Parenting on display, and the case of the sore... um...


There are times when you find your parenting on display for those around to observe. This will oft invite opinions from others: thought, if you're lucky or they are kind. Spoken, if you, and they, are not. It is perhaps most disconcerting when you need to deal with the goings on of a more sensitive part of the anatomy. In public. In this situation, the stakes only get higher.

We strongly encourage our junior recipe testers to play sport. So they do. The eldest of our juniors plays soccer, and so on a Saturday morning, along with the rest of the parent and sibling martyrdom, we go along to watch. It should be stated that for those juniors not actually engaged on the field, there is something less than delight expressed about attending a game.

On Saturday, however, one of the juniors finally had good reason for his chagrin.

While we stood on the sidelines cheering and attempting not to provide too much refereeing advice, the non-playing juniors, along with some other long-suffering siblings, sat on grass at the side of the field playing. Sometime into the second half we were distracted by some yelling. The youngest of our juniors walked towards us with a pained expression.

"My penis hurts," he announced in his loudest voice.

I walked towards him, mainly in an attempt to get out of earshot of the gathered parent-crowd. If we were going to commence a discussion of a sensitive nature, I figured this best done without an audience.

By the time I reached him he had his hand down the front of his jeans and was looking more distressed. I picked him up and walked further away, attempting to soothe and comfort. I may have suggested a small drink of water? He shrieked and became rather distressed.

There are some items of clothing that civilised folk don't usually remove in polite company. Your jacket, for instance, may be perfectly acceptable to doff. Your pants not so much. It was however, quickly apparent, that no amount of soothing talk was likely to aid the situation. The clothes were going to have to come off.

Now, in my defence, my reluctance to believe there was any real problem does stem from the junior in question and his propensity towards histrionics and hypochondria. So you will understand my surprise when I found a large black ant in his small pair of undies. The ant was quickly squashed and the soothing recommenced.

Given the commotion we were causing, several parents enquired after the poor unfortunate junior's wellbeing. Four spectator fathers winced when we informed them of the predicament. One watched the remainder of the game with his legs crossed.

Thank you to the parent martyrdom who managed firstly to locate an icepack, but most heroically, didn't flinch when they realised where it needed to go.