Can I talk to moms that have both? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I'll go ahead and be upfront...we had our son circ'd. Please don't flame and don't grill me You just need to know that before I ask my question:

If you have both in your family (circ'd and intact) which was easier to take care of? I've read numerous horror stories on here about little boys being forcefully retracted and the scary stories about swelling and pain in intact boys and, to be honest, it scares me. Everyone I know had their boys circ'd so I always have people around to help take care of it...but I don't know ANYONE that has an intact son.


I hope this is an okay thread to have in here...I don't frequent this part of the forum much...but DH and I were talking about TTC in the next 6 months or so and boys seem to make up the majority of his family. So, just in case, I wanted to get some perspective.


Please remove if I'm out of line. Sorry in advance

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#2 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Way easier to care for an intact infant. The key is to NEVER let anyone near his penis.

No one touches it - no problems!

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#3 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What about cleaning after a poop? I know I spend half of the wiping time making sure everything is clean under what's left of his foreskin...don't you have to clean out part of the foreskin if it's intact?

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#4 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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I only haven an intact son, but no, you don't need to clean out his foreskin at all after a poop... the hardest part for me is making sure there's no bits left in the wrinkles on his scrotum. Just wipe the penis off like a finger, beyond that. the foreskin is FUSED to the head on an intact baby - the same way your fingernail is fused to your finger, so no poo really gets IN there, in my experience...

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#5 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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What about cleaning after a poop? I know I spend half of the wiping time making sure everything is clean under what's left of his foreskin...don't you have to clean out part of the foreskin if it's intact?
No, because the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis preventing anything from getting in. That's the function of the foreskin at this stage of development. You don't have to do anything except wipe what is there externally-it's like wiping a finger.

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#6 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another thought: Does anyone have experience explaining why one son is circ'd and the other(s) aren't?

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#7 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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I can't really say which one was easier to take care of, since I never "took care" of either one. Really, I just left them alone. No problems either way.
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#8 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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i have both and they are both easy to clean just a swipe on both sometimes i dont do anything unless there is poo there.

as for explaining. I say I never wanted to do the other boys either but I was shamed and guilted into it by others and in a vulnerable position. With my last son I stood my ground and decided noone was going to stop me from keeping my son intact no matter what they tried. I also tell people how horrible I feel for letting people guilt me into it with the other two boys.

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#9 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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What about cleaning after a poop? I know I spend half of the wiping time making sure everything is clean under what's left of his foreskin...don't you have to clean out part of the foreskin if it's intact?
You make cleaning a circed boy sound scary to me. I just wipe my son's penis. Its really easy. Much easier than my girls.

Also, on the other side of the scary story issue, I've heard scary stories about circed boys with adhesions and circed boys who ended up being recirced for one reason or another. Caring for a boy who has been circed while it is still healing and raw sounds really scary to me. I guess its just what you are used to. But all the stories you hear about how hard it is to care for an intact boy are just not true. Its easy.

I let other people change my son's diaper. I watch and it has never occurred to any of them to touch it in anyway but to wipe. No one ever tries to retract. I'm not saying this doesn't happen. Obviously it does. But it really doesn't take more than telling a person how to do it if you have any doubts about their knowledge.
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#10 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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It's really not complicated. You just wipe it like a finger and that's it. As a PP mentioned, the foreskin is typically fused to the head like your finger nail so little if anything gets up there. If it does it gets flushed out the next time he urinates.

As for explaining the difference you can think of it as explaining different hair color or eye color ect. Until he's old enough and if he asks then, you can be more accurate and explain that you thought it was the right thing to do but found out that it wasn't necessary when the younger brother was born. Though it's never as big an issue as adults try to make it.
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#11 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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I have both. They are both very simple to clean. They do both have their downsides: My 1st son has been circd and I can see where the knife cut him and it looks jagged. He is fine, but it is a reminder of the pain that I put him through at just one day old. My 2nd is intact. I am nervous about something getting in there, but I just trust that that is how it is supposed to be.
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#12 of 56 Old 11-16-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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Even if poo gets in the tip which is as far as it can go since the rest is fused to the glans and the sphincter at the tip closes down like the anus to prevent anything from getting in there, the next time he urinates it will wash out. If you are really worried you can always hold them over the sink or sit in there and swish things about. But even with very messy explosive bfed poo's I never once had to do that for ds's forskin only his scrotum wrinkles

 
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#13 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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It's harder to clean poo off a scrotum than it is to clean an intact penis. Seriously. All the little tiny folds just accumulate poo. The penis very rarely gets poo on it at all and there's nowhere for it to stick to if it does so it's easy to just wipe off.
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#14 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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you guys are swaying me to the other side. Seriously. I talked to DH about it last night and as I was going through what y'all had said he stopped me and said, "It's not one of those things that's a big deal to me. It's mostly tradition. My dad was circ'd, I was circ'd, my brothers were circ'd." I said, "So, if we have another son and I'm like 'ehhh let's not' you'd be okay?" and he said, "Yeah, it's not worth fighting over."

So there's a 99% chance our next son will be intact. (I hate to say 100% just because)

Thank you!

Kas (24), Helpmeet to Stefan (25), Mom to Franklin Gaudelio 4/15/09, Jonathan Boswell 1/2/11
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#15 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I only have an intact son (im from England...there really is no other way there ) and im pregnant right now, im kinda worried incse this one is a girl. Cleaning my intact son has been SO SO easy actually cleaning poo off a girl seems pretty scary to me

To be gross, like most babies my son in his time has had some mega MEGA blow outs (like poo up to the belly button and poo up the back ) and ive never, not once had an issue with poo IN his penis...infact the thought just seems weird. The penis has always been the easiest place to get clean.

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#16 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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You make cleaning a circed boy sound scary to me. I just wipe my son's penis. Its really easy. Much easier than my girls.

Also, on the other side of the scary story issue, I've heard scary stories about circed boys with adhesions and circed boys who ended up being recirced for one reason or another. Caring for a boy who has been circed while it is still healing and raw sounds really scary to me. I guess its just what you are used to. But all the stories you hear about how hard it is to care for an intact boy are just not true. Its easy.

I let other people change my son's diaper. I watch and it has never occurred to any of them to touch it in anyway but to wipe. No one ever tries to retract. I'm not saying this doesn't happen. Obviously it does. But it really doesn't take more than telling a person how to do it if you have any doubts about their knowledge.

Agree with the bolded! My DD (2yrs old) has the biggest blow out poopies EVER and cleaning all her little folds is daunting at times.

Like I have posted before: When intact, don't retract. Only clean, what is seen.

And explaining to them when they are older just tell them that with DS1, you did the best you could with the information that you had at the time.

Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)

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#17 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I only haven an intact son, but no, you don't need to clean out his foreskin at all after a poop... the hardest part for me is making sure there's no bits left in the wrinkles on his scrotum. Just wipe the penis off like a finger, beyond that. the foreskin is FUSED to the head on an intact baby - the same way your fingernail is fused to your finger, so no poo really gets IN there, in my experience...
Ditto. You don't need to do anything at all. Wipe like a finger and you're done. No problems.

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#18 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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Another thought: Does anyone have experience explaining why one son is circ'd and the other(s) aren't?
Both of my sons, ages 12 and 8, are intact (and never had a problem, never needed "cleaning", etc...)

I however have A LOT of friends who circumcised their 1st son, but not their second. If you don't make a big deal of it, they won't either. If the question comes up from either boy, just say:

"When (first son) was born, we thought circumcision was a good idea because your father was circumcised, and doctors used to believe that circumcision had some health benefits, but when (second son) was born, we learned that circumcision just wasn't necessary, so we decided not to have (second son) circumcised. Just like you know a lot of people with different hair color, skin color, etc...boys have different penises - some boys are circumcised, and some aren't, and either way is fine."
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#19 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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We have both, my DH and DS1 are and DS2 is not. It has been the exact same to care for.
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#20 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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You know... thinking about it... being circ'd doesn't ensure their penises will look the same either. Some doctors do a loose circ, and leave a lot of foreskin (that can get adhesions or gunk under it, whatever), some do a tight circ... sometimes circ's are botched...

Seems like there's a possibility they're going to "look different" either way being that there's at least one circ involved, no?

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#21 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Ds#1 is circ'd. Had I known what I know now, he'd be intact for sure!

Two of his brothers are intact.

A bloody circ wound is much much harder to care for than the intact penis. All my babies had meconium blow outs. That on a fresh wound has to be painful. He'd scream when I tried to get it off his wound.

It still looked like a inverted internal organ for a good year afterward.

The foreskin is part of the immune system. Its designed to protect the internal organ, glans.

My intact sons, never had a problem. Wipe and go. Its really simple. As mentioned above, the sphincter opens to expel urine and closes tightly after urination is complete. It does a good job of protecting the meatus (pee hole).
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#22 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 11:12 PM
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I however have A LOT of friends who circumcised their 1st son, but not their second. If you don't make a big deal of it, they won't either. If the question comes up from either boy, just say:

"When (first son) was born, we thought circumcision was a good idea because your father was circumcised, and doctors used to believe that circumcision had some health benefits, but when (second son) was born, we learned that circumcision just wasn't necessary, so we decided not to have (second son) circumcised. Just like you know a lot of people with different hair color, skin color, etc...boys have different penises - some boys are circumcised, and some aren't, and either way is fine."
I think if we're honest with ourselves, we have to confront the fact that this approach is too facile and papers over a lot of more complex emotional/psychological issues. So complex, in fact, that it is hard for me to bring myself to post this, but on the other hand I think it is important for us to always be honest, straightforward, and reality-based in our analysis so that no one can accuse us of simply making "sales pitches" or "spinning".

I'm not of course talking about the cleaning issue. Everything that has been said about that is completely correct. I'm talking about the issue of having an older son who was circed out of ignorance and going along with the norm, and then becoming more educated and enlightened by the time DS #2 comes along.

Let's unpack this a bit. Do we here on this board really believe being intact or circed is just like variation in skin or hair colour? I certainly don't, and I doubt many others here do either. Do we think "either way is fine"?!? If so, why are we even posting here? Do we want our boys to grow up and think "either way is fine" when they are making decisions about their own sons, our grandsons?

Let's face it: what we are talking about is lying to one son to make him feel better, plain and simple. And I'm not sure I'm comfortable endorsing that. On the other hand, I can't just dismiss it out of hand and pretend the alternative is easier, either. I really can't deny that once a boy is circed, letting him know what has been lost, what a mistake has been made, is probably not helpful and in all likelihood is harmful.

So if my sole goal was to do whatever would make the older son feel more secure, what would make the family interaction smoothest and least complicated, I'd have to grudgingly admit that the answer to that would probably be not only to have the younger boy circed, but to move (or remain living) in a part of the country where this is the norm. And of course to never ever admit to either boy that any enlightenment had ever taken place, and repress it way down there and just try to act like it never happened. This of course will be a secret torment to the enlightened parent, so in some twisted way it is probably true to say that once you have circed one son, you are probably better off remaining ignorant! ("Ignorance is bliss", as they say.)

Yet obviously this goes against my beliefs in so many ways, and is quite agonising to admit. And when it comes right down to it, I don't believe that the boy who can still be saved should be put through circumcision and all its consequences for the sake of living a simpler, less complicated family life.

Therefore, while I see no entirely positive solution once one son has been circed, I think ultimately the "right" thing to do, though certainly not an easy thing to do, is to leave the younger son intact and then when the circed son wants to know what the deal is, to explain that "I'm so sorry, Johnny, but your father/mother and I made a terrible mistake. We were talked into doing this because since your great-grandparents' days, people who live in this little part of the world have been doing this and convincing everyone that it was the right, normal thing to do--that's why your father had it done to him too. When we found out it wasn't the right thing, we didn't do it to your brother, but it was too late for you. Lots of people still think that doing it is the right thing, and it doesn't mean you can't have a happy life, but we do really wish we could go back and have it to do over again so we could make a different choice." Obviously this needs to be adjusted so as to be age appropriate, but you get the idea.

As I say, I recognise that this is quite unlike a lot of the stuff we talk about here. Usually, it's "all of us in here see so clearly what the right thing is to do, but people out there are propagandised to think differently, so we have to get the truth out". In this scenario, though, it's a bit of a Catch-22 (damned if you do, damned if you dont'); and I don't find my "final answer" to be completely satisfying. So I'd welcome discussion from others about it.
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#23 of 56 Old 11-17-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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Therefore, while I see no entirely positive solution once one son has been circed, I think ultimately the "right" thing to do, though certainly not an easy thing to do, is to leave the younger son intact and then when the circed son wants to know what the deal is, to explain that "I'm so sorry, Johnny, but your father/mother and I made a terrible mistake. We were talked into doing this because since your great-grandparents' days, people who live in this little part of the world have been doing this and convincing everyone that it was the right, normal thing to do--that's why your father had it done to him too. When we found out it wasn't the right thing, we didn't do it to your brother, but it was too late. Lots of people still think that doing it is the right thing, and it doesn't mean you can't have a happy life, but we do really wish we could go back and have it to do over again so we could make a different choice." Obviously this needs to be adjusted so as to be age appropriate, but you get the idea.
I have to say this is how I'd personally go about it. "when you know better, you do better". In fact, though I don't have a circumcised son, this is how I expect I'll have to answer other questions coming from my children... even down to "why can't we have goldfish crackers anymore" .. "well, sweetheart, I used to think those were ok things for us to eat, but when I looked into it further I realized what kind of things are in them and how they are not good choices for us... now that I know better, I need to do what's best for all of us..." Maybe that's sort of a weak analogy to circumcision, but my point is that there's lots of things I've changed since having kids (including vaccinations... and I've already had to explain to my 3 year old why we don't need a flu shot when her peer at school told her they would make her feel better). We all live and learn, and I think though it might not be comfortable, there's something to saying "we didn't know, and now we do" so to speak. I don't think it's a horrible thing for kids to understand that we *all* make mistakes and the best we can do is learn from them and not do the same the next time.

ETA... in consideration of the fact that this is a part of my child that would now be missing, I think I'd probably also offer to help him figure out how to restore (point him to resources), or something along those lines if he was interested... something that would put power back in his hands? I'm not sure.

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#24 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 03:36 PM
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Well, I knew this was a difficult topic, but I'm surprised and disappointed to see that everyone (except Juvyson) is apparently just dodging it! I thought it could be an interesting and fruitful topic to kick around, and something that goes beyond the obvious and straightforward arguments we make over and over.
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#25 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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Interesting, SlackerDad.

I think that we plan on apologizing to our first son. Basically just being apologetic about taking the choice away from him. Although I do admit, that I dread the day that I have to do that. I will probably dissolve into a puddle of tears. Of course, I have already said that I'm sorry to him (he is way too young to know what I am saying sorry for).

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#26 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 04:00 PM
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Interesting, SlackerDad.

I think that we plan on apologizing to our first son. Basically just being apologetic about taking the choice away from him. Although I do admit, that I dread the day that I have to do that. I will probably dissolve into a puddle of tears. Of course, I have already said that I'm sorry to him (he is way too young to know what I am saying sorry for).
Interesting, thanks for contributing to the discussion. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. And I certainly can't claim to know what would have happened had I not had the luck of being intact. I consider my parents progressive, enlightened people; but they would have circed me (as my father was) had I been born in the U.S. I could easily imagine circing an older son (after all, it was about three months before my first was born that I ever even heard of cosleeping or attachment parenting for the first time, and that was just because someone on a Babycenter DDC pitched the idea to me) and then later learning better.

So how will you decide when the day has come? As you say, you apologised when he was way too young to understand, and at some point when he can really understand you will do so "for real"...but in between there there is a range of ages when you probably wouldn't want to say anything because it would be too confusing. It's really tough I think to figure on when is the right time, what to say, and how to keep it from being damaging to his self esteem and so on.
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#27 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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I think ultimately the "right" thing to do, though certainly not an easy thing to do, is...to explain that "I'm so sorry, Johnny, but your father/mother and I made a terrible mistake. We were talked into doing this because since your great-grandparents' days, people who live in this little part of the world have been doing this and convincing everyone that it was the right, normal thing to do--that's why your father had it done to him too. When we found out it wasn't the right thing, we didn't do it to your brother, but it was too late for you. Lots of people still think that doing it is the right thing, and it doesn't mean you can't have a happy life but we do really wish we could go back and have it to do over again so we could make a different choice."
All I can say is, put yourself in that child's place. Are these really, honestly, the words you want to hear from your parent's mouth? Truly?
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#28 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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My ex was circ'd, his brothers weren't. He hated the fact that he was, even though his dad is too.

Anyway, his mom just told him that she couldn't do it after hearing him scream. Later it came out that they never planned on it being done, she was against it, but the doctor did it anyway. Regardless, he had always understood it as something that hurt him and that his mom didn't want to hurt his brothers too. Is that the right way to go about it? I dunno, its just how she did.

I also second that cleaning an intact penis is insanely easy. Stuff doesn't get inside. I have 2 intact sons and I've never seen poo get inside. They've never had any issues either.

I also agree that you never know how the heck they'll look after a circ-nor what they'll look like as an adult. Most doctors do a lose circ now days, vs back when your dh was circ'd, they usually did them tighter. The reason is that too many had too much skin taken, which resulted in hair on the shaft, bent shafts, painful erections, etc. Now they leave more-but as a result, more boys have adhesions and parents have to clean the gunk out of the remaining foreskin. Anyway, as an example-my ex friends twins are circ'd and they look NOTHING alike down there. One is very tightly circ'd (to a point where I cant imagine him not having issues later on) and the other is more of a typical lose circ.

Also keep in mind that there are also a lot of circ'd boys who end up with meatal stenosis and require surgery later on. Its not something seen in intact boys and the rate is fairly high.

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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#29 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
All I can say is, put yourself in that child's place. Are these really, honestly, the words you want to hear from your parent's mouth? Truly?
As I said, it's a bit of a no-win situation. So you believe lying is the best solution? What about when that circed boy grows up and has a boy of his own? Would you feel that at that point he is an adult, and so you can then admit you were lying?

Wouldn't you have to admit that if you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, you in fact would have to go for the total cover-up I described (where you circ all subsequent boys, and live in an area of the country where circ is the norm)?

There are no easy answers here, but where it comes down for me is that I don't see how we can go on this board and strenuously make the case for why circumcision is a very bad thing, and then go tell our sons (including the intact ones as well as the circed ones) that "either way is fine, just like different coloured hair or skin".

Furthermore, if we're honest we have to admit (as Juvysen did) that a big part of why this is hard to do goes beyond the fact that we want to protect the circed boy's self esteem. We also shrink from admitting guilt, to admitting we have harmed our own flesh and blood. Much easier, instead, to brush it aside with pablum about how "either way is fine". But, again, this is the attitude that, in the wider society, we are fighting against! So to push that line on our children is hypocrisy.
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#30 of 56 Old 11-18-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerDad View Post
As I said, it's a bit of a no-win situation. So you believe lying is the best solution? What about when that circed boy grows up and has a boy of his own? Would you feel that at that point he is an adult, and so you can then admit you were lying?
Please point out where I said that lying was the best solution.
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