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Babies touch themselves. I had no idea that was even a thing until my son started and when it first happened, I brushed it off as something to easily un-see–a whatever moment.

It continued for days after that, then weeks. As most parents do, I immediately went into self-blame mode. Was it a weird cartoon he’d watched? Was the influence of Jay-Z and Beyonce in cahoots with the Illuminati? I wanted to know what I inadvertently exposed my child to that had him Pee-Wee Herman-ing it whenever he wanted to relax.

Perhaps there wasn’t a reason to trip over his crotch-a-mania since it only took place at home but little did I know, my son has inherited my gene of creating indescribably awkward moments. One of those moments came shortly after the mini-me had a meltdown over having to leave a convenience store without a couple of potatoes he adopted as pets. As we got off the elevator in our building, we encountered two young women  walking out of an apartment.

My son was self-soothing the Al Bundy way, with his hand down his pants. Since the potato incident was so traumatic, he was about elbow-deep down his jeans this time. When the women got close, one of them smiled and said  “Hello cutie,” and behold, Junior is peeping out from behind my legs, smiling from ear to ear, wrangling around in his jeans like he was searching for his keys.

“Is his hand down his pants, is he..?” The women gasped. I explained that it wasn’t what it looked like and it was just how he takes the edge off of stressful situations. So much for just keeping it in the house.

Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See  was originally published on

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