I do as good a job as I can as a dad, and I know I fall short of the mark plenty but I do try. I’ve heard it said that we learn how to parent from our own parents though I do not recall having a conversation with my parents as I have just had with mine over lunch.
I’m still away on holiday and on an all inclusive so have at this point in the day had a slushy strawberry daiquiri and two or three beers which might explain how the conversation came about. I’m not sure really.
Anyway, there we are tucking into lunch when the subject of gender alignment comes up. How? I’ll be buggered if I know, it just did. My kids are 9 and 12 so have to a degree been exposed to such things ever so slightly but for the most part it remains a matter of obliviousness at best and confusion at worse for them. Given their ages I am quite fine with this and I am happy to deal with things as they come up. As best I can I encourage my children to be tolerant and understanding of others and try not to make a big deal about such matters.
As I blundered through at one junction my son asked about transgender surgery, and at this point my wife was head down tucking into her lunch – probably expecting this to get rather odd knowing me as she does.
I have no idea why but for some reason I chose to try and explain penis inversion. Thing is, I don’t really know if that’s a thing. Well I do but I am particularly short of details. She looked on in horror, and the boys with some bemusement, as I chose to use an empty coca cola cup to explain how to invert a penis and turn it into a vagina whilst I had absolutely no idea what the devil I was on about.
I am a programmer not a surgeon. I’m not even a very good programmer so you can imagine how poor a penis inversion sex change surgeon I am. I think I used the word urethra at one point which made it sound wholly more convincing in my head but my wife’s exclaimation of “God Mike please stop” would indicate that it was not going as well as I had hoped. Instead I ploughed on though explaining how you can still take a pee if your penis has been inverted. I tell you, you’d be surprised the effort it takes to take a coca cola cup and invert it without ripping it asunder and causing them even more consternation than I already was.
By the time I was done they simply stared at me looking more confused than before I had started, and wondering why I had ruined a perfectly good cup. I am probably going to have to do a little research on the matter and see where I went wrong. With hindsight I think my choice of props was probably a bad move but they had earlier refused to go fetch me some hot dog sausages from the buffet so I had to use what was at hand.
Anyway, they don’t seem too scarred and they’re back in the pool now having a blast whilst I have another beer.