I figure there’s no point in writing a blog if I miss out the slightly more unusual or embarrassing goings on in the world of #lad2dad.
With that in mind, and with a healthy dollop of trepidation, I’ll fill you in…
This week we lost a ball.
Not a football. Or a rugby ball.
This was a totally different kind of ball. In fact, there’s no way of putting this delicately so I’ll just say it.
Yep, that’s right. We managed to lose an actual testicle.
This whole debacle started around 6.20pm on Monday when I was at work. My wife rang me:
‘Hi. I’ve lost Seth’s ball!’
Now, let me just interrupt the flow of the conversation for a moment because at this point I assumed my wife had lost her mind rather than a ball. It’s certainly a strange, unexpected opening line to a phone call!
‘What do you mean you’ve lost Seth’s ball?’
My wife won’t mind me saying that she can be slightly melodramatic when it comes to the kids. There’s always something ‘not quite right’ to be concerned about. But even by her standards, this seemed a bit extreme!
‘I’m serious. There is only one testicle there.’
‘Calm down. I’m sure it will be absolutely nothing to worry about. I’ll take a look when I come home.’
I get home from work at 7.15 most nights and the kids are ready for bed but wait up for a cuddle and a quick song from daddy. Essentially, my wife does all the hard work bathing them and getting them ready for bed. I just turn up for the fun stuff and steal all the glory.
On this particular evening, the routine included a game of ‘Find The Ball’.
And, as my wife had suggested, one seemed to be missing.
So we were left with the only option available to us; we Googled it.
Do you ever use Google when the kids are unwell?
If there’s one thing I have learnt as a parent it’s that Google is useless. If you search anything from ‘child has chapped lips’ to ‘child has rash all over body’ it will give you a whole selection of advice ranging from ‘This is very common in children under the age of 5 and should clear up within 48 hours’ to ‘Seek medical attention at accident and emergency’ to ‘Put your child in a quarantined room and buy face masks for all the family’.
Even so, we Googled it. Cos that’s what you do, right?!
On the basis that there was a whole heap of diagnoses the decision was made to ring the doctors the next day, which I offered to do.
If you thought the phone conversation with my wife was strange, this one really took the biscuit.
‘Hello, Doctors Surgery.’
‘Hi there. I’d like to make an appointment for my two year old, Seth.’
‘Sure. What seems to be the problem?’
How would you describe our little problem to the random receptionist at the doctor’s surgery? It sounds so ridiculous.
I was stumbling over my words, trying to think of the best way to put it. And then I just said it.
‘I think we have lost my son’s testicle.’
The lady on the other end paused. (Somehow, speaking to a woman about this made it worse).
I thought she’d respond with have you checked down the back of the sofa?
Instead, she suggested we come down at 9.20 for an appointment.
We turned up at 9.10 and waited until 9.50 before the doctor was free. How a doctor can be running half an hour late by 9.20 in the morning, I’ll never understand.
Dr Superlate checked Seth’s records and confirmed that he had two testicles at birth. Apparently this is something they check. Turns out that ‘losing a ball’ is quite common; there is a muscle reflex which can ‘suck’ a testicle northwards when small boys are not relaxed. Nothing to worry about.
It was a great moment. I let of an imaginary party popper in my head, ready to go home.
‘But… I’d like to check for myself’ he requested.
Seth didn’t seem impressed with this suggestion and as I started to undress him he looked at the doctor with an expression that seemed to convey a message of ‘Piss off, mate’.
Predictably, he didn’t let me get him fully undressed so the doctor told me to take him home and check in the bath. He’d ring me back in a few days to see how I’d got on.
Armed with the doctor’s instructions, that night I searched for the missing ball.
‘Have you found it yet?’ my wife asked.
‘I think so but I’m not sure’.
My wife took over and checked for herself.
This was an error.
Alarmingly, from what I could tell, it seemed like Seth was enjoying it a bit too much if you know what I mean.
(And if you’re reading this twenty years on from now, son… I’m sorry.)
We agreed that the second ball had been located and stopped checking as it turned out we were unnecessarily making a big deal out of the whole thing.
And physically speaking!
#lad2dad lesson Always leaves the balls to the boys.