My wife loves it when I can’t answer simple general knowledge questions, and her latest one had me stumped. She also enjoys seeing me squirm, so she asked the same question again: “When did your balls drop?”
“I can’t remember,” I replied.
My wife sighed and said, “Our son is heading towards puberty, and we need to know these things.”
“The only major event that I remember from my puberty years is being allowed to walk into town on my own for the first time. And I don’t think the journey was in any way hampered by my balls.”
“Were you 11, or 12-years-old…what?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never kept a detailed record of my testicles’ movements. And even if I did, I don’t think I’d still have it. It’s not the kind of document you hoard deep into middle age.”
“So why do you still keep a pair of knickers in your memory box?”
It was at this point that the other guests at the dinner table started to look uncomfortable, so my wife switched the conversation away from my knicker fetish and onto the price of our son’s new school uniform. Her smooth topic transition was masterful, and I hope that one day I will be able to emulate her skills and steer a chat about vaginal dryness effortlessly into a debate about the Euro.
Puberty is on the horizon, and times are changing. I constantly find myself harking back to the carefree days of being a parent with two small children; halcyon days when I could get through a whole meal without being quizzed about my plums.
That night my wife told me I had to have a chat with our son about sex.
“I don’t want to do it,” I said, “he’s too young.”
“It’s your job,” she answered, like a factory foreman ordering me to sweep up.
“What’s your job then?” I asked.
“I have to tell our daughter about periods; that’s far worse.”
“OK, but who gets to teach them about tying shoe laces?”
My wife looked down her nose at me in a stern, matronly fashion and said, “Let’s see how you get on with sex before we move you onto shoe laces.”
I always thought that when my kids were old enough to know about sex, they would be able to tie their own shoe laces, but this hasn’t happened. I don’t know if I’m behind the national curve here; there are no statistics available to make a comparison.
I perched myself at the bottom of my son’s bed; he was getting settled under the covers and re-arranging his teddies. He has a revolving door policy where a different teddy gets the opportunity to lay next to his head each night.
He eventually settled on a fluffy dog that he’s named: Sir Flannels, and asked: “What do you want to talk about tonight, Dad?” and gave Sir Flannels a big hug.
I took a deep breath and said: “I need to talk to you about something serious…alone,” and I motioned with my eyes towards Sir Flannels. My son took the hint, covered Sir Flannels’ ears and looked up at me with his big, innocent blue eyes, and then I told him all about penetrative sex.