In honor of Father’s Day, and in honor of dads everywhere, Mama One to Three is happy to have its second guest poster and a new feature on this website. “Dad Was Here” will introduce my brave readers to some very awesome, funny, hostile and/or profane dads that it is my pleasure to already know. Also some to whom I owe money.
Warning: If reading about penises makes you uncomfortable, you might want to avoid this post. And the Internet.
I was standing in waist deep water next to my sister-in-law, and my three-year-old nephew Sam was preparing to jump into the pool to splash us.
Sam crouched down, wrinkled his face and moved his arms back. Just as he was about to jump, he stopped and stared at my belly. A few seconds passed silently, and he said, “Uncle Sean, why do you have a penis in your belly?”
Sam is a curious, sophisticated toddler; and he knows a penis in the belly when he sees one. I tried to stifle my laughter while I said to my sister-in-law, “You’re going to have to answer this one.”
She suppressed her giggles long enough to say, “Oh, honey, that’s not Uncle Sean’s penis. He just has a big belly button. It’s called an ‘outie.’” And to add to this impromptu teaching moment, she asked, “That’s a funny name isn’t it, Sam?”
Sam didn’t seem to find it funny at all. And knowing how guys can be about these things, he may have also felt cheated. I mean, this wasn’t just about size. We were talking about quantity.
Clearly shocked, perhaps a little disappointed in his mother’s explanation, Sam stood by the poolside trying to make sense of it. I don’t blame the kid. Having just learned about anatomy (him, not me), discovering a second penis must have seemed like discovering a second sun in the sky. Finally, and without further questioning, he found the courage to jump in the pool. Smartly, he made sure to jump toward his mom and away from his two-penis uncle.
When my wife, Phoebe, went to say goodnight to Sam that evening, he asked her, “Does Uncle Sean really have a penis in his belly?” Oh that poor kid, still trying to figure out why he only has one, when his uncle–and were there others?!–might be packing two or more. Phoebe assured Sam that I also only have one and tucked him into his bed. Quickly.
Of course, when Phoebe came back downstairs, she had to relay Sam’s concern, and there was much talk and laughter about my ‘outie.’ I like to think I am a good sport; so I joined in the fun making. But much of the comedy was lost on me and my descended-from-cave-men ego. I’m a man after all. I can take only so much kidding about my penis–either penis. Or any penis. You know what I mean.
For the record, I only have one. I recently had hernia surgery to remove the “Extra Willy” (I may or may not have referred to it as such once or twice). I’ve had my original penis for years, and overall, I am quite satisfied with it. But to be fair to young Sam, I can admit that the possibilities of adding a spare one intrigue me. Not that I’ve thought of it before all this. And aside from the awkward moments I might endure at the pool this summer, I like to imagine the looks of admiration I’d get in the gym locker room.
Sean Teare is a husband and father of a son and daughter. His children are young enough that they want to hang out with him, but old enough that he actually wants to hang out with them. He works in healthcare as time allows.