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If you circ'ed your first and not your second...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, I did not know better and we circumsized DS as birth.  I am pregnant with another boy and when I mentioned to DH that we won't be circing this one, he said he wished we hadn't done it with DS but he thinks it is important for the brothers to be alike.

 

To be clear, this is not a battle I will lose.  But, I need some advice from those of you who have circed one child and not another on how you explained this to them once they were old enough to ask.  DH is certain to bring this up as a concern and I want to have a good answer for him.  I would much rather persuade him than just put my foot down so I need some help answering his questions. 

 

So, how did you explain it to your kids?  Did you say you made a mistake the first time?  I don't want DS to feel like his penis is somehow wrong or inferior because we did circ him so I need some help in explaining the decision. 

post #2 of 24

Welp, it's not easy.  I have 3 boys: number one was circ'ed, taken from my arms while I was crying my eyes out about it.  DH, doctor, and my family said, "Oh you'll be happy you did; he'll be better off.  He won't even feel it!"  So I did.  Next two were home births and never circ'ed.  I was right where you are with my 2nd pg trying to figure out how to handle this.  My family doctor's boys are all different, so he was a good resource for questions.  Think of this: if DH wishes older had never been done, then how is it different if brothers look different?  He already wishes the boys looked different from himself.  Not sure if that makes sense.  As for talking to the boys: I'm a very vocal intactivist these days because of our experiences.  So my oldest, now about 6, is very knowledgeable about intact vs circ.  It has come up, the "why did you let them circ me and not my brothers?"  He has even said, "I wish you hadn't let them!"  But I couldn't let that make the decision to harm another child.  So I'm honest with my oldest: "I'm really sorry I did that.  I'm really sorry I let them.  I was young, I didn't understand that I didn't need to, and you helped me learn that there's another way of doing it."  We will keep being honest as time passes.  I can't make his story perfect, but I can help him deal with it.

 

I hope you find a way through this to a pleasing situation.  I don't regret my decision to allow my younger two to look different from my oldest; the vast majority of the time, it's a complete non-issue.

post #3 of 24

I have 3 sons 14, 12, 9... oldest circed other 2 not... never been an issue. 

post #4 of 24

I was circ'd,my younger brothers were not.  No issues at all. 

 

Regards

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinmama View Post

I have 3 sons 14, 12, 9... oldest circed other 2 not... never been an issue. 



They never asked why they looked different?  Or did you bring it up?  What did you say if you did? 

 

post #6 of 24

When they're young, if they ask why their penises are different you could just point out other differences (hair color, eye color, facial features, etc) and talk about how everyone is different.  Hopefully that will satisfy them.  There will probably come a day when they realize the difference between intact, and not intact and they might ask more questions then.  When that happens you can tell them the real reason.

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinmama View Post

I have 3 sons 14, 12, 9... oldest circed other 2 not... never been an issue. 



I have four sons (11, 8, 5, and about 4 months). The oldest is circ'd, the younger 3 are not. They've never noticed. It's never, not once, come up. And with the latest baby - they've seen me change about a zillion diapers, and no one has brought anything up. It is a complete and total non-issue. It's just like having different color hair or eyes - we're all different. It's not even something that's on their radar. 

post #8 of 24

19, 16 and 7 are circ'd  2yr old is not.  Never been an issue.  7 yr old has never noticed or asked why Jack's is different.   My 16 yr old  used to give me a hard time about not circ'ing Jack but a few months ago when he was taking his AP Anatomy & Phys class he came home and said ya know all that "stuff" you were talking about when "we" had Jack and keeping him intact  -- well you were probably right.   

 

There is zero issues here.   So if baby boy #2 is born with a different color hair will you dye his hair so they "match"?

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post

 

There is zero issues here.   So if baby boy #2 is born with a different color hair will you dye his hair so they "match"?



Obviously not.  To be clear, as I stated in the original post, this is not a battle I am going to lose but I do want to be sure I have my bases covered so that when it comes up with DH, I can satisfy his concerns instead of just putting my foot down.  Despite the fact that I know I'm calling the shots on the decision, I'd like him to think it is his idea as well ;).

 

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your responses.  I guess I am surprised it hasn't come up with so many of your kids.  DS is really perceptive and curious about differences already so we'll see what happens when they are older.  I like the idea of explaining how we all look different though.  Seems like that will work well for quite a while. 

post #11 of 24

Well, what what's your DH worried is going to happen? That the younger one will be all like, "Hey, why was he circumcised and not me?!  NO FAIR! angry.gif I WANT MY FORESKIN SURGICALLY REMOVED TOO!!! rant.gif"?

 

I know when people are worried about the child looking like their father, they are prepared to say that dad had an operation when he was a baby without going into any of the downsides of circumcision. I think that would be fine for your son too. If he asks why he had an operation, you can say something like, "When you were born, we thought that operation would help keep you from getting sick. Since then we found out it doesn't help, so we didn't bother to do it to [younger brother]."

post #12 of 24

My first two are circ'd and this boy won't be. I figure they all look different anyway, my two DS's penises look completely different to me and VERY different from DH's...biglaugh.gifI do not agree with telling my children that I wish I hadn't had them circ'd and that I'm sorry etc. I refuse to make them think anything is wrong with them, not that it has ever come up. If they outright asked me WHY I circ'd them I would explain that at the time I thought it was the best thing for them and when I learned it wasn't then I didn't have it done to their brother. I cannot imagine a time that they would be upset about it or it would even come up because everybody is circumcised here...small town in Minnesota. Good luck!

post #13 of 24
I would imagine that the pp who told her ds's this wants them to know that so when they have their own ds's they will make the choice to leae them intact. By telling them you made a mistake it isnt telling them something is wrong with them but something was wrong with the decision to have it done. I think it is very important to talk to both our circed and intact ds's about being circed so that they cycle of circ will stop.
post #14 of 24

To add some information, I was circumcised as an infant.  My two younger brotheres were not.  No issues at all.

 

My only memory of the issue coming up was when I was around 10 and asked my mother why I was circumcised and my brothers were not.  She said that when I was born, the doctors recommended it, but when they were born, the doctors no longer recommended it.  That satisfied me.

 

The only other incident I remember was when I commented that my best friend's penis (intact) was odd looking, or something like that with negaitve connotations.  He simply pointed out that maybe I was the odd one.  That made me think and realize that there was more than one perspecive.

 

 That is it.  the total sum of all the terrible thiings that happened with friends and family where some were cut and some not.

 

Note that I am circumcised, but both my sons are intact.  No issue at all.  When they asked, I told them what my mother told me.  Simple.  I would also point out that I am 6 ft, weigh 200 lbs, and have a hairy body, with a balding head, and wear glasses,  quite a dramtyically different appearanc ethan they were at 3-7, when they were asking questions like that.  The curious thing is my dramatically different apperance didn't traumatize them...;-)

 

One final illustrative anecdote.  When my second child was in grade school, the debate about school uniforms reared its ugly head.  One of the main arguments being used was that kids would not get teased about their clothes if all wore the same thing.  It just so happened that the day before, my sone had told me he had gotten teased about his underwear, clearly not something that the school uniforms would change.  Kids will always find something to tease others about, it is just the way their immature minds work.

 

Regards

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post

I would imagine that the pp who told her ds's this wants them to know that so when they have their own ds's they will make the choice to leae them intact. By telling them you made a mistake it isnt telling them something is wrong with them but something was wrong with the decision to have it done. I think it is very important to talk to both our circed and intact ds's about being circed so that they cycle of circ will stop.


That's great if that's her choice, it's not mine. Perhaps when my children are young adults I would have that conversation with them. Not that I wouldn't discuss it if they were to bring it up in any form before that, I certainly would. I'm just not going to put it in their head as kids and adolescents that their body is imperfect or that it's botched because of a decision I made for them as infants.Body image is hard enough as it is and I want theirs to be healthy. Everybody sees it differently and that is great.  

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post

 

Note that I am circumcised, but both my sons are intact.  No issue at all.  When they asked, I told them what my mother told me.  Simple.  I would also point out that I am 6 ft, weigh 200 lbs, and have a hairy body, with a balding head, and wear glasses,  quite a dramtyically different appearanc ethan they were at 3-7, when they were asking questions like that.  The curious thing is my dramatically different apperance didn't traumatize them...;-)

 

 

Respectfully snipped by me. 
 

ROTFLMAO.gifMy DH is very hairy with a similar build. My sons definitely have zero body hair and absolutely everything about them is different from DH's body. I can't fathom the argument that they need to look like dad being valid in any way. 

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you GregB!  It is nice to have a male perspective on this.  Also, Lovingmommyhood--I like your explanation and am thinking along these same lines too.  I don't want my son to think something is "wrong" and so like you and GregB's mom, it will be more of a "doctor suggested with you and not with him" type of thing.  There will be plenty of time in their adulthood to discuss circumcision at a point when they aren't vulnerable to feeling like something is wrong with them. 

post #17 of 24


We are essentially saying the same thing.  I have answered questions directly from a little boy who accompanies me to birth fairs and advocacy talks given my group affiliations.  He is smart, puts things together, sees his brothers during bath time, and asks questions.  Perhaps it hasn't come up in your house yet, but you're not even in this position yet, right?  Give it time.  You may find yourself in my shoes, trying to be honest with a child who has begun grieving his differences.  I *owe* him an apology for what I allowed to happen, and I would never pawn responsibility off on a doctor.  I want my children to know that we make choices with the information we have at a time, and no one is responsible but ourselves.  I also want my children to know that sometimes you make a choice when you don't have all the info, and it's not wrong, but you can do it differently the next time.  Honesty will always remain the bedrock of our family, and not one of my children thinks something is "wrong with them." 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post

I do not agree with telling my children that I wish I hadn't had them circ'd and that I'm sorry etc. I refuse to make them think anything is wrong with them, not that it has ever come up. If they outright asked me WHY I circ'd them I would explain that at the time I thought it was the best thing for them and when I learned it wasn't then I didn't have it done to their brother.


Edited by Thandiwe - 7/17/11 at 8:26pm
post #18 of 24

Kids do a lot of stupid things. They may touch a hot stove, they may urinate in public, they may say a bad word in front of their teacher, etc. They get disciplined and quickly learn their lesson. Next time, they won't make that mistake, because they know better.

 

Same thing here. Regarding circumcision, when we know better, we do better.

 

 

Your husband wishes you never did it to your first son, but now WANTS to do it to the second son, so they'll both be without foreskin? (Keep in mind that they probably won't look alike, as one may have a frenulum, one won't. One may have a lot of foreskin left over, and the other one may not.)

 

Honestly, it's not that big of a deal. What if your second son is born with a cleft palate, or is born blind? Maybe your second son will be born with no left thumb. Will your husband be willing to have your first son undergo surgery to match your second son?

 

Let's say that in 4-5 years, they're sharing the bathtub. Your older son sees that his glans is exposed, but doesn't notice a glans on his brother. All you have to say is this:

"When you were born, a doctor cut the skin off from your penis. We thought it was the right thing, but later on, we realized it wasn't."

 

At a young age, you can "dummy down" some of the gory details, but you can explain that they both work the same way, even though they look different. Use that as an opportunity to explain all sorts of differences between people. Some are skinny, others aren't. Some are taller than others. Not all skin is the same color.

 

It's only a problem in the mind of your husband.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post

 

Honestly, it's not that big of a deal. What if your second son is born with a cleft palate, or is born blind? Maybe your second son will be born with no left thumb. Will your husband be willing to have your first son undergo surgery to match your second son?

 

It's only a problem in the mind of your husband.



Alright, I am a big girl and I can handle it, but I just want to point out that I asked for: Advice on how to explain to our kids when they are older why one child is circumsized, and the other is not.  This was so I could share a nice answer with my hubby as part of my overall argument for him on why we're not circ-ing number 2. 

 

I didn't ask for people to ask me insulting questions like if we are planning to blind our second child, amputate his thumb, or some of the other rude spankings I've gotten on this thread on behalf of my husband's incorrect idea that it is a good idea for our kids to "match."  I point this out only because this is the second time I have posted in this particular forum and felt like the response was really overboard and offensive from the anti-circ crowd.  I'm anti-circ myself, but it would be nice to talk about solutions without some of the comments that tend to always comes with posting in The Case Against Circumcision forum. 

post #20 of 24
I apologize for the harshness of my wording. Believe it or not, but that logic of altering a previous son to match an expected child has swayed more than a few people to keeping their child intact. We're all different in some way, including twins. Two twins may look alike, but they probably will develop different personalities over time. One may like a steak dinner, while the other may be vegan.

I found this link on another thread in this forum: www.CircumcisionDecisionMaker.com
Here is a link that you may find interesting, based on your first son: http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/decide/infant-circumcision/cultural-and-family-reasons/brother/

FWI, I did play around with the links, and not all of them result in "Circumcision Not Recommended".
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