Houston, we have a penis.
To Tom and I, this is old news. We celebrated this fact at our 16-week ultrasound last year. At the time, there was much rejoicing, as we had been hoping for a boy.
Since Jacob was in utero at the time, he missed the memo and thus the time of rejoicing. But, dontyouworry, he has now discovered his boy bits and is making up for lost time.
When I first realized that Jacob first realized that he was, indeed, a boy, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to stop him or to look away and pretend I didn’t notice. Figuring that allowing him to handle his future father parts probably wasn’t such a great idea, I began to gently scold him, moving his hand and telling him “no.”
My mom, who was with me at the time (btw, kid, could you make this any more awkward? I jest, I jest), she immediately told me not to make a big deal out of it. Something about how I might introduce some negative emotions into the experience that might affect potty training later.
I wasn’t sure what to think about the whole thing. So, I did a little research on the topic—and, a word to the wise, be careful what you Google—and found that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that it’s a normal part of development that “doesn’t warrant scolding or punishment.”
I can buy that. After all, he’s just a baby with no sense of modesty or shame. It’s just an expression of his natural curiosity. The same way he surveyed his hands with wonder a couple of months into life, he has now discovered his other limb.
Still, while I don’t so much mind my baby coming to grips with the fact that he is a boy while he’s in the bathtub in the privacy of our home. The thought of having a toddler who does the same in public makes me uncomfortable. So, what’s a mama to do?
How did you approach the situation when your little fella realized he was, in fact, a fella?