Frank and Beans

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Something I never thought I’d have say to another person: “Dude, put your pants on. You’re gonna burn your penis.”

Because most nights, my son wants to help me cook dinner. But some nights, he doesn’t want to wear clothes. As if trying to keep all of his fingers off of the hot stove wasn’t enough, now I’ve got another appendage to worry about. I’m not sure why the kid likes to be naked, but from what I can tell from informal surveys, it’s a universal issue with preschool boys. I mean, I get it. Penises are fun, why wouldn’t you want to just hang out with it? But I’m getting a little tired of looking out the window, and seeing my kid with his pants down in the front yard…peeing on the fence…waving at the neighbors.

Sure, he’s young enough now for the little old ladies walking their dogs by our house to laugh it off. But the kid’s getting older. It’ll go from awkwardly cute to awkwardly illegal pretty damn quick.

I blame my wife, who insists that his predilection for nudity is perfectly normal for a boy his age. Maybe. But I’m skeptical; she wasn’t raised with the sexual hang-ups and body guilt that have made the fully-functioning adult that I am today. I had the benefit of being raised in both a traditional Southern household and a Catholic household. In my mind, anything you do naked is a mortal sin. Even taking a shower requires three Hail Mary’s. We thought the Jesus statue at our church was a little risqué. I mean, why can’t he wear a t-shirt?

So I’m doing my best to negate my wife’s well-adjusted approach to innocent nudity and instill the same hang-ups in my children that I enjoyed. I may permanently fuck them up emotionally and psychologically, but at least I’ll avoid having to explain a second-degree burn to my son’s Frank and Beans to the suspicious ER doctor…and subsequent Social Services advocate.

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Reason Why Hanging with Preschoolers is Cool #5

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Communication Will Never Be the Same

Occasionally, you get to send this text: “The panties are in your mailbox.”

And you’ll get to send this text to another stay at home dad, a guy you play poker with, a guy you often drink beers with, and a guy you occasionally have play dates with. Because when you have play dates that involve four-year-old girls, accidents happen. And when accidents happen, you have to borrow a pair of undies for your daughter, and then you find yourself returning those undies at a later date while walking the dog around the neighborhood. So you stuff the panties in the mailbox and send the text.

On a completely separate occasion, you’ll get a text from your wife that simply says “Balloons!!!” which will send you into a tourettes-like frenzy of profanity and derail your entire afternoon. One word, three exclamation marks, and it becomes the most important thing in your world that day.

You will also have entire conversations with other adults that include phrases like, “I think the new My Little Pony cartoons are a little too dark.”

You’ll say this because it’s true. Not the old ones that we watched when we were kids, but the new ones. They’re really disturbing. Ditto Care Bears. That shit’s kind of fucked up. And so you’ll have long conversations with other parents about how disturbing Grumpy Bear is, or how you don’t trust any bear that can shoot a rainbow out of its belly button, and you’ll do this with a straight face, because you watch way more cartoon TV than regular TV.