Sometimes, I regret having taught my kids the ‘anatomical’ words for well, anatomy. It all goes with the theory that you don’t want your kids to be ashamed of their bodies, so don’t give them silly words for their body parts. An arm is an arm and a penis is not a willy or nicky but a penis. And hopefully a penis is NEVER an arm. Because that would be freaky. I felt regret for this ‘naming’ when I had the following conversation with my 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son last night. My 5-yr-old was sitting on my lap and sort of punching/kneading my boobs. (We do call them boobs, and not breasts. Mostly because we eat chicken breasts and that freaks me out. One would never eat a chicken boob.)
ME: Simone. Simone. Simone! Could you please stop pushing on my boobs?
SIMONE: Why? I like them. They’re fun.
ME: They’re not fun. They’re just boobs.
SIMONE: They’re soft. I want to put my head on them. (Then she starts kneading them again and making little ‘boing boing’ sounds.)
ME: You’re making me uncomfortable. Where are the boundaries? This family needs boundaries! When you were a baby you wanted nothing to do with my boobs.
SIMONE: I like them now.
LOUIS: You’ll get some of your own later. Like when you’re eighteen.
ME: Probably fourteen, Louis. Maybe even twelve or thirteen. (Simone is still kneading me.) And then I’ll grab YOUR boobs and you’ll be MORTIFIED.
LOUIS: Yeah. Mortified. Hey, Simone. Did you know girls have vaginas?
SIMONE: (Giving him a ‘duh’ expression.) Yes, Louis. I know all about baginas.
ME: Not buh-ginas, honey, vuh-ginas.
LOUIS: Yep. You’ve got a vagina. Mom’s got a vagina. All women have vaginas! Even I have a vagina. (pause. pause. pause.) Naw. I don’t have a vagina because that would just be awkward. Like, REALLY awkward.
What could I do? I just shook my head and then tried to deftly change the conversation by saying “Hey! Anybody want dessert?”