The other night, Hubby was supervising our young love in the bathtub when a topic came up that caused Hubby to profess complete ignorance. “Hey Mommy? Can you come in here please? Your son has a question you might be able to answer….” I knew this was going to be interesting right from the start, just from Hubby’s wry tone.
* * *
I entered the bathroom and looked down at the boy in the bathtub, who happened to be carefully palpating his own scrotum. My eyebrows must have flown up, because Hubby started snickering before any words were even spoken.
“Um, Mommy? I was just curious, about… um… did you know, there are two balls inside my boy parts?”
I cleared my throat, but was unable to lower my eyebrows. “Ah, yes. I know.” The young one palpated the two balls a bit more, and I glanced at his father, who was standing outside the bathroom with a wickedly gleeful smile on his face.
“Well, Mommy… did you know, I just wondered what my… two balls… what those look like on the inside. You know, inside my boy parts?”
“You do? Well, ah… they are, ah… they’re kind of grey, and they have some blood vessels on them, and… ah… well it’s a squiggly tube on them.” I glanced again at Hubby, and he was cocking his head, too, processing this description. “Right, Daddy?”
Hubby denied any in-depth knowledge of the inner appearance of testicles. The young love, always on the alert for new vocabulary words, immediately piped up. “What are test-icles?” I looked expectantly at Hubby, hoping for Daddy to provide the answer, but Hubby was content to defer to the family anatomy expert.
“Um… that’s the word for those two balls inside your boy parts,” I offered, praying we wouldn’t have to begin naming all the anatomical areas that comprise the aforementioned boy parts. Hoping to avoid just such another question, I added, “Did you know how I know that testicles are grey and have blood vessels and a squiggly tube? I have seen a lot of testicles when I do a special surgery on dogs and cats!” Surprisingly, the young love didn’t question me further on either the anatomical names of *all* his boy parts, or on the “special surgery” I do on dogs and cats. No, he threw another curve ball.
“Do you have a picture of test-icles?” Father and son looked at me expectantly.
I cleared my throat again, thought it over, then reluctantly admitted that I could probably come up with a picture on the computer, if he was still interested at the end of his bath time, and beat a hasty retreat. Heading out to the computer, I typed “testicle dissection anatomy” into the Google image search (hoping to avoid rampant erections and other images of a pornographic nature), and after what had to be the speediest bath-remainder in the young love’s history, the little guy appeared at my side, eager to see what his two balls really looked like on the inside. I’d reviewed the options and selected one that looked something like the description I’d given, and I observed the young love’s reaction to the image.
He covered his crotch with one hand, and one eye with the other hand! First he blurted out that the testicle looked “Gross! Are you sure? That’s what they really look like, Mommy? Like a… a really scary dead eye?!” Then his gaze moved to some of the background images and he wanted me to click off the selected image so he could peruse those, too. I tried to warn him that if he thought the one I’d picked out was scary, then he definitely wouldn’t like some of the others, many of which demonstrated some very ugly pathology. He summoned his courage, and insisted he wanted to see them, so I clicked off and he took over the mouse, perusing the images, still with one hand protectively over his crotch.
At one point, he clicked on a sagittal section of a dissected testicle, and yelped in shock. “Mommy! Oh my gosh! No, no, no, no, no! Oh! Who would do that? Who would cut them in half like that?!?” I noticed he had both hands covering his crotch at this point, and he was looking at me for answers to this unimaginable horror.
Trying to contain my amusement, I explained that it was actually the testicle of an animal, one that had been removed and cut in half by a doctor or a scientist in order to study the structure and learn how it works. Then I decided it was probably time to wrap this up, and began to worry that he might either have nightmares involving testicular torture, or decide to share his newfound knowledge with his fellow kindergarteners.
“OK, Buddy. I think it’s time for a little Minecraft or something else nice to think about. And, Buddy…. I also hope you will please NOT talk about testicles or what they look like when you’re anywhere except at home. Will you do that? Because testicle-talk is not really appropriate for school. You understand?”
“Of course not, Mommy! Testicles are too embarrassing!”
“OK, well… yeah. I guess so. It is ok to ask questions, but just ask me or Daddy, right?”
“I know. I won’t. But can I see some more of those pictures?”
“Ah… well… I think I’ve had enough testicle pictures. Haven’t you? Hey! Do you know what your heart looks like on the inside?” LOL… we looked at a heart and a brain and finally Hubby returned and took Curious George off to bed.
Huge sigh of relief. =)
* * *
The young love didn’t mention anything about testicles the following day, but I did have a really big laugh when I sat down at the computer after the kids were in bed last night, and saw there was a new word typed into the Google search bar:
Heaven help us.