Being a woman and not having a penis left me at a serious disadvantage when it came to explaining puberty and sex education to my eldest son. I thought I’d experienced enough embarrassment to last me a lifetime during labour. The last thing I remember about labour was looking down at my feet and seeing a random stranger sewing my vagina back up. I didn’t think anything could top that amount of embarrassment, not even a smear test. Imagine my complete mortification when I had to take my son to see the Doctor because he had a sore willy and couldn’t wee properly.
Like any mom, I’d already self diagnosed it as a water infection and expected the Doctor to write out a prescription for Antibiotics, how wrong was I? After an examination, the diagnosis was to be a lot more sinister.
As soon as I heard the F word or ‘foreskin’ I knew we were in trouble. My son and I both looked at each other with a fear in our eyes I never want to experience again. Neither of us wanted to be in that Doctor’s surgery, especially with each other. After we were informed that boys need to start pulling their foreskin back to ensure a thorough clean, I cursed his dad for not taking him. By the time we got to the word ‘circumcision’ I was ready to pass out. This was even worse than when my three year old stuck all my sanitary towels over his jumper and I didn’t realize till we got to nursery. After our sex education lesson, I nodded in the right places and we left with red faces and no Antibiotics. In my defence, I haven’t got a penis and trying to explain to a ten year old how I know about a man’s foreskin is a conversation I don’t want to get into. Life with girls must be so much easier, because at least I know what they are going through. After the dreaded walk of shame past the Rottweiler receptionist, who I had fought with to get an emergency appointment, I tried to explain to my son about the foreskin in the only way a woman knows how…… ‘Son, next time, ask your dad’..