Mommy, Where’s Your Meatball? A Tale About Testicles + Tips for Discussion | Epic Mommy Adventures

Mommy, Where’s Your Meatball? A Tale About Testicles + Tips for Discussion

The Ramblings of a Single Mom with a Sick Child
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Micah is completely fascinated with his body right now. At this point, he must have explored nook and cranny of his little body. There are times when he is quiet in another room, and I’ll yell out to see what he’s up to, only to have him run into my room pulling his underwear and his pants up. He was probably somewhere exploring his body. I can only imagine what I’ll walk in on when he’s a teenager.

I’m all about being upfront and discussing everything with him.  We’ve had the talk already and he understands that him and other boys have penises, and Mommy and other girls has a vagina. We’ve gone through him exposing himself in public (yep, it happened – nope, I’m not going to share anymore about it. I’m still horrified.) and the privacy talk that quickly came thereafter, and we’ve overanalyzed the fact that he has a penis and I have a vagina, and even that both men and women have breasts and they all come in different shapes and sizes.

We even had the conversation about people coming in different sizes and shapes after he announced that “I had a big belly and a big booty” as I came out of the shower one day. His face was scrunched in serious thought and confusion as he said this, which made me even more inclined to have the conversation with him. I’m not sure if that conversation truly stuck with him or not, but I wanted to at least start having those conversations with him.

So what exactly is the new craze then? His testicles, or as only my son would dub them, “my meatballs”.

Mommy, Where's Your Meatball-

He’s been exploring his testicles for the past few weeks, and I was waiting for the question to come – “I have meatballs. Why don’t you, Mommy?” Yet, it didn’t. But my son tends to do everything in his own time, so I just waited.

I wasn’t going to push the topic until the question came up.

I finally started to relax, and not waiting on pins and needles waiting for him to ask the question.

One day, I stepped out the shower to him sitting on the potty trying to get a good look at his testicles. He seemed to find a comfortable enough position to get a glimpse – he was pushed back all the way on his potty seat with one foot up on the seat and the other off to the side, and his penis shoved to the side with one hand and the other hand grabbing his testicles for dear life – and he looked up at me when I opened the shower curtain. Before I could even say anything, he gasped and yelled, “Mommy, where’s your meatball? Where did it go? Did you lose it? Did it go down the drain? We have to find it!”

He leaps off the potty – still with his penis in one hand and his testicles in the other – and pulls the shower curtain all the way back, and begins exploring the tub. “Oh no Mommy! Your meatball is gone!”

He slid to the floor and he started to cry and whine. Then there were the tears – those tears were filled with grief and sadness over the loss of my non-existent testicles.

After the shock wore off, the hilarity of the entire situation took over me. I started laughing uncontrollably – I had to put my hands on the wall to avoid falling over. I laughed so hard that even my crying toddler stopped crying and watched me. His laughter soon followed.

You see, I imagined that he would ask the question at some point, but I had absolutely no idea he would think that I lost mine! I figured he would ask why he had testicles and I didn’t, but I never in a million years imagined that he would think that I had lost mine and that’s why I didn’t have any.

I finally calmed down and caught my breath. I got him all cleaned up, threw on some clothes, and we made our way to our “talking spot” – the dining room table – to talk. (The living room is too distracting with toys and the television, so the dining room table is the best place to go for us.)

Before we dove in to the topic at hand, I decided to do a reminder lesson. We talked about penises and vaginas, we talked about differences between girls and boys, we talked about different sizes and shapes – it’s always a good time to get things in perspective and see what we need a refresher on. He agreed and added input where needed, and finally, it was time to move forward.

ME: Mommy didn’t lose her testicles. Mommies and girls don’t have testicles. Only boys have testicles.

MICAH: Oh, so you didn’t lose your meatball?

ME: Nope, Mommy never had testicles.

MICAH: So Micah has a penis and meatballs?

ME: Micah has a penis and testicles?

MICAH: Micah has a penis and ‘test-cles’.

ME: Yep.

MICAH: Mommy, I have 2 and you have 1. I’m the winner!

Well, at least he got the ghist of the conversation and he could stop grieving the loss of my testicles. I’ll leave the conversation about the woman’s reproductive anatomy on the inside is similar to the man’s reproductive anatomy on the outside. That’s a conversation for a completely different day and time – possibly after I gulp down a big glass of wine.

 

5 Tips for Dealing with Anatomy Questions from Your Toddler

1. Be prepared for anything. You never know what your toddler will do or say about their body or even yours.

2. Make it simple. Find the simplest explanation and provide that to your toddler. Don’t overload them with information that they won’t begin to process and understand. There’s time to get more detailed later.

3. Stick with the physical and external. No need to go in to deep explanations about what things do and how they work – that can come in time. Focus on the physical characteristics. Whether you have a boy or a girl, they will be fascinated with the physical and external characteristics of their body parts, so keep it at that level.

4. You don’t have to know it all. You may feel sometimes that you aren’t sure what you’re doing and how you should handle the conversation. There’s no right or wrong way to initiate a conversation with your child. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to show that you’re interested in what they’re talking about and offer some guidance in the best way that you know how. Then dive into some books and the world of Google search as they get older lol.

5. Name. Explain. Give rules. Repeat. This is something that someone shared with me before Micah was born, and now it’s starting to make sense as Micah gets older. With each question your child asks about their body, give a name to it that they can use when talking about it. It depends on how you want to do it – I use the terms “penis” and “vagina” but some parents like to use “pee-pee” or “wee-wee”. Use the terms you feel most comfortable using. Then explain what it is and at a very high-level, what it is used for. Give the rules – you have to only explore your body in private, not in the store, or in the living room full of friends. And repeat – make sure to reiterate what was taught to make sure your toddler gets the gist of it.

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About Natasha

Hi, I'm Natasha! I'm a 30-something Program Manager and blogger at Epic Mommy Adventures. Most importantly, I'm a single mom to my adorable son, who drives me nuts in one moment and melts my heart in the next. I enjoy sharing our epic stories, giving advice to other single moms, and sharing my co-parenting woes. I also share blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more. Join the fun!

Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, I about died laughing! You just never know what kids will come up with!

    It sounds like you’ve got a good handle on this motherhood thing! It’s so important to discuss things like this early and often–no matter how uncomfortable it is. It’s our job as parents to send our young out into the world with as much accurate information as possible.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Brandyn! I am definitely a believer in being very open and honest with him. I want him to learn as much as possible, especially during those very uncomfortable conversations. Thanks for the kudos! 🙂

  2. great tips! I always talked to Dino about his body parts and even gave him a small mirror once to really look at himself. He once asked when he turned three, why I didn’t have what he had. I said I have a vagina. He aksed to see it and I of course change the subject. Not ever…EVER.

  3. This is seriously THE BEST!!! I’m laughing hysterically with you at the thought of a toddler checking the tub in anguish looking for your meatballs. I am not there yet with my little guy, but I’m sure some form of hilarity will ensure when we explore what girls and boys have and don’t have. Thanks for all the tips!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Lissette! 🙂 Even in the most serious situations, my son makes me laugh. I’m just glad that he is grasping the concepts, and that we can have those open and honest conversations. Thanks for the kudos! 🙂

  4. OMG Natasha! This will be me one day, I’m sure of it! I had to chuckle a bit while reading this story, because it was so cute. I know what I’m in store for being a boomy myself. Thanks so so much for sharing! 🙂

    • I think us as parents will have to go through something similar at least once in their lives. I look forward to reading your story in the years to come! 🙂

  5. I am hysterical. I have three sons and a husband so am the only female in the house. Just tonight my two year old asked where my penis was. I explained boys have a penis, girls have a vagina. He didn’t care what I said he kept asking what happened to my penis haha.

  6. I laughed. I’m sorry. But boys are so pickin’ cute.
    Just this past summer, my nine year old said, “mom, I know how the sperm gets to the egg.” I nonchalantly replied, “really, how?”
    Much to my 11 year old horror, the youngest brother explained in detail.

    I was shocked, thinking an older brother or friend might the blame for his new knowledge, so I asked him who told him.

    He replied, “no one. I just figured there must be a reason for the girl’s hole. So I figured it out!”

    Oh my.

    • Every time I think about it, I laugh, so I completely understand lol.
      Oh wow! Your son is amazing to have figured that all out. I would have been completely dumfounded hearing that from my 9-year old. I guess I should prepare, though, because my son may do the exact same thing. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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