How exactly do you explain to a 3-year-old that Mommy's magical healing kiss powers come with certain use clauses and limitations?
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This post was written by Beth Woolsey from Five Kids is a Lot Of Kids and illustrated by Amber Dusick from Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™.

I was halfway down the stairs, one 3-year-old in hand, when the screaming from the other 3-year-old started.

I immediately knew the cause.

Seconds earlier, Cai had unzipped his footed pajamas, and he was in the process of zipping them back up so he could come downstairs with me.

You can see where this is headed, right?

Here's what I heard:

"Mama, mama, mama, mama. Wait for me! I coming!"


...and what should've ended in "...iiipp," was cut short and ended in cries of pain.


I was already dashing back up the stairs when my eyes confirmed what my ears already knew.


Cai had zipped a bit of his penis into his PJ's.

I don't know why, exactly, but I really never expected to have a There's Something About Mary moment with one of my sons.

So I did what any reasonable mother would do, and I unzipped him.


The injury wasn't so bad. Honest. Just a little red sore.

But Cai was confused, bewildered and definitely offended on his penis's behalf.

Some parents offer a cookie or a lollipop in similar situations. It distracts the child, cuts short the crying and it's soothing. Not wanting to pass along eating issues, though, we don't use this approach. Ever ever ever.

So I bundled Cai on my lap and sat right there on the top step to rock him, and he started to cry and to chant.


Sob. Sob. "My penis is NOT OK." (Emphasis on NOT OK.)

Sob. Sob. "My penis is NOT OK."

Sob. Sob. "My penis is NOT OK."

Thus ensued bereft wailing and gnashing of teeth. If we had had rags and ashes at hand, Cai would have donned them.

We spent the next several minutes with the ritual chant resounding throughout the house. And eventually, Cai wound down to the sniffles. Sniffle. "My penis..." Shudder... "is not OK." Sniffle.

I was able to slow the rocking a bit. We finally moved downstairs to the couch. Twin brother Cael got in a few hugs and awkwardly adorable pats to his brother's head to express his sympathy.


And then, when Cai was able to speak again some 30 minutes later, he said:








And just when I thought the situation was improving...

How exactly do you explain to a 3-year-old that Mommy's magical healing kiss powers come with certain use clauses and limitations?

I went with the simplest approach:



©2009-2012 Beth Woolsey, Illustrations ©2012 Amber Dusick

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