My little guy has pretty stereotypical taste when it comes to toys. Cars, dinosaurs (he calls them "roars"), and bouncy balls are among his very favorite things, but recently, my clever 2-year-old found something he likes to play with even more, and it's not quite as socially acceptable to bring out in public. Yep, it's his very own penis, and his obsession is driving me crazy.
This is how I imagine how the thought process works in that cute little head of his. Beautiful day at the park: perfect time to pull it out, as a little breeze would feel great on my privates. Changing time: Mom, don't even think about putting a diaper back on. I won't give up this full access without a fight. Naptime: if I take my diaper off, I can soothe myself to sleep with this fun thing my mom tries to hide inside it. Watching a favorite cartoon: I know what would make this even more enjoyable! 11 p.m.: whoops, I fell asleep while playing with myself and peed all over my bed. Better let Mom and Dad know by screaming as loud as I possibly can. 4 a.m.: oops, did it again.
Look, I don't want to body-shame the kid, but when the above scenario happened last week, forcing my husband to fully change our son's clothing and bedding twice in one night, we knew we had to do something to get our kid's hands out of his pants. Stashing away his two-piece pajamas and forcing him back into zip-up onesies was an easy, if not welcome (for him, at least), solution for the soaked sheets. The daytime penis play, however, is proving to be a harder fix, still causing daily messes from my far-from-potty-trained kid.
I asked all my mom friends who have sons slightly older than mine for advice, and unfortunately, only a few had dealt with or heard of anyone dealing with similar issues (sounds like puberty in my house is going to be so much fun!).
"I heard about one girl who used to duct tape her son's diapers on," a funny and totally serious friend told me, but considering my son already has sensitive skin, that didn't seem like a great long-term solution. Plus, I can hardly get the boy to sit still to put on a t-shirt. I can't imagine the wrestling that would be involved in trying to wrap his midsection in heavyweight tape.
I called all the local baby stores looking for lightweight onesies I could put under his clothes, but they all only carry them in sizes up to 24 months, and my off-the-charts in both height and weight monster toddler is already straining the seams of his 3Ts. After some online research, I managed to find a European label that sold sleeveless onesies in larger sizes, but after spending $19 for a package and two-day shipping and receiving only one flimsy onesie, I realized that wasn't the greatest solution either.
With penis-blocking tops hard to come by, I turned my attention to his bottoms. While it's already hit 80 degrees a few times in our usually late-to-Summer Midwestern state, I've yet to buy him any new shorts. I figure last year's stash, with their supertight waistlines, are probably working as a decent barrier to entry.
I'm hoping that my little guy's obsession with his private parts is just a stage, one that I'm sure will come back with a vengeance once puberty hits. But for now, I guess I'll just be that mom at the park, on the beach, and at the grocery store you hear begging her toddler to keep his penis in pants, so please, try not to judge us.