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Completing the Assembly

February 28, 2000


He put down the magazine and surveyed his three children, the two toddlers in his wife's arms and a newborn, from the comfort of the easy chair. At seven months their newest born was beginning to get into everything; but then rug rats always are a handful.

He watched her, smiling the broad smile of a doting father as she crisscrossed the living room floor at breakneck speed on hands and knees. Her voracity was obvious. She'd gain the insight of caution later, maybe after tripping a couple of unwary parents; but right now she was right proud of herself. Having only worked out the technique this morning, she was still feeling the euphoria of the occasion. Of course it wasn't his idea letting her romp in the nude - that was her mother's. He secretly waited for the day she would leave a nice soft nest egg on the carpet; that would put an end to that!

"She's downright hard to keep track of," he said out loud, still doting, "Getting into everything. Won't sit still for a second, that kid."

"They learn a lot faster than they used to," his wife responded.

She balanced the two struggling older boys in her lap, reading them a story they would only learn to appreciate later.

Finally tiring of her travels, the newborn approached her father. She reached up, grabbed his leg as high as she could reach, and pulled herself up, delivering in the process that mouth-wide-open slobbery smile that is irresistible only to parents.

This was the first time she had performed the feat of standing. He bounced his leg a little to add some extra excitement to the experience and was rewarded by a dribble of urine distributed evenly between shoe and pant leg.

Grumbling something to himself about the realities of parenting, his mind turned to the unfinished business of child rearing. Although he liked to flirt with the possibilities for a few weeks, he really did know a lot more about raising boys. They just weren't as complicated.

"OK, he said, "If you're still set on having your own football team, I guess we'd better get the job done."

He took her by the arms and let her gently to the floor. His mind went back to earlier times, when they did it before discharging them from the hospital; he wished just a bit for those days.

"Nowadays", he continued out loud, "they cut so many corners to keep costs down."

"Just like a male to think that way," his wife responded, interrupting her reading. "You have no idea how much trouble it used to be using the litmus test twice a day, and all the things that could go wrong, such as a disinterested husband," she continued, her face breaking into a knowing grin.

She motioned toward the baby cabinet.

"Second drawer."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right," he responded abstractly.

Opening the drawer, he rummaged for scissors and the small padded envelope, sat down, and turned it over to check the label.


He opened the envelope carefully, withdrew the familiar sheet, and unfolded it.

Assembly Instructions - Boys Only

He read no further, flicking the instructions into the small wastebasket standing beside the cabinet.

"Instructions haven't changed; I'll bet I've read them at least a dozen times."

He unwrapped the small tube from the sterile padding and held it between his right thumb and index finger, inspecting it carefully. It was about an eighth-inch in diameter, and three inches long. The half-inch string dangled from the tiny hole in the lower end. The interior felt relatively rigid, but the skin was pliable and soft to the touch. The color was perfect, right down to the pre-shaped head.

"Looks perfect; just like the others. Somehow, I'm always surprised at how long and slender they are to begin with." he said. "It's the development characteristic, I guess. It still amazes me a little how it releases all the right hormones."

"Mmmm-hmmm," his wife responded between story lines.

He unfolded the wrapping with one hand and spread it out on the table, humming imperceptibly as he worked, then carefully laid the miniature appendage on it.

His timing was perfect. Both hands free, he lunged, as the baby girl, who had returned to her previous occupation, passed close to his chair; but even so she managed to escape his grasp, recoiling with enthusiasm at the new game. He got up from his chair and chased her down, still giggling and squirming.

Wrapping his arms around her, he held her tightly for a few moments to settle her down, and when she quit struggling slowly relaxed his hold. He examined her and found the tiny half-inch string dangling from the miniature slit.

"OK, honey, I'm ready, but you'll have to hold her so I can get it tied."

Putting the book down, his wife slid the two older boys to the floor and motioned for him to bring the baby to her. She took the baby in her lap in a semi-upright position, holding her legs to keep them from kicking during the procedure.

With the baby under control, he carefully crossed the two strings and drew them together tightly, securing it in place, then completed the knot. He cut off the dangling string ends almost against the knot and gave it a few gentle tugs until the knot disappeared inside the base of the tiny penis.

"There you are, my infant love."  "OK," he directed his wife, "Let him go! In a couple of weeks we'll have a fully functional little boy."

He leaned down gave her a dutiful peck on the cheek.

"I love you, darling", she responded, returning the kiss in kind. "I guess we'd better start thinking about the name."

She released their baby boy to the floor. Cackling, he immediately absconded to the most distant corner of the room, then sat there eyeing his parents, daring either to take up the previous game.

But his mother, picking up the book she had been reading to the two older boys, had different ideas.

"Come on, Sonny and Squirt; it's getting near bedtime."

He threw an exaggerated smile in the direction of his newest son and waved his fist in a characteristic man-to-man gesture, as if against the jaw.

"That oughta do it, slugger!"

Retiring to the comfort of his easy chair, he picked up the magazine he had been reading and opened it.

February 28, 2000



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