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September 30, 2010

Why I Should've Paid Attention in Health Class

A couple years back, I married a very sexy man. A few months after we hitched our wagons together, we discovered that all of that time spent cooking, cleaning, watching movies, and all other things of a thoroughly virginal nature had produced a baby. And lo, that baby was a boy.

Between the marital activities which have taken place since the birth of that baby and the 1,848 diapers filled with pee and poo over the past 39 weeks, not to mention the fact that I sat through health class in the seventh grade, it stands to reason that I should know what a penis looks like, right? Unfortunately, I spent the majority of my time in health class dissecting the character of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings with one of my best friends. It's truly amazing the depth to which you can examine his character, especially when your teacher regularly digresses into long speeches about artificially inseminating cows on the farm.

With my vast knowledge of cow anatomy, I took my son in to the pediatrician's office for his six month appointment, only to be informed that I wasn't executing Nathaniel's diaper changes properly. By properly, I mean a way that is going to allow my child to have a healthy sex life after he is at least 40 and married.

A quick lesson for the parents of girls or people who don't have penises: when you are changing the diaper of a baby boy who has been circumcised, you need to pull the extra skin back from the head. If you don't, adhesions can form, which can only be fixed by ripping the skin away from the tip or via surgery later in life.

All of the men reading this post are now cringing and covering their privates in sympathetic pain.

Because I happen to be of the female variety, the business of adhesions came as news to me, but it didn't serve to soothe the guilt as my son laid on that exam table while the pediatrician "fixed" my mistake. From that day on, each and every diaper change was accompanied by the obligatory skin movement and the prayer that my child wouldn't pee on the carpet again.

Now confident in my mothering skills and certain that the pee pee issues were no more than an unpleasant memory, I took Nathaniel back to the pediatrician's office for his nine month checkup. After gushing over my child's accomplishments in the past three months, he took a peek inside the diaper. That was when we discovered that I hadn't been pulling the skin back properly. Despite my best attempts to be The Good Mom, there was another adhesion, which meant another procedure.

My little boy was a trooper during the second round of penile adjustment. And to his credit, our pediatrician resisted the urge to ask how I apparently managed to get pregnant with my son without ever seeing a penis. But before I left that office, in a move that sent me straight back to the seventh grade, our doctor drew me a diagram.

I knew that I should've paid more attention in health class.


  1. That had to be a little akward! Ah the joys of parenting. ; p

  2. Umm.. My boy is turning 9 months in a couple weeks and this is all news to me! Oh god. Just sent a frantic email to husband. Hoping for a reassuring phone call any minute now...

  3. my little guy is almost 5mo old and I had NO IDEA! eeek.

  4. I've never heard of this either!

  5. AH! Me, either, Alyssa. This is what happens when you go to a private Christian school and they don't have to give you any "ideas" by showing what a penis looks like. ha ha At least, that's my excuse! Sheesh!! Going to pull on his poor little penis right now... ha ha

  6. i had a friend tell me that when C was born. so, he should be healing up just fin ;)

  7. I never did anything special...and my boys are just fine...!

  8. OMG! The same exact thing happened to us at the 6 mo appointment. I said "well, I don't know a lot about these boy parts". I pray we don't have the same reprimand at the 9 mo appt in a couple weeks. And I really hope no more adhesions have come back. I'll check at the next diaper change. My little boy cried so hard when Dr "fixed" those adhesions. :( i felt like such a bad mama!