So, with all the hullabaloo about birthing another baby from the nether regions that are now officially lost below my large belly, I've totally forgotten that I'm about to deal with something I'm quite happy I don't own.
I have to say that I'm not so excited about fighting the old runaway hose at every diaper change and clearly I'm just not experienced in schlong care. I imagine if drag queens can tuck those things pretty far up there and tape 'em up good then whatever I do to them will be nothing.
But seriously, I'm quite fine without having to deal with a penis on a daily basis. My husband tends to keep his to himself, save the bi-monthly "show and tell... me how big it is" fandango that occurs. And so, I've really been able to keep a fairly healthy distance between myself and the penis.
But come January, I'll be face to face with it way more often than I care to think about. And with that comes the big decision.
To cut or not to cut. That is the question.
I was informed by my midwife that it's cruel and unjust, and she just can't understand why anyone who would want to birth in a birth center would then want to cut off their son's foreskin. And I have read ALL the literature and seen all the nasty pictures.
But a woody with a hoodie?
I haven't actually seen one in person. I've heard tales of the blessed uncircumcised penis. And I've seen a few bazillion pictures of them thanks to my gay friend's Roger Maplethorpe book. (Now that is some great bathroom reading right there).
But I still think (even though they say by the time my son will be a teenager, 50% of boys will be uncircumcised) there's a bit of a stigma. That the boys go "ew" and the girls go "EW" and well, I wonder if it's worth NOT getting it done to endure that. And is it clean or not clean to maintain a foreskin? Shit. I know guys that can barely stop grabbing their balls let alone have to deal with the hooded dick.
And then I wonder if it's worth getting it done to endure that. And seriously, why is he flashing his penis around so much that people are making comments anyway?
So, what are we doing internets? What's your penis protocol?
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I'm lucky if I can get my daughter to stop blowing spit bubbles and pulling the cat's tail let alone impart any semblance of thoughtful parenting tidbits on my 2-year-old.
I know. She's 2.
Basically, I'm doing well if I get through the day without her eating a non-food object and throwing only one WWE smack down inspired temper tantrum.
But damn I had such high hopes.
Except when I try to explain why she has to tell the bratty-ass kid at the playground not to smack her in the face she thinks I'm mad at her, and when I try to tell her why sharing is an essential part of daily existence she gives me the "fuck that it's my toy and I'll eat it with a knife and fork before I let that snotty nosed kid who won't talk to me anyway have it" look.
So as I see it, I'm ineffectual if I use more than two words or don't offer a lollipop.
However, when it comes to Princess Quinlan, the protagonist in our daily bedtime stories such as "Princess Quinlan at the Playground" or our current delight (told two times a day at nap and bed) "Princess Quinlan at the Museum," she takes it all in without the threat of candy or a time-out.
Take for example the simple concepts of self-esteem from within:
And she is a smart and sophisticated princess who doesn't find the use of more than mascara and blush to be necessary unless she's going out for a birthday party;
And while she is extremely attractive, she prefers to rely on her great wit in difficult situations.
There's also the concept of good citizenship and healthy daily living skills:
...Who shares with others and volunteers at the local nursing home in her free time.
...Who believes in the equality of all people, and is nice to animals, even strays who aren't foaming at the mouth.
Then, we get more specific to certain situations that arise during the day:
But when the little boy at the playground smacked her in the face, she told him not to do that loudly and firmly so that he ran away and told all his friends how brave and strong that little girl was and how not to mess with her.
But when mommy got a little mad and yelled at the Princess's daddy it was just because mommy is a little jacked up on pregnancy hormones.
And then, best of all, you can impart your hopes for her future:
...With the hopes that Princess Quinlan would at least consider eating raw vegetables at some point in time.
...Who doesn't use diapers anymore because toilets are way more fun to pee and poop in. Particularly when followed by vigorous handwashing.
And don't worry. I'm planning on riding this as long as I can.
...And she remembered to follow her curfew for fear of the wrath of her mother and father and the loss of her crappy yet reliable 1987 Ford Tempo.
...And she waited until she was in love with the hot, smart, sexy man (or woman) before she decided to have sex with him which was preceded by long amounts of foreplay. And even then, she was 25 and already had a college degree and her own apartment.
Let's just hope by then the subliminal messages kick in. However, I imagine the 2 words and lollipops will probably work well then too. Just followed by some expensive purse and the car keys.
My friend a few days ago: Do you want a baby brother or a baby sister?
Q: A baby brother!
My friend: And what's his name going to be?
(Repeated several times when asked throughout the day).
Me Today: Are you riding your horse (the scary loud rocking horse that she loathes but has now become comfortable enough with to ride apparently)?
Me: What's its name?
At least she's consistent... I think. Or something...
Guess What? I'm reached the pinnacle of parenting achievement. Yes. I actually submitted a parent hack. Don't laugh. Someone actually thought it was really cool. And while you're at it, check out this new great website from my pal Jason (who writes here and here as well). It's called Anti Racist Parent and it rocks.
And hey. The huz is in town this weekend.
And please. No need for all your "hubba hubba my girl gonna get some" comments. As my friend joked "Well, he could bend you over the bed" - to which I replied, "I'm not sure that sounds at all pleasant now or ever."
But how about NO FUCKING DIAPER CHANGES AND BATHTIMES ALL WEEKEND MY FRIENDS!
See what happens when you have kids. You weigh mediocre sex against not having to wipe your kid's butt for 4 days.
And you all know the butt wiping wins every freaking time.
Upon his birth, my son (yes, you read that correctly) will have automatic membership to one of the most privileged clubs in this country.
The White Male Majority
He won't have to do a single thing except be born (and keep his balls and weener), and he will have something that I may never see in this lifetime, and be afforded opportunities that I might not have ever dreamed for myself.
And the more I think about the prospect of raising someone who I have secretly loathed and envied for many of my days, and who, in one form or another, has taken away opportunities, money, and recognition from me and other women before me, I wonder why I'm spending so much time worrying about my daughter.
Maybe it's time to think about our sons.
Don't get me wrong. The slut dolls, big naked butts on MTV, and the ongoing fight for our equality are always present on my mind. But thanks to the work of many women that have come before me and who now still work to forward the cause of women (including manyofmyfellowbloggers who continue this important discussion), I think we're doing fairly well.
But when I look at the number of rapes and assaults against women, the spousal abuse that continues in this country, and the negative stereotypes that are constantly perpetuated, I don't think about my daughter so much as I think about my son.
All our sons.
Maybe we don't need another woman calling herself a feminist. But perhaps we need her husband, her brother, her father, and her son to stand up for what's right for their mothers, daughters, and wives.
I don't excuse the male bashing that's associated with the women's movement, however if you take two seconds to research oppression, you'll find that anger, hate, and acting out are not uncommon. People look at the bitter gay man, the angry black woman, and the bra burning feminazi with disdain. But frankly, who can really blame them?
Years of oppression and inequality would make me pretty fucking bitter.
And the more I see how uneven things are in this world, the more I can feel my own negative feelings rumbling within me. Bitterness that I won't make as much as my equal (or even less that equal) male counterpart. Anger that some men still treat women like objects and property. Confusion as to why we women put up with it.
It pisses me off.
But part of me wonders if the feminist movement really needs another fist-shaking mother. Granted I'll be happy to shake my fists as long as I have a breath in me. And damnit, I'll raise my daughter to shake her BOTH of her fists.
But a fist shaking man with a mother?
A resounding YES.
They can speak to the masses where a woman is turned into an emotional hormonal freakazoid.They can rationalize when we are labeled as "just women." They can stand up with us when all our legs are tired from carrying the weight of many on our shoulders.
Don't get me wrong. My fight doesn't end here. Believe me. It's only just begun.
But maybe we need to worry less about our beautiful daughters who will no doubt hear the words of their mothers sounding loudly in their ears and think more about how we can foster these truths in our sons who might just be able to help us make a louder noise than we ever thought possible.