Issues such as itchy... well... you know. Itchy man parts.
I am sitting in bed, reading through email, Zach is sitting next to me, telling me about school... when Ethan jumps onto the bed and squeezes his way between us. He is, as usual, in just his underwear. He lies on his back, head nuzzled against me... and then... it begins. The Man Itch.
Ethan: Mom... my thingy itches.
I look towards him itching his "thingy" and sorta lean back. I don't know about itchy thingys.
Me: Oh. Well... uhhh...
Zach: Where does it itch Ethan?
Thank God - someone who knows something about itchy thingys.
Me: What do you mean where does it itch? His thing itches.
Zach: Looks over at me like, "just let me handle this okay?" I know it itches. I need to know where it itches. Like does it itch on the side, or do his balls itch?
I look at him with a mixture of disgust and wonder. Who knew this was so complex?
Me: Okay Ethan? So where does it itch?
Ethan: Right here. He keeps itching over his underwear. It seems sorta rough to me.
Me: I look at Zach. Is that okay for him to do?
Zach: Mom. It's fine.
Me: Okay show mom where it itches.
Without hesitation, Ethan pulls the front of his underwear down (he is still lying on the bed)... He continues itching... and then sorta... Well... sorta just lets go of it. And then it kinda flops around and... lands.
Zach and I lean in for a closer look.
Me: Oh my! It looks really red on the side. Is that okay?
Zach: Yes. It's fine. It's okay.
Me: Maybe we should put something on it.
Zach: Mom. He's fine. Ethan, it's fine.
Ethan: Continuing to itch with more vigor. But it weewy weewy itches.
Me: Zach! It really really itches him! That can't be okay. Ethan. Go show your dad where it itches. Tell him to put something on it.
Zach: Mom. He doesn't need anything on it. Sometimes it just itches.
Me: But he is itching it so much!
Zach: Sometimes it just really itches.
Me: That much?
Me: So what do you do?
Zach: You itch it.
Me: Why does it itch?
Zach: The underwear rubbing against it sometimes makes it itch.
Me: That's kinda sad. I mean, it's all just hanging out there - for the underwear to irritate it.
It must itch a lot.
Zach: It does.
We pause and look down at Ethan, scratching away.
Zach: Well... most people try to be more subtle about it.