Were you aware the testicles are not just for fashion? It’s not just that they look good in jeans. Those charmingly elephantine orbs of silly putty that I nuzzle and seriously consider putting in my mouth are functional as well. Anatomical drawings, biology courses and the general continuation of the species would lead one to suspect this, and their supposed functionality was the reason we were on birth control, but to actually come face to balls with the reality that those little Christmas ornaments that parade through the living room while looking for clean clothes in the morning are responsible for more than very dirty porn scene imaginations is a bit startling.
None of my strap-ons ever got anybody stuck in a situation where a dainty, delicate flower Partner passes up Best Lesbian Erotica to marinate in a bubble bath with a heavy, likely-to-get-soaked parenting tome, Who’s Your Daddy: And Other Writings On Queer Parenting. The gametes straight out of the weakest point of male martial arts and splits-doing had me reading The Book of Dads in the living room armchair, with my elbow propped on top of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood and Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All. These books are all, actually rather charming. Just as charming as the testicles.
The quaint notion that the realities of reproduction astonish absolutely everyone who falls prey to them is refreshing. It is not just I, the rabid queer, who is surprised by the physiological signposts that come with having a kid. It is a delight to read about lesbian moms’ intense, instinctive, chemical protectiveness over their young. Timid but persistent jealousies over the closeness of breastfeeding are not unique to dykes, and insane, obsessive detailed wonder over offspring is not the sole property of birth parents. Neither are impulses to throw the screamers overboard.
All candid parents – adoptive, straight, accidental – are struggling to come to grips with how snot, poop and precocious inappropriateness lead to both over-protective world wars committed for love or serene nap time world peace inspirations. The tales of tiny failures followed by raucous successes and the anecdotes of botched expectations leading to triumphant parenting prowess appeal to me more from the books aimed at dads than from the books aimed at moms. Certainly, plenty of moms are just as impudent in the face of expectations as many dads, and vice versa, but the literary stereotypes lead me to relish the books about the dichotomies of fatherhood and to only sneak eyeballs full of books that I will continue to pretend not to own – A Girlfriend’s Guide to Whatever and Skinny Bitch Tells You How To Do Everything Right.
I would never laugh sympathetically at a pregnant woman’s horror over newly gained weight. I’m definitely way above hiding the grossest parts of pregnancy from Partner, because I know that he should and would support every little detail of my leaking, expanding glory during this natural and empowering process. I am certainly not disgusted by my own bodily changes, and I would never dream of marveling over the tiny differences between the biological sexes that are so magnificently magnified in a scenario like this. Those things aren’t funny or interesting. I would never read about those.
But the appeal of loving eye-rolling over the uncontrollable hijinks of one’s spawn and Partner has always been one of the biggest perks of parenting for me. One of the best parts of being an expert manny is saying “Yep. I know all about the ridiculous thing you just experienced” and beaming at the thrashing, barfing, swearing or otherwise misbehaving kids. As a manny, I was as close as I could get to the inside of parenthood, and now I might actually get join the suddenly even more valid masses by owning one of my own! What a great club – to sit around looking tired and disheveled but radiant with love over toddlers’ antics, partners’ wildly ridiculous parenting styles and the trials of inane domestic life. With a real, bona fide, full time license. I’m not faking it anymore. I have one that’s not a loaner. Oh, to throw my hands up in the air with the joy of permanent adoring annoyance! Bliss.
I know that there are real fears and horrible smells and handfuls of heartbreaks – the books point those out too – but I assume that my standard compulsion to laugh neurotically at myself will take over and I will quickly smirk at my own foolish attempt to open the creaking door that stands between me and definitive proof that the Little Alien is still breathing. I cannot address my terrors effectively. I will move forward to join the comedy club staunchly and blindly hoping that I am not saddled with any of the bigger tragedies of parenthood. I must focus on the hilarious parts that come along with the surprise that those aesthetic and sneaky testicles did something to me while I was distracted by all the moaning and hair pulling. What next? Nipple rings, wrist cuffs and vibrators will also prove potent? Heaven forbid.