Never let it be said that being the mother of two little boys is not educational.
The scene: Saturday afternoon, and we are at a beach playground, trying out Littleboy 1's new bike, his seventh birthday present. It's the day before his nature-themed party at a wildlife centre; having spent what seems like weeks preparing for all eventualities, I am all ready (despite the fact that not all the Mums have replied yet to my Evite invitation. One of them does, finally, at midnight that night, to say yes. Then, in the morning, she changes her reply to no. The Doctor and I joke that she must have been drunk for the first reply, hungover for the second. Although perhaps it's not a joke...).
The boys abandon their bikes and go to play on the huge climbing frame, which is built in the style of a pirate ship. There are two little girls there also playing, their father nearby. The Doctor and I are seated some way off, relieved that at last we don't need to police the boys quite so closely in the playground, as at five and seven, they are fairly independent.
Suddenly, there is an anguished howl - from the birthday boy.
Then Littleboy 2's voice, clear as a bell, rings out. "Your penis is on fire!" he says to his brother, with an intonation half of incredulity and half (I am afraid to say) of glee.
We both sprint towards the playground, my main priority at this point being to give Littleboy 2 a round telling off for shouting loudly about penises in the playground (I've told him, I really have...). Littleboy 1 I am not so worried about - he's always hurting himself and can be a bit of a drama queen.
Then I see my firstborn - running towards me, trousers down, blood spurting from his crotch and all over his clothes. Suddenly, Littleboy 2's description does not seem inaccurate.
The Doctor and I stand there, gaping, for a second.
We go into action. The Doctor runs off for the First Aid kit in the car, as I frantically throw my fleece at Littleboy 1's nether regions in an effort both to staunch the blood flow and cover him up. (The little girls and father in the playground are desperately trying not to look.)
I try to keep calm for Littleboy 1, who is crying and asking things like "Am I going to die?", but actually I am beside myself - what has he done exactly? Will this mean a trip to the ER? Will he be OK for his party? And, most importantly, has he ruined his sex life forever?
The Doctor returns, applies a bandage and has a proper look, diagnosing a tiny tear in the foreskin. "It's a very vascular area," he pronounces, drawing on his full knowledge of anatomy. Oh- kay........
I am glad to say that it recovered; the blood stopped, there was no discernible injury, and no trip to the ER. I am still not sure exactly what he did, other than throwing himself at some kind of pole to slide down it. But one thing is for sure; he will not be doing it again.
"That was a bad choice, wasn't it?" he says to me later, when I am giving him a little talk about how it's a sensitive area and he should be more careful.
"Yes," I agree."It was."