You couldn't help yourself, clicking on "Penis Envy", could you? You had to click to see if this post- THIS one, in particular, was the indicator that I've come completely undone. You wonder, when the psychiatrists lock me up, will they scour my blog trying to identify when exactly I started to go bat-shit, in a clinical sense, and then will they tap the computer screen, "Uh huh, look: "Penis Envy". Bingo."
Well, it's not exactly that kind of penis envy. Though I do need a penis. NO NOT LIKE THAT. Ohmagod.
I have this son. He is the only boy in the family. He has two moms and two sisters. Four women is a LOT of women when you're the only guy in the joint. He's two and he already sorts pads, pantyliners and tampons by the 'flow' color on the wrapper.
Being the perennially hopeful ignorant that I am, I was thinking we could totally skirt this whole "Dad" thing. I am proud of our family, and I have no trouble understanding that we will do well without the dad part of the equation. It's just that there's going to be times. Times where there's questions about... BALLS. I have helped manage my anxiety by creating three simple balls categories. I think I've got this all hammered out.
The football. There isn't a big burly dude (or even a smallish dude) with collarbones stronger than his moms' to throw him around and play a little game of tackle in the yard. As it is now, he gives me one good crashing hug when I get home from grocery shopping and I'm all, "GAAAAH, YOU CRUSHED MY UTERUS." So there the whole physicality of it. He thrives on what his OT calls "Prioperceptive Input" which is a sneaky way of saying 'roughhousing'. I do some of it. Thanks to my big brother, Steve, I know the game "Steamroller" where you just roll over someone smaller that you until they scream. So I do that to Griffin. Until he screams. Also, Julie and I can both throw perfect spirals, so we will drill into him the belief that the game is all about finesse, not brute strength. Balls 1: solved.
How will we coach him on the art of asking someone to the Spring Formal (I know, a stretch on the "balls" theme, because they call them "dances" unless you're in the South, but go with me). You know, who will teach him the ways of women and romance? I'm not so sure he'll listen to us when we give advice! Our gender is the source of his future anxiety (yes, I think he's straight, probably), so he will either be smart and come directly to the source, or he will avoid us like the plague and desperately wish he had a guy he could talk to about it. In any case, I give this advice, which should cover it: Griffin, do not keep trying, OVER AND OVER, to hold a girls butt at the 8th grade formal during the longest version of 'Stairway to Heaven' that has ever been played. Balls 2: Solved
And here's the part we've all been waiting for. Actual balls. What if they get itchy when puberty hits?! What if he gets Elephantitis and he's too afraid to talk to us and we only know because he starts to insist on wearing not one, but two, then three pairs of sweatpants at once? What if the balls don't work? What IF THEY WORK?
I have a plan. I've started accumulating power tools and other accessories of the well-appointed Dad. I'm learning how to repair things, build things and know the difference between a chop saw, miter saw, circular saw and table saw. (Oh, and yes, Jules, we do need ALL of them.) So the plan is to basically lie in wait for a literal balls-related question to hit and then distract and dazzle using all my other knowledge of dad-ish things. Here's an example of how it will go- tell me if you think it's solid:
G: "My new hair is making my balls itch."
Me: "JESUS, would you look at those peoples' fence? They obviously didn't sink the posts six inches below frost line and bed the hole with gravel first before pouring the cement. Losers." (/throw bottle of Triple Goldbond. Run) Balls 3: Solved.
(Okay, maybe Balls 3 could use a little polishing. Wait, you're not supposed to polish balls, are you? Like, there isn't special ball lotion that we should buy when he's twelve or something, right? Oh my god. Helps us. Zach Wahls, HELP US!)
We're simply going to have to muddle through.