Nutting Up About Orchidometers

Where did you learn where babies come from? Well, I’ll tell you where I did. I was in third grade and I found out from my friend’s older sister who had just had her period and, feeling very mature and knowledgeable, decided to saunter into our Barbie playtime and school us on what was what.

I was mortified.

And then I walked home slowly only to avoid eye contact with my parents at dinner that night. HOW COULD THEY.

Fast forward 30 years… and here we are with a little boy who is about to enter fourth grade. I’m not sure what he’s heard on the playground about where babies came from but, when I said that babies DO NOT come from belly buttons (a theory I had heard at one point at his age), he cackled loudly… and a little nervously.

It’s time for the talk. Or the first of many.

And what do moms like me do when we need a few answers? Well, I marched right out and bought a book, dammit. MY kid is going to know what is what and what goes where. He is NOT going to learn from someone’s far too knowledgeable older sibling or some nasty kid spouting untruths under the playground slide, either. He’s going to learn from his parents. And it was going to be great and healthy, with trusting, open lines of communication and everything is going to be juuuust fine.

So. Back to the book. I got one and it was written explicitly for boys, too. Score! So, I marched home proudly to review it and decide where we would begin.

…And I flipped it open.

About 5 minutes later, I stopped in my tracks.

Oh no.

I am NOT ready for this.

Go ahead, call me a prude. Tell me I’m being immature and squeamish about perfectly reasonable and very important developmental information.


But… but…. there were DETAILED diagrams and entire chapters dedicated to what makes boys sheets crunchy and how to put on a panty liner and what this little bit of skin may or may not look at different stages of life or blood flow.

(He’s 9…!)

And then there was this…??? WTF is this??

An orchidometer????

They have a NAME for this?

Yep, it’s what you think it’s for. It’s for measuring testicle size.

(“This drawing is life size.”)


I need to get my head together on this. Or pass the book onto my husband and call it a day.

(Because who the HELL needs an orchidometer? Really?? I sure as hell didn’t have a boob-o-meter… And I grew up fine without one… probably because I would have ranked about the size of an 11 year old when I was 16 anyway…)

(And that’s the other thing, will my kid feel like crap if he ranks on one end or the other of this thing?? Ugh. I have no idea!!)

9 years into parenting and I clearly don’t have a clue about this stage of things. Just when you think you got this mom-thing figured out, life throws an orchidometer in your face and leaves you unable to grow a set and just TALK about it.

I’m working on it.

As my husband often says, “It’s time to nut up.”



#1 Sandra Reinbrech on 07.17.12 at 12:04 pm

Haha. Sounds very scientific (NOT) to me:) I have to face this in the near future too. Why can’t things be simple like when we were small

#2 Jill on 08.02.12 at 4:52 pm

Oh, lord, I have never heard of such a thing! An orchidometer?? I thought this was going to be a post about flowers! :) Even when I saw the picture, I didn’t know what it was without your explanation! It’s another reason I’m really grateful for homeschooling…the average age for these types of conversations is decidedly older than kids who go to traditional school. Wow, what’s the name of that book? I’m definitely going to avoid that one!!

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