The Naked Truth
Before I had children, I assumed I’d be the kind of mother who’d never be embarrassed by my child’s sexual nature. There’d be no question or behavior that would render me speechless, and I’d be just too evolved to blurt out the ridiculous warnings issued back in my grandparents’ time (“Don’t play with that thing; it’ll fall off!”).
After all, my parents were open about sex with me, so why would it be difficult to be open about sex with my own child?
I’m humbled to admit that the first time I noticed my newborn’s sexual nature, those good intentions were suddenly on a time machine heading back to the 1950s.
As I changed Oliver’s diaper one morning when he was about 6 months old, I noticed that his penis was red and swollen, up to maybe four times its normal size. It was enormous — for a baby penis, that is. My sleep-deprived brain burst into a frenzy of maternal paranoia: Could it be an infection? A blockage? I shrieked for my husband, who came in, took one look, and laughed. “He’s got an erection,” he said. As if on cue, Oliver grabbed hold of his penis and grinned at me.
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