I did not have a brother growing up. I had  three soft-spoken sisters. Our home was adorned with Barbies, Care Bears and fake jewelry. We would sit for hours playing and putting makeup on each other. Oftentimes, you could find us picking apple blossoms and tulips while skipping through the forest in our matching outfits.

None of this stopped me from wanting a son. In fact, I was so curious about raising a boy, I longed for one—really longed for one and was blessed with two (as well as a sweet girl smack dab in the middle).

I quickly learned that I knew nothing about raising boys, and especially nothing about penises.

I have stumbled upon some very startling things I want to share with you because nobody shared them with me. If they had, there would have been fewer calls to my pediatrician and less panic attacks. Things like:

1. They Might Get an Erection Very Early On

At like, 2 weeks old. This may shock and horrify you, but it is normal. You do not need to worry; there is nothing wrong. It does not mean they will have erectile dysfunction at a young age because they had too many erections very early in life (not that I asked).

However, it does make it easier for them to pee in their eye during a diaper change, so you are going to want to move fast.

2. If Something Gets Wrapped Around It, It May Hurt

Before they can talk and tell you what is wrong, it is heart-wrenching to see your child in pain. If your sweet boy is bent over, fussy, or pointing to his tummy or private area, check the penis, especially before rushing him to the emergency room because you think he has a roaring case of appendicitis. It is a possibility that something is wrapped around it. That something is usually a human hair wound so tightly around the appendage, you will wonder how in the hell you will get it off. Just grab your magnifying  glass and tweezers, and you should do just fine.

3. It Could Disappear

Especially if you have a deliciously, chubby baby with lots of extra rolls.

One morning while changing my son’s diaper, there was just a small circle where his penis was supposed to be. I panicked and called our pediatrician. “I can’t see my son’s penis” is what came out when I heard her voice on the other end of the phone. I felt utterly ridiculous, but did not know how else to word it. She chuckled and told me she got calls like this all the time, and it would come out from hiding again soon. She then told me to strategically place two fingers on either side of the fat pad that his penis was snuggling in and—voila!—it would reappear.

So, don’t worry if your son’s penis disappears. Totally normal!

4. They Might Cry Because Daddy’s Is Bigger

If your son ever showers with Daddy, there may come a day when he realizes they look different in that general area. He may get very sad because Daddy’s penis is bigger.

Now, hopefully Daddy can just explain this is because Daddy is all grown up, and his penis will fill out as he gets bigger and look more like Daddy’s, so he shouldn’t worry.

However, if Daddy is so pleased with his son’s remarks and tells you Junior is jealous of his manhood, while drying himself off and checking himself out in the mirror as you rush to the bathroom to see why your son is crying, you may be the one who has to comfort him about the upsetting size difference.

5. When They Learn to Talk, It Will Be a Big Topic of Conversation

If it is sticking up, they will tell you. If it is stuck to their leg, they will tell you. If they are worried because their scrotum is lopsided, they will tell you. If it is sweaty, they will tell you. If they stretch it out like a piece of taffy, they will tell you. If it stings from a chlorinated pool, they will tell you. If any of these things are happening in a public place, it doesn’t matter, they will tell you.

6. They Might Measure It

Little boys like to measure things. If this is the case with your little tyke, invest in some soft measuring tapes. These are so much safer for measuring things in general, but especially if they decide to measure their little dingy.

7. They’ll Ask Why Some Penises Look Different

Some have foreskin, some don’t. I never thought much about this until my son asked (at the dinner table) why the boy at the beach had a penis that was a different style than his.

I explained circumcision (because suddenly my husband had to use the bathroom) to my son, and much to my surprise, he was very serious about this subject. He just really wanted to know why they looked different. He then went on to explain he was very happy about the style of penis he had, which is great because I have no idea how I would have rectified the situation if he wanted to change his penis style.

So, you could say the most important thing I have learned thus far is that penises are a huge deal, even when they are the size of a Tic Tac.

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