Jack’s working theory of the known universe is an adapted version of Copernican Heliocentrism called Copernican Phalliocentrism in which everything revolves around his penis; in other words his penis is the center of the universe.
In his defense this is a phase that all heterogametic humans cursed with that damned Y sex chromosome go through in their lives starting at the moment of conception, lasting until they develop some form of erectile dysfunction and start playing homoerotic acoustic jam sessions in abandoned road houses with other males suffering from ED then continuing right up until their final breath. But like I said it’s just a phase. (Which reminds me, I’m looking for a flaccid upright bass player and a keyboardist experienced with a penis pump. Prior knowledge of Elvis Presley tunes is required. If anyone is interested you can contact me through the website.)
Unlike my sterile upbringing in which the proper medically correct term of penis was euphemistically replaced with sanitary G-rated versions like Tootie, and to a lesser extent Blair, Jo and Natalie, we chose not to use baby-talk or alternative terms with Jack when it came to bodily functions or private body parts; mostly because saying things like, “Jack, do you need to make a wee-wee with your pee-pee on the potty?” made me feel like a French Bathroom Attendant.
Early on in the learning process there were times when he struggled to correctly say the words we’d taught him; like when he called (and incidentally still calls) his testicles “tescalators” or when he’d say, “Boys have a penis, girls have a pajama.” These however were just unintentional transpositions and portmanteaus that are to be expected I suppose when using anatomically correct language with a child who called Santa “Hair Net” until he was 3 years old. Mixed up words notwithstanding, Jack’s Phalliocentric love affair with his own genitals began at a very young age.
Even before he was out of diapers we would often find him with his hands Al Bundied down the front of his pampers either rooting for truffles or holding up westbound traffic on the Verrazano Bridge digging around for toll money. Initially we used the time-honored “Wakey Wakey Hands off Snakey” expression as our bell of Pavlovian response to condition him to extract his fumbling hands from the depths of his nether regions whenever we said it to him. Over time though, the ringing bell de-evolved into a simple two-word command, “Jack. Hands.”
Last week one morning when I came home from the gym and was about to head upstairs to get ready for work I passed Jack who was sitting on the couch watching TV with both arms buried elbow deep down the front of his pants. Reactively I said to him, “Jack. Hands.” to which he inched his arms even further into his underwear.
“Jack please take your hands out of your pants.”
“Daddy I can’t.”
“Why can’t you?”
And here is where for the first time Jack said something that disgusted, impressed and fascinated me at the same time. Hands still moving around like he had a Rubik’s cube stashed under his tescalators or was text messaging his lower intestine he looked up at me and said, “I’m using my penis as a tool to scratch my butt.”
As a father of two boys you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have one of them somehow using his penis as a tool to scratch his butt. I changed him when he was in diapers and still bathe him on a semi-regular basis so I’m familiar with the tool he was working with and I honestly cannot figure out how he could use it to scratch his butt.
What type of Ron Popeil Swiss Army Knife Multiuse Kitchen Utensil is he smuggling around in those Spiderman Boxer Briefs of his and what else does this thing do? Does it slice, does it dice, can it cut a tin can in half and still be sharp enough to make julienne fries?
I suppose the truth is that I’m just jealous, but those are just the facts of life I guess. One day you can Go-Go Gadget your genitalia and the next you’re trying fill out the rhythm section of your homoerotic roadhouse cover band.
Speaking of which, I have rehearsal in a few minutes. Those Elvis covers aren’t easy, it takes a lot to get them right.