This morning a dear friend called me with a situation that is not mine to disclose. However, during the course of the conversation, I was reminded of an incident that happened in my own backyard about five years ago.
I was in the kitchen making my grocery list when I looked up. Princess and Buddy were in the back yard playing. Buddy faced the fence in "the stance" - hands at crotch-level, head bowed. That wouldn't have alarmed me in and of itself, but Princess was taking a keen interest in whatever Buddy was doing. And she seemed to be giving directions. This did not bode well.
I opened the back door and they both turned around. That's when I saw the knothole.
You know, I'm glad that I'm not really a "freak out" kind of person. You really shouldn't be a freaker-outer if you are going to be a parent. There are just too many situations that will trigger the freak out button. This was one of them. So let's add the freak out factors:
1) My son was putting his penis into a hole.
2) The hole is in a fence.
3) The hole opens up to our neighbor's back yard.
4) My daughter was not only encouraging this behavior, but coaching him.
Now, go back through those factors again and put on the non-freak out filter.
1) My son was putting his penis into a hole. He was three at the time. He has an appendage that can fit into stuff. Of course he's going to experiment. (At that point I just prayed that he would get all the experimentation out BEFORE it really matters exactly WHERE he puts that thing.)
2) The hole is in a fence. Okay, this one was a bit freak worthy. All I could think of were splinters - and who would have to extract them.
3) The hole opens up to our neighbor's back yard. No one was home during the day there. And, let's face it, Buddy was three. It's not like there was anything of significant size to see.
4) My daughter encouraged and coached. Okay, so she should have known better. We talked about that later.
So I had the (calm) talk about what is appropriate and what isn't, what is private and who gets to see what, etc, etc. They giggled a lot at first, but after I mentioned the splinters Buddy took it a bit more seriously.
I didn't freak out. But what I'm most proud of is that I didn't collapse in laughter until I got inside and out of their sight.