Saturday, June 16, 2007

some hard and fast rules

Last week when I was picking up the kids at school, one of Ezra’s teacher pulled me aside. “I have to talk to you for a minute,” she said. Er, uh-oh.

“We’ve noticed that Ezra and Friend have been touching each other’s penises.”

“Oh,” I said. “You mean like when they’re changing to go swimming?”

“No,” she said. “Not necessarily. Like at story time. Pretty much whenever.” To make matters worse, they've gone beyond exploration (normal) into arousal (deviant).

As is the case with most things, this is probably my fault. Ezra and his brother are completely obsessed with their penises, and I haven’t established boundaries the way I should. Sometimes I hear them in the tub talking about peeing on each other and similar stuff that is revolting to normal human beings but, apparently, appealing to subhuman preschool boys. But if I’m busy with Lilah or one of ten thousand chores I’m trying to take care of, I don’t always go running in to redirect them—especially because in those moments, they’re actually getting along. I mean, nothing makes them happier than penis-related activities and conversation. Shit, I’d rather have them be playing with each other’s penises than scratching each other’s eyeballs out. Besides, I have always assumed that this is typical bozo boy behavior and not thought too much about it.

So now, here’s Ezra at preschool, practically jerking Friend off among the building blocks and butterfly wings and plastic hamburger buns. And I’ve had to rather awkwardly remind him that he needs to keep his hands on his own penis.

Well, no, he doesn’t have to keep his hands on his own penis; he has to keep his hands off of Friend’s penis and anyone else’s penis. He can touch his own penis, that’s fine.

But not at school.

Unless he’s peeing.

But he can’t touch his penis at school for fun. He can touch his penis at home for fun.

But not in front of anyone else. Because while it's totally normal and healthy, it's also shameful and disgusting.

He must think I'm totally insane. I kind of think I'm insane too.

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