Don’t tell me what to do.
Seen in the grocery store parking lot on Wednesday with my 12 year old son, a bumper sticker on a car, which read: “I like your big truck. Sorry about your small penis.” My son laughed, of course, like any boy would, then he thought seriously about it for a bit, gazing downward. “Uh, mom?” he said. “Do all women think like that? Do you think maybe I shouldn’t drive a truck?” I know he’s totally serious, so I can’t laugh and blow this.
"I think you shouldn’t worry about what anybody thinks and drive what makes you happy. You change your mind about what kind of vehicle you want to drive at least ten times a day anyway." Thinking I’ve dodged the bullet, I let out a secret sigh when he says, "That’s true. Thanks, mom."
As we start to move away to go into the grocery store, he stops me. “Mom?” he asks. “Mmmm?” I say, mind already drifting towards the grocery list and how we’re going to carry it all home without our car. “Well, dad drives a truck now…” Oh, shit, I think, here it comes. “So does that mean he has a small penis? I mean, you would know, right? Since you guys were married and all.” And the bullet slams me right between the eyes.
"Well," I say, stalling for time, because always being honest with your child does not mean you discuss his father’s penis size with him, "he didn’t always drive a truck, did he? When he was younger, he had a muscle car, then we had the Neon, and he had the jeep…" "Yeah," he said darkly, "Until they repossessed it." Moving away from that not so happy time, I said, "It doesn’t matter whether someone’s penis is big or not. It’s like sword fighting." Ahh, I think. Back on solid ground. "It’s not the size of the sword, it’s how you wield it. If you’re not good with a sword, it doesn’t matter what size it is, it’s just a sword." Thinking I’ve swum out of the shark infested waters, I turn to go.
"But mom," he argues. "If you ARE good with a sword, it’s better to have a bigger one than a smaller one, because it gives you more reach and a better chance of winning." Fuck. I just can’t win. Must remember to find a better analogy for him the next time this conversation rolls around. Because it will. "Ahhh," I say, "but a little sword can move rapidly, find more access points and has more opportunities for quick strikes than a long sword. It can block, and sometimes even break a long sword."
"Mom, are we talking about swords, or are we talking about penises? Because now I’m confused. A long sword is still better than a short sword. You’re still going to win with a long sword every time."
"True," I countered. "But when you love someone, the size of your schlong doesn’t matter at all." He laughs, like I knew he would. Little boys love hearing new ways to refer to their penises. I try and dole them out sparingly so he gets a good giggle now and then. "Listen, do you want to get a gumball?"
Finally, with those little magic words, we’re off an adult topic and back to childhood again, where you might just get the black gumball and win a prize. Bumper stickers and penis sizes forgotten for the moment, we move off to claim his gumball. I know at some point, this conversation will come back and bite me in the ass. He doesn’t talk about this kind of stuff with his dad. They simply don’t have the same relationship, mostly because of of his dad’s ten year battle with alcoholism, anger management problems and a lot of broken promises. Trust takes a lot of time to rebuild when you’ve lost it with your child. I just hope I’m doing a good enough job of being both parents. It’s not an easy thing to do.
As the gumball whirls down the chamber, he crosses his fingers and opens the lid to find a red one. “Red’s good,” he says, not really caring if he gets the black one or not. He just likes chewing gum. “Dad doesn’t really have a small penis, does he?”
Copyright © 2011 The Reluctant Optimist
I don’t want to laugh at family difficulties but your analogies killed me lmfao!
The moment the Oreo cookies start to separate from their creamy center in the milk is the scariest for anyone.