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Baby Got Balls

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I am very proud of the relationship I have with my children. My son, in particular, has been very receptive to open communication. We have developed a great rapport and I pray that it remains strong throughout his childhood and adolescence.

One of the most important reasons I wanted to establish this rapport is because I firmly believe that you have to get kids used to talking with you early in life, especially if you want them to talk to you openly later on. You know, when things get tough. If I want him to tell me what’s wrong at 17, he needs to have a reason to believe that I’m approachable and willing to talk before that time. So, we practice. He has no problem asking me anything that crosses his mind.

And, that is how we end up with conversations like this:

“How big is your bladder?” my dear son asked me one night.

I told him it all depended on how much urine the bladder was holding. “It’s like a balloon. If there’s a lot of fluid in it, it gets big. If there’s not a lot in there, it’s smaller.”

“So, if it’s empty, how big?” he asked.

I made a circle with my thumb and index finger. “About this big most likely. Why?”

He looked at me with all the seriousness an 8-year old can muster. “Well, I have these two things that are like balls down here…” patting his groin.

I had to keep myself from laughing as I moved his hand up just a little higher. “This is where your bladder is. Those ‘balls’ are your testicles, sweetie. And, guess what? Some people do call them balls.”

“They do?”

“Yes, they do.”

Mr. Wide Eyes then asked what testicles are for.

“Your testicles produce sperm when you get a little older. Sperm is half of what is needed to make a baby.” I figured I’d offer up a little more information because I knew he’d ask.

“How does the sperm get from your testicles to where the baby is made?” Little Dude asked.

“Inside your body are these little tiny tubes that are all coiled up. They go from your testicles, meet up just below your penis, and then there’s just one tube. It takes the sperm from there to the end of your penis. It comes out there.”

LD didn’t believe me. He started to ask another question and stopped. Several times.

I asked him if he wanted to know more.

He looked at me and frowned. “Is this the part where girls are involved?”


“No, thanks. I’m done for now. I just really wanted to know if these balls were where all my pee is stored.”

“Nope, not there, buddy.”

“Okay, good. I don’t think I want to be playing with these if that’s where the urine is. I didn’t want to squeeze them and end up peeing my pants because of it.”

“Oh, okay.” What else could I say? “Um, just make sure, if you’re going to play with them that you do it at home and not out in public, okay?”

“No way, Mom! I wouldn’t do that. These are mine. I don’t want anyone else to see them.”

Yeah, yeah. He says that now. In a couple of years it’ll be a different story.

Boys are so much fun.

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About Joan Hunt

  • Oh Joan I’m sitting here chuckling away to myself. I have 3 little girls (the oldest is 6) and I’m taking the same hopeful position as you. Raise them from the start knowing they can ask anything with the hopes that at 17 the communication lines will be really good.

    But the questions now! Doesn’t it make you realize all of the things you’ve learned but take for granted?

  • chantal stone

    Joan, i LOVE this!! i laughed my head off…too cute!! i also practice open communication with my children. it’s so important to start early.

    my son is 10 and just last summer he asked me “mom….why does my penis get hard all the time? i can’t pee!” you can just imagine the questions that followed. i want him to feel free to ask me ANYTHING, and i always answer as honestly and completely as i can.

    the end of that conversation went something like this:

    him: “will it ever stop getting hard?”

    me: “uhh, no i don’t think so, in fact, as you get older it’ll probably happen a lot more often.”

    him: “i hate this”

    me: “don’t worry, when you get older, you’ll like it”.

    he gave me a puzzled look, giggled, and walked away.

    you have no idea how happy i was when my husband came home from Iraq!

  • Isn’t it great when open communication works? Still, we have to wait for those teen years to really see how things go.

    In the meantime, I try to keep my sense of humor, keep talking, and say a prayer when necessary.

  • chantal stone

    you’re right Joanie, but i think we’re on the right path.

  • I think so, too. It sure beats not answering a kid and then wondering why they never talk to you.