A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Aw, nuts. Or, how puppies and testicles are related.


My five-year-old son just discovered his testicles.

photo of my son bucket head after he made an exciting discovery (his testicles)

It all started with a routine trip to the local dog park. There was a beautiful grey Pit Bull Terrier there who was unneutered. Every time he ran past us, my son Bucket Head would giggle, point, and enthusiastically blurt “Look at those things hanging from his butt! He’s got butt-hangers! That’s silly!”

It was very entertaining to the guy sharing our bench. He and I sheepishly made eye contact and I shrugged my shoulders as in “He’s five. What am I gonna do?”

Butt-hangers. That’s a new one. I made a mental note to tell my husband so we could laugh about it later.

Now, it is a widely known fact that I enjoy making up new words for genitals possibly more than anything else in life, but when it comes to my kids, I’m a stickler for proper anatomical verbiage. Never underestimate the power of pretty teeth and a good vocabulary. Just imagine the reaction Michigan House Rep. Lisa Brown would have gotten if she had referred to her “vagizness” or “goody basket.” Not kosher.

Yes, I was bound and determined for Bucket Head to learn the correct terminology for his fruit salad. So later that night, during Bucket Head’s bath, I reminded him of the Pit Bull and his silly “butt-hangers,” and then said “You know, you’ve got those too. They’re called ‘testicles.’”

“WHAT?! I have butt-hangers like that dog at the park?!” His face snapped away with a bang and his eyes immediately focused in on his happy place.

“Yes honey, all boys do. Your brother and Daddy do too. And they’re called testicles, not butt-hangers.

“I thought that was called my penis,” he replied, confused.

“No, your penis is the thing you pee from and your testicles hang down under your penis…they’re in that wrinkly thingy which is actually called a scrotum.”

“Oh, you mean my lumpy things?” he asked as he grabbed his little nutsack and attempted to yank if off to examine it more closely.

“Dude – be careful with that thing!” I cautioned. “I want grandchildren someday!”

Unfazed, his neurons started to fire. I could see the proverbial lightbulb appearing above his curly little head. I could also sense that his mouth and his brain weren’t on the same page. That happens a lot due to his speech impairment. “But Mom? Ike (our dog) is a boy and he doesn’t have cuticles.”


“Where are Ike’s tentacles.”

Testicles. They’re called testicles, honey. We had them removed when he was a puppy.”

“WHAT? Why?” (the horror!)

“Because we didn’t want him to make puppies with other dogs.”


{OMG} “Testicles, and no. But dogs who don’t have butt-hangers, I mean testicles, can’t make puppies.”

I don’t think he heard that last part though because he had commenced kneading his scrotum like a flesh colored foam stress ball. I wasn’t sure if I should turn my back and give him some privacy, smack his hand away and tell him to “drop it,” or start searching WebMD for emergency testicle rupture advice.

The next few days were touch and go…literally. Bucket Head was absolutely riveted by his newfound anatomy. I honestly think he was watching his gooch closely to see if it would morph into a small litter of puppies.

At one point I had to pull him aside and gently direct that he go and explore his testicles in the privacy of his own room or in the bathroom behind a closed door. He was fine with that.

The next morning, Bucket Head walked by my husband with a look of determination on his little face. “Where are you going?” his Daddy asked.

“I’m just going upstairs to explore my testicles.”

“Okay. Thanks for the update.”

My husband immediately came to find me. “Did you know that Bucket Head is going upstairs to explore his testicles?”

“Yeah. Sorry, I forgot to tell you. He’s totally into his junk now.”

“Oh. Okay. How’d that come up?”

“He saw an unneutered dog at the park the other day. He’s been obsessed ever since. I’m trying to encourage him to stop dropping trou in public.”

“Sounds good.”

“Oh—and honey? If he sees you naked, he might think he’s getting a puppy.”


This isn’t the first time Bucket Head has let his freak flag fly around dogs. If you liked this post, you should definitely read about the phase he went through last summer.


  1. Emily

    I love you. Seriously. Reading this again reminded me of when my son was about the same age, and I heard him in the bathtub talking about “the whale-butt”. I shit you not, he had incorporated his anatomy into playtime. And it was apparently a large sea mammal. So now you have a new term for good ol’ Darth Vader’s Helmet. You’re Welcome.

  2. andi

    I wasted a huge swallow of wine spewing it out everywhere reading this. Of course i should know better than have anything in my mouth when i read your blog. Well you know what i mean.

  3. Roshni

    OMG!!! This totally should have been your most popular post!!! I can’t tell you which line is my most fav ‘coz all of them are gems!!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you, Roshni! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. This post will always be special to me because it so perfectly captures the 5-year-old hilarity of my little Bucket Head and his unique perspective of the world. Plus, I got to write about butt-hangers. What a wonderful world!

      • Roshni

        For what it’s worth, I featured this post here: http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/2013/02/what-i-have-been-reading-this-week-22.html

      • Kmary

        As I am reading your blog and these replies, my husband is playing Super Bowl commercials via his iPod in the background, consisting of Homer Simpson and excellent farting noises. Seriously, 1. we are smart, I swear; 2. we have friends; and 3. at least one of us has a professional (ahem…executive) job. Take that! 🙂

        • Kmary

          Correction: Not Super Bowl. Just some weird crappola on YouTube. That actually explains a lot.

  4. Hollow Tree Ventures

    How the hell did I miss this the first time around?!? I was still catching my breath from the butt-hangers thing when you hit me with, “Those butt-hangers turn into puppies?” Oh. Oh god, I can’t breathe.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you Robyn! I LURVE YER.

  5. FunMumX3

    So glad you collected your best of 2012, I too missed this one during the year. And now I am crying. At work. Shuttup.

  6. chickadee

    HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must share this 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Tracy @ Momaical

    I am dying laughing – note to self: Do not ever get our children together. Or if we do – make sure there’s video documentation! “Thanks for the update” made me almost exhale Diet Coke through my nostrils.

  8. Emily

    Very cute and funny post. (Found you via Roshni’s blog and I follow you on Twitter too.) I’ve got 2 teen boys (plus a 9-year old boy) and let me tell you, the fascination with that area of the body never ends! 🙂

  9. Kmary

    Ermagerd! I love Buckethead. And you, of course for being his mom. I could not help but share this little chestnut with my husband and 20-year-old son. Our 13-y.o daughter was speechless. This story takes dinner-time-inappropropriate-topics-that-you-know-we-all-have-anyway-at-the-dinner-table to a whole new level. Thank you for being you and making me pee my pants just a little! 🙂 🙂

  10. Michele

    Oh yes, I remember well the day my own Bucket Head (aka Turkey Bird) proudly showed off her clitoris to our poor babysitter, who had just arrived and hadn’t even gotten a “hello” in before the full frontal anatomy lesson. Turkey Bird then went on to teach her entire preschool class a song she invented about penises and vaginas. I had to promise the other parents that we’re actually normal-ish people who are just sticklers for proper word usage, and are not running a kiddie porn show in our basement. But my favorite was when Turkey Bird was a toddler and saw our friends’ son getting a diaper change. She stared and stared and stared and finally ventured, “… Duck??”. No idea on that one – (well some idea, he is not circumcised and his weenis did look a *little* bit like a bathtub duck toy) – but OMG I am still laughing!

  11. Aiden

    Ouch. I don’t know how that didn’t hurt him. One of my first memories is fourteen years ago; I was four. I had just “discovered” my testicles and I’m told I was pretty excited. Then I fell naked and smashed them on something. Supposedly I cried for a long time in the fetal position and said I didn’t want them anymore. This was a funny story.

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