True Parent 8

Just the Nanny

A Longtime Nanny Reflects on Parenting, Motherhood, and Secrets Kept

Dad Can Do It

Braiding Hair 101

Together We Can

Black Parent Initiative Helps African American Parents Embrace Identity

The Temporary Parent

A Foster Mom Explains Her Insight Into Troubled Teenage Boys

Build a Better Parent

What Can American Families Learn from Japanese Free-Range Parenting?

Ask the Parent!

“Can I Send My Kid to College?”

Parent to Parent

“The Breakdown”

Scrotal Recall

Or, I’m a coward and my vasecomy wasn’t all that bad

Going under the knife is never an easy proposition. But being of a certain age and after some not-so-subtle deliberations with my personal manager (AKA my wife), the time came for me to make a truly unassailable decision: I needed to remove the bullets from my gun.

Intellectually, I realize that a vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure with an incredible upside. And yet... EEEEEEEEK! But one step at a time, right?

First came the consultation with my general practitioner. The literature was clear, concise, and damn it all to hell, somewhat funny, too! I learned that some discomfort might result, and some shaving down there might be required to make the... umm... “field battle-ready.” I wasn’t daunted yet, so I signed the consent form—confident that my vasectomy wouldn’t take place until sometime far off in the future, when I could still change my mind, and... wait. What? Someone’s calling me at work?

“Mr. Davis, though your vasectomy is scheduled for much later, we have an opening tomorrow. Would you like to take it?”

Damn it. NEVER answer the phone at work.

“Yes, I’ll take it. Yes, I have the literature. Yes, I have the single Valium pill, and a ride home after the procedure. Yes.” NOOO!

Burying my panic, I launched into prep mode. First, procure an athletic supporter. (Pro tip: Despite all common sense, they’re located in Fred Meyer’s sporting goods section—not the underwear department.) Then, after a dinner of gin and tonics, I hopped in the bath, and gently (OH SO GENTLY) shaved my junk, dried off, and retired to a restless night of tossing and turning.

The next day I arrived at the office, signed myself in, and popped my pill (AKA Prince Valium). Within minutes I was a drooling, slumping foolbrick, ready for anything.

Upon being escorted to the procedure room (and tripping over my jockstrap as I undressed), I lay back on the table with my shirt on, and a large medi-towel draped across my bits. The doctor informed me I might feel a bit of “pressure” when the local anesthetic was administered. (Pro tip: There is no pro tip. Just try not to think about it.)

Once it was established that I had no idea where my groin was, I heard snipping. Then, the wafting and somehow sweet smell of cauterization filled the room. But actually, I felt fine. In fact, I found myself muttering aloud, “Thiss kinda reminds me of Braveheart.” The doctor and nurse were puzzled. “Really? How do you mean?” With all the strength I could summon, I exclaimed, “FRRREEEEEEEDDDOOOMM!”

It’s one week later, and I’m still sporting the supporter. My scrabble bag isn’t as sore, and what was originally a bruised rainbow of purple, blue, and other truly wrong colors is almost recognizable. In six weeks (and roughly 20 ejaculations to make sure none of my swimmers are hiding out), I’ll take a juice sample to the testing lab—just to ensure I’ve experienced the correct level of embarrassment. But then? I will have what Braveheart and so many more have yearned for: FREEDOM. (And my personal manager is pretty happy about it, too.)