The Penis Problem.

We have a serious problem in our house lately. I call it The Penis Problem. The Penis Problem began a few months ago, when my three year-old son, Davis,started wearing underwear. Freed from the restrictive, super absorbent polymers of his diaper, Davis’s penis had some lost time to make up for, and it didn’t waste a second. Within two days of being potty trained, Davis’s hand took up permanent residence down the front of his pants, as if it were an old person who’d decided to head south and retire, where it was warm. After another few days, however, Davis did away with pants entirely, preferring instead to spend hisdays in a shirt and nothing else. The Why We Must Wear Pants to School discussion became a part of ourmorning routine, like eating breakfast and brushing teeth.


The moment he gets home from school, however, the pants come off. And I really do mean the moment he gets home from school. He literally walks in the front door, and before he does anything else, he sits down in the foyer, flings off his shoes and socks, and with great relief, pulls off his pants and underwear and leaves it all in a little boy-pile by the front door. If you saw this, you’d think the pants weighed five hundred pounds and were made of metal, or lined with thumbtacks,maybe. With the Penis flapping in the wind, he then goes off and builds forts with the sofa pillows, plays Power Rangers, creates Lincoln Log behemoths, and practices skateboarding tricks. When he tires of all of this activity, he likes to just walk around and “twirl” himself. As in, "Davis, what are you doing with your penis right now?" "I’m twirling it, mama. I like it." ‘Kay.



In the last several days, he’s also discovered that his penis can do “tricks.” For example, when he woke up the other morning, he was screaming for me to come into his room. When I arrived, breathless and thinking something horrible had happened, I found him still in bed, his pajama pants casually lying on the floor. "Look mama!" He shouted, pointing at his morning erection, which, apparently, he’d never noticed before. "My penis got big;it can do magic tricks!" Or, like the other night, when I was getting him ready for bed, he discovered that he could make it look like “a hot dog” if he pushed it back so that it retracted into the skin, which he found to be enormously hilarious.



Soo cute! My first time reading your column, love it already! Thanks for the heads up, my son hasn't yet discovered his penis, lol! :) BTW, SOMEONE needs to lighten up!


Right on, Risa! I generally love your columns, but this one hits very close to home right now. My older son is almost 4 and it's quite the adventure to try to understand the different challenges with boys, including this one. Thanks for sharing your incredibly amusing version of this stage of development.


I laughed out loud! I can totally relate. The first time my oldest noticed an erection he also screamed for me to hurry and I thought something bad had happened. It turned out "his penis was hurting". We had been talking about growing pains that week as he had been complaining about his legs hurting at night and soon after I arrived he determined that it must just be his penis growing.


Oh my! I am so glad I read this. Being the parent of 3 girls I have no idea about these wild little boy escapades. So funny I could barely get through 1/2 of it without tears of laughter. I am printing this to show everyone at work tomorrow! Great work. More please.


Loved this article! We're right in the same situation. Like so many things about motherhood that was never discussed openly before, it's refreshing and appreciated. And in my mind, nothing to be ashamed, offended or resentful about when it comes from a place of love.


This author has got to be kidding. Really. She really ought to find something else to write about, or her son could very easily resent her. This would be a far bigger problem than his current, little boy penis issues.
These issues are not the little boy's. What he is doing is normal, but personal to him, although he may not yet realize that his idiosyncracies are being aired to the entire universe.
As I read through the story, I was deeply offended for this child. Some things should not be capitalized on by an author. Certain things are sacrosanct, and I think that her son's privacy and dignity are among those.

Suggestion for the author: Leave your son alone, aside,perhaps, from discussions about appropriateness of keeping his pants on when company comes. And don't discuss your son's personal doings with the whole world. There is nothing amusing about it when you consider the little guy's feelings. Those feelings matter far more than a little boy discovering his penis, and should come before anything.