Every man can attest to the debilitating pain that even the slightest glancing blow inflicts on our dangly bits, but fathers of young kids are particularly vulnerable. Those little limbs flailing at full speed -- shudder. GQ has advice for staying on the offence when wearing a chest carrier. Their recommendation? A defensive hand in your pocket.
However, assuming you want to avoid looking like a smarmy pocket-pool pervert on your next family outing, we recommend trying the following:
Put an Arm Under Their Legs
If it's your first time strolling along with your stylish child carrier and your firstborn tags your testes with a ravaging back kick, we feel for you, man. Any time after that: It's your own damn fault.
If you need a short-term stopgap solution because you've just realised your baby's legs are capable of crushing your cojones while in the carrier, put an arm under their legs to decrease their reach and minimise the windup (so even kicks to the kidneys won't hurt as bad).
Be warned, though, this solution isn't sustainable. If you plan on having more kids (and who knows how seriously you're contemplating that given your current condition), you're gonna need something more permanent.
Put that Flailing Kid on Your Back, Man
Once your kid's grown enough that carrying them in a chest carrier frequently results in vicious leg sweeps to your stones, you gotta get 'em out of range, stat.
If your carrier doesn't double up as forward and backward facing, either piggyback or invest the money in a carrier designed for riding over the shoulders. Your gonads will be grateful, and you can't put a price on that.
Explain to Them How Much it Really, Really Hurts
Jokingly acting hurt is hilarious to kids, and sometimes, they can't tell the difference between play pain and real pain. This is particularly scary because nut-susceptibility can also occur outside the carrier, like while wrestling or playfighting.
For the sake of your sperm stash, you gotta set some boundaries below the belt before entering the ring. Speak in a sincere tone so they know you're not kidding and make sure the tiny ballmasher understands they're capable of causing very intense, very real pain.
Keep Your Head on a Swivel
Even while not playfighting or wrestling, preschoolers are a godforsaken combination of unpredictable mobility, deceptive power and poor coordination, which means there's always a threat of an impromptu shot to your goolies.
Gone are the days of tranquilly browsing your phone as your little one scurries about in a walker. Once they have attained the ability to unwittingly pulverise your privates, it's best to exhibit lifeguard-level alertness. The toilet and shower might be the only places safe enough to let your guard down -- at least for a couple of years.
If all else fails, or your kid is a hellion hellbent on hammering your huevos...
Wear a Protective Cup
Fatherhood may have been the final nail in the coffin for your fading athletic fantasies, but you can still get good mileage out of at least one piece of old equipment! What's better, you'll feel extra athletic while achieving various feats of Dad Strength (hoisting children, opening jars, competitive napping).
Sure, it may lead to some awkwardness next time you take a leak at a public urinal, but at least you won't pathetically crumple into a lifeless wad of blubbering flesh next time your child unleashes a fiendish foot strike on your family jewels.