The Scene: I was in Penn Station last Friday a few minutes away from boarding the train back to Boston after being in New York for work for a few days. My phone rang.
My friend (also a parent of a kid in Owen’s class at school): I have a hilarious story to tell you. I don’t even know how to tell it with a straight face.
Me: What happened?
Friend: J came home from school yesterday and said to me, “Something. Is wrong. With. My. Penis.”. Super serious.
Me: Oh God. What was it?!
Friend: I kept asking him questions, but he didn’t want me to look. Then he said everything was fine, and I didn’t want to freak him out, so I told my husband to take a look at bathtime.
Me: WHAT WAS IT?!
Friend: Nothing. Everything looked totally normal. When I asked him about it more, he said “My penis is BROKEN. It’s BAD.” It was too strange for me to overlook, so I asked the teachers about it this morning at school. They explained (very embarrassed), that one of the other kids in class had been talking about how his Daddy’s penis was broken, and J must have heard it and repeated it.
At this point I nearly died of trying to stifle my laughter. I KNEW WHO “THAT KID” WAS. I had heard this story before.
Friend: Apparently the teachers were hoping none of the other kids had heard him and tried not to make a big deal of it. But “that kid” who said it was a fairly outspoken child.
I’ll say it again. I KNOW “THAT OUTSPOKEN CHILD”.
Tears of laughter were pouring from my eyes and I was probably cackling loud enough for everyone at the train station to hear when I told my friend that I knew exactly where her kid had heard that story. It was from my kid. My kid, who apparently told his whole class and his teachers that his Daddy’s penis got broken.
Let me explain. Quickly. Before you think something awful happened to my husband.
As I’ve mentioned many times, we’re potty training. Owen’s doing an awesome job with going in the potty, and some of that I attribute to our “open door” policy and not being shy about using the bathroom in front of him. He asks tons of questions and we’re always happy to talk about the answers with him. He’s also shown quite an interest in “stand up peeing” (like Daddy), so we’ve been working on that as well. And by working on that, I mean Benjamin has been demonstrating while Owen takes notes. And Owen notices EVERYTHING. He often says, “Daddy, you’re going to break your penis!”. We’ve laughed it off and told him no, no, he’s not going to break his penis. And left it at that.
Ever since he could talk, Owen’s outgoing personality has put us in hilarious situations where he tells complete strangers about what we did last weekend or what he had for breakfast. Remember the time he asked the grocery store clerk about his penis? We haven’t done much coaching on when NOT to talk about private parts because we’re doing our best to keep our discussions open, honest and without stigma.
Pretty sure it’s time to revamp that philosophy when your kid starts telling his teachers that his Daddy broke his penis.
Over the weekend I was pushing Owen on the tire swing with two other little girls who we had just met (6 1/2 and 3 1/2) and chatting with their mother. The kids were giggling and talking to each other too, and all of a sudden my ears tuned into their conversation to hear Owen sharing, “My Daddy had a boo boo on his knee and when Mommy ripped his bandaid off he yelled Ouch! really loud, and he also has a broken pe-”.
I cut him off mid-word because I KNEW where this story was going. The girls did too, and they started to giggle. The mom blushed and I said something like, “Excuse us, we’re in the oversharing stage right now” (probably leaving her to wonder if my husband really did have some awful penis accident). On the ride home, I tried to bring it up casually by saying, “We shouldn’t really talk about penises to anyone other than Mommy and Daddy. Ok? And Daddy didn’t really break his penis so it’s not ok to tell stories like that. It’s not funny to make things up.”
To which he replied, “No, it IS funny!” and started giggling away.
What can I say? He’s right. It IS funny. The kid knows how to get a laugh.