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January 15, 2010

I Can See Your Uterus

O'Keefe Men have a very special relationship with their penis.  They name them, have conversations with them, and, to quote Seinfeld, treat them like an amusement park.  They're your partner, your buddy, and in many cases your drunk roommate whom you inexplicably follow out on the town.

That's probably why the little mushroom caps bouncing around when boys run through sprinklers are silly and cute to us.  You expect boys to throw them around like tether balls and stick them in random places. By their very nature they're in your face, fronting and yelling "What up?"

But the vagina is mysterious, hidden somewhere in the dark nether regions below, conspicuous in its absence from sight.  To us they lack form, like ghosts or thoughts, and as such they exist as ideas to us, symbolic of whatever desire or fear we tend to project upon them.

I'm amazed at how dedicated my daughter is to remedying that.

Despite my protests, the kid insists on going commando at bed time.  She also has a number of nightgowns she likes to wear, which means that for an hour or so every morning and evening there's a high probability that we'll have front row seats at the Vagina Monologues.  As told by Carrot Top.  Naked.

And let me be clear: this isn't about Basic Instinct leg-uncrossings.  She stands on her head.  She sticks her ass in the air.  She touches her knees to her ears.  She's like a Cirque de Soleil performer at a proctologist appointment.

And she's not content to just show it off, either.  She slaps it.  She digs around in it.  She sniffs it.  She picks Cheerios out of it.  Nothing takes the mystery and majesty out of something like watching a curious 4 year old explore it like she's looking for chocolate chips.

We try to explain to Cheeky that it's inappropriate to sit on the couch like she's posing for Bob Guccione.  We explain that trying to "lick the smell off" your fingers is gross.  We strenuously point out how her vagina is private.  She nods her head, then wickedly turns over and does a slow-motion somersault. As hard as I try, I can't unsee that.

And yet again, the evidence that fatherhood changes a man piles up.  The continuous exposure (often in conjunction with an unmuffled fart) has utterly and irrevocably transformed my relationship with the vagina. I now clearly see it for what it is: the anatomical answer to a change purse.

Kids can teach you a lot.



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