The Penis on the Playground
When my son Brandon was about 4, our family went to the annual “Spring Fling” mini-carnival that was held at his preschool. There was face painting, yummy junk food, fun games, and plenty of jumpy things for the kids to enjoy. My son, however, wanted to ride a pony. So, while my husband and daughter went to have their faces painted, Brandon and I joined the long line for pony-rides.
There were about five ponies that slowly made their way around a circle for hours. They looked tired and bored, but tolerated — remarkably well — having little fidgety kids loaded on and off them. I was yawning, shifting my weight from foot to foot, while Brandon did not take his intense gaze off the ponies. He stood there staring at them as if in a trance. Then — in one of those sudden moments of silence all around — he yelled at the top of his lungs, pointing at a particular pony with the exuberance and wonderment of a child, “Mommy, have you ever seen such a big PENIS?”
I instantly froze as every parent within earshot turned to look at me. The dads were amused, awaiting my reply even as their wives looked disgusted. “Well,” I thought to myself, “here we go. The official beginning of embarrassing public situations with one’s child.” I immediately knew that my response — the tone, the words, and the look on my face — would make or break future conversations like this one with my kids.
So ignoring everyone around me, I squatted down to Brandon’s height. I gave him a big smile, matched his wide-eyed amazed expression with my own eyes, shook my head side-to-side, and said in a surprised voice, “No, Sweetie, I have NEVER seen a penis that big.” He seemed very pleased that we saw this magnificent organ together, and that he was the one who pointed it out to me.
Then, thankfully, it finally was Brandon’s turn to ride the pony.