok to play with it, but do it in your room, hey? No one else wants to see it" become a problem? (Really, guys, how much masturbation is normal...? Or is that one of those 'how wide is the ocean' or 'how many Maccas on the mainland' type questions....?) Am I supposed to turn away and ignore a four year old hard-on that spontaneously develops at bath time, or should I address it some fashion? How many times do I have to say the word 'penis' before I finally eliminate 'doodle' from the child's vocabulary?
It's not that I'm so much afraid, not anymore. I've crossed... erm... swords with enough penii to know my enemy by this age. It's just that they remain wholly dangly, strange, kinda ugly entities, and anthropological queries are stunted by my own vapid laziness.
So, I implore of you, men and women alike, all those who follow the messiah known as Reservoir Dad... If there is one thing I, as a lone warrior, should know about penises, what would that one thing be?