I remember the first time he smiled, crawled, cut his first tooth, talked, called me “Dada,” walked, got his hair cut, attended his first professional Boston sporting event and his first day of preschool. Checking off milestones as Will gets older is another way to mark the time, to look at progress and to celebrate. Because with each milestone crossed off the list, it’s one more achievement. Another joyous occasion. One more happy Kodak moment.
Until this week anyways.
Unlike some of the more routine milestones, there are other, less talked about ones. Gender specific milestones. And since Will is a boy, I’m talking about masculine milestones. Guy stuff. Like when Will was a baby and found his third leg for the first time, pulling and stretching it out like taffy. Or the first time a boy discovers the sheer joy of peeing outside in the woods. It really is eons better than the mundane toilet.
You might be noticing a trend here. All the manly milestones I’ve mentioned involve—well, man parts. Yup, the almighty penis. We love our own schlongs and we become slightly obsessed with them from an early age. And when it comes to Will’s latest milestone, the penis comes into play once more.
Feety pajamas are a wonderful thing. I still remember wearing them as a kid and absolutely loving them. Will is no different. We give Will a bath every night, but since the temperature has dropped lately, it’s not uncommon for him to climb out of the tub, towel off and then make a naked beeline for his room to change quickly into his pajamas. In a fit of shivers, Will hurriedly slips into his PJs and then climbs into bed, at which point we read him a few stories.
But a few nights ago, things went horribly wrong.
After Will’s bath and his scamper into the bedroom to put on dinosaur pajamas, MJ and I were in the other room while he got dressed. And that’s when we heard it—a blood-curdling scream that sent us both sprinting into his room. What we saw would’ve ordinarily made us laugh if we weren’t already so scared.
Will was crying and red-faced, hunched over in pain. His arms were inside his pajama sleeves as were his feet. But the front was still open and both of Will’s hands were cupping his twig and berries as he wailed. MJ was confused at first and kept asking him what was wrong. But I knew. Boy did I.
“Buddy,” I said as I bent down in pity. “Did you accidentally zip up your pee-pee?”
It was bound to happen. Little boys throw themselves into things with reckless abandon and a complete lack of fear. It’s only through bad experiences that painful lessons are learned. Every boy with front-zipping feety pajamas has learned that lesson at some point. And trust me, it’s one of those things you only have to experience once to remember forever.
Needless to say, getting into his PJs is no longer done in a haphazard or rushed manner. Quite to the contrary. After Will gets his arms and legs set, he cautiously pulls the zipper up with one hand. The other hand acts as a shield, protecting his package at all costs.
Granted, it’s tough because the Gouveia Curse is that of being so well-endowed it’s difficult NOT to get it caught in the zipper every time, but Will has learned to protect what’s important.