What Would Freud Have Said?
The boy’s mother was ill in bed and lying on her side with her eyes shut, while the boy sat beside her with an erection. He didn’t understand the erection or its purpose, but there it was.
He spoke to his mother about numerous things – the sky, sweets, TV, his friends – and his mother replied with tired tones, trying to care but too ill to do so.
When the boy realised he’d outstayed his welcome, he peeled from the bed and went to the mirror on the wall, pulled aside his pyjamas and examined his erection, wondering what the hell it was. He touched and played with it while in the reflection his mother rested, her head out of sight amongst the pillows.
All of a sudden, as if aware of what her son was doing, she sat up, and in one fluid motion the boy pulled up his pyjamas and jumped from the room to go play with his toys, knowing she had seen his inquisitiveness, and feeling very aware of a lack of embarrassment, which he probably should have felt, but didn’t.
By lunchtime it was forgotten.