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May 05, 2008


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OH my god...this is what I have in store?!! I have two stepsons but they were already set in their ways...a penis is a "ding-dong"...and they are 9 and 12 and STILL call it a ding-dong! I was NOT having that with my daughter so from day one I told her it was a vagina. She is now 20 months old and LOVES pointing out, in public, in the middle of storytime at the library, in the bath, ON ME (EEK!) where the "gina" is. Real pleasant. Tonight I needed a shower, and she a bath, so I brought her in with me and while my eyes are closed washing my face I feel something brushing up against my "gina"...I opened my eyes in shock and see my little girl with my loofa trying to clean me saying "Mama's gina...KEEN! (clean)". Oh lord. So I have been working on teaching her that "ginas" are private, Mommy's gina is private, for mommy only. Well so much for that, she thought I said "PRIZE" not private and now expects some type of present every time she points one out - "Gina...PRIZE" (with hands out stretched for her prize). Mabye my grandmother had it right telling my mother it was called her "underneath". :)

Tee hee. You and I are opposite, K, on this one. I have written about my distaste for anatomically correct words for the kiddie privates at my blog. I'm Euphemism Mom all the way. Should you be so inclined:

Spill Plan, we call that a "nature pee" in my house. Cough. I taught them how to do it right.

This kind of thing? THIS? Is what frigtened the heck out of me when I thought I was having a boy. I had a girl, and immediately made plans to call it a vagina. At about 20 months she started poionting, and the first thing out of my damn fool mouth because I wasn't thinking about it was "that's your junk, honey!" Dear lord. Maybe when the comprehension skills get a little better we'll discuss names...

I babysat a little boy for a few years. The day he saw me changing my baby girls diaper and he shreaked "Oh my God where is her do-do?" I nearly peed myself as I explained that she didn't have a do-do, but a dee-dee.

I taught Dawson the word 'penis' as soon as he started asking questions about his. I'm still not sure how to have the "private parts" conversation with him. I think I'm going to leave that up to his father.

This is my first time here too, and I agree with the other poster - the comments are hysterical. Love your posts that I've read so far. I agree with using the anatomically correct words. Didn't some pediatricians on Today say the same thing? Better to get it right now than have to re-invent the language later on. I also have one boy(4) and one girl(2). Not looking forward to that discussion. Speaking of penis - just wait until your son realizes that he can just whip it out and pee on your front lawn. Then he'll ask why he can't pee on the bushes like the dog.
I totally understand about your little sack of potatoes. My 4-year old has learned to lie, but at least he does say he's lying if you ask him directly whether he is or isn't.

This is my first time here and dear lord, I'm laughing harder at the comments than I am the post. Three year old Missy Hoohaw loves her vagina so much she named her babydoll Vagina. We call her 'Gina for short. Especially in public.

We won't even get into her "tickling" herself on the booster seat.

I swear one of the most traumatizing conversations I ever had with my son was over private parts. So I understand where you're coming from. I think he was 3 when he realized he had something that my friends little girl did not. Oy. Good luck!

Great story. My oldest has a speech disorder and took to calling her part, a vaginy. Not quite as bad as va-va-vay (or whatever Oprah calls in), but still makes me both cringeful and thankful.

I did the same thing when teaching my older child what to call his private parts. I taught him the word penis. And then that all changed when everytime we went out in public, this 3 year old would ask (and not quietly, mind you) if that person and this person had a penis too? I was so embarrassed and I decided right then and there that I would from this day on, call it something much cuter and less embarassing to hear in public.

Ok. My little girl is only 14 months, and I have always been one for anatomically correct terminology, but these stories are making me *shudder.* Can I just play dumb for the next 8 years? No? Damnit.

I do have to say I've always called them "personal" places and not "private" places. I don't want the kids to get the vibe that there is something secret or wrong about them.

A couple of weeks ago at the gym a stranger tried to help Lukie with his shoe while a was grabbing our load of stuff. Lio ran over saying MAMA. THERE IS A STRANGER TOUCHING LUKE. That gets your attention now doesn't it!

I was talking to a friend about the subject and she feels like you are scaring kids if you talk to them about strangers and touching, etc. I feel like I'm empowering them because they know what to do! The gym experience just cemented it for me.

And yep, a penis is a penis and a vagina a vagina. I never understood the naming of a penis after food items. Who could get their mojo going when it's viewed as a pickle!!

Oh sure, way to use the handy penis story to distract the anonymous anatomy police from yelling at you for saying vagina and not specifying vulva and inner and outer labia.

ha ha. you just made me realize that my parents "seriousness" was probably all feigned as well! I was about 10 when they gave me that very serious "factual" talk, i was uncomfortable as all hell. now i can't help but wonder what was actually going through their heads. :) thanks!

K likes to go through Wal-Mart trying to poke my "boobies". He sees how much it embarrasses me and that's all the encouragement he needs. Not looking forward to the upcoming q's at.all.

This is so hard. My 5 (girl) and 7 (boy) year olds still take baths together. I wonder how long I can let them do that. We've had the private parts talk--but I still cringe when I hear "get off me". Right now, they are just so innocent. It's hard to know where the line is of stressing privacy, without freaking them out!

Madeleine, just shy of her 5th birthday, had obviously seen one of the boys in the kindergarten using the toilet, and she was trying to tell me about 'the thing they pull out'. It told her it was called a penis and this is what boys have. I said girls don't have them, they have something else. "What's it called?" she wanted to know. And I said "a vagina". She paused, then whispered, "oh, Mummy... that's a beautiful name!"

I am so glad to know there are other people with really good (well-defined) boundaries with their kids.

I like using proper terms with my kids. I don't want my kids to be shocked at the words when others mention them like it's the plague or something.

It's good that you kept a level head in front of your daughter when she said the lie.

I applaud you!

This morning, chez us:


(daddy) that's my penis


(daddy) it's a penis


(daddy) no


(daddy) no


(daddy) something like that.

(mommy) (would have been rolling on floor laughing effing ass off were it not for ongoing belly pain)

(so glad to hear that it just GETS WORSE.)

I have three boys. We have always used the appropriate terms. They have all been through the stage where they are members of the "POC" -- the Penile Obsession Club. I am so tired of explaining that you can only play with your penis in private, meaning BY YOURSELF. (I can still hear my then two year old saying "But, Mommy, wook at my cute wittle tet-ickles")

What was really fun is the day I had to create the house rule of "The only penis you can play with is your own." My middle child got sad for a moment and said, "But, Mommy, you don't have a penis, so you won't get to play with one." My husband was standing right there with a wicked grin on his face the whole time...

It's lovely. I completely believe you that your daughter was telling a tale. Why you ask? My 5-year-old son told his sunday school class that he "kisses mommy on her vagina" last week. Yeah, when I picked him up and they told me I almost cried. I was so scared they were going to think I molest him. It was awful.

We teach the proper terms also. He wants to know why our 8 month old daughter doesn't have hair on her vagina.


Just wanted to let you know that my daughter has asked to touch her brothers "two balls" on several occasions.

"Can I touch them?"


"Are there one or two in there?"


"It looks like just one ball, can I touch them?"




I am laughing so hard I am crying! Especially over the little boy that wanted a raspberry on his penis to magic it!! Aren't they fun!! I really don't remember my owns and their "private"issues, but I do have a 2-1/2 year granddaughter and an almost 5 year old grandson. Penis and Vagina are words they love to say! And now that the little princess is potty trained, she has a hard time keeping her hand out of her underwear."Gamma, I just checkin'", and she told me that it "tickled" when i wiped her the other day.OMG I am so glad that they only stay with me once a week cause I am always laughing and not real great with serious face grandma.

This is the book I have for my daughter:

It is awesome. Some days you wish to skip a few pages though. Actually my hubby does. He probably skips MOST of the book. My daughter knows it makes him very uncomfortable, so now that she started reading a bit, she takes the book over to him and actually reads parts of it to him. He came downstairs the other days because she started reading it to him while he was trying to nap. When I mentioned his nap was short, he said "well she was harassing me!" My daughter came downstairs and said all she was doing was reading him the book. He is just not comfortable with vagina/penis discussions!

Like you, even if I am not comfortable discussing it with my daughter, I fake it, and I buy books. :)

Oh man! I'm so not ready for my baby to grow up!!! She'll be one in June and I think she should stay at that age for oh....20 years or so :)

On numerous occasions my 3 year old has been reduced to tears over the fact that I do not have a penis. Ground covered has included Where did it go? Will you grow one? How do you pee? (answer, we both have a urethra it just comes out in different places) Why don't you want one? But I want you to have one!

It's a hard conversation to have. I'm of the same opinion that using the correct terms and being honest is important. We have a book called "My Body is Private" by Linda Walvoord Girard. The illustrations are not the greatest quality, but the information is very good. It talks about privacy and how everyone needs privacy, about which parts are private, about when to say "no" and respecting other people when they say "no" and what is inappropriate touching/behaviour. Just thought I'd recommend it. We've had it since my daughter was three and she really likes reading it. I think she finds it reassuring to know these things about her body.

We've started calling it a vagina for our 3 year old, but we called it "crotch" for so long before that that she's having a hard time calling it the correct name. Oh well.

Our 1.5 year old knows he has a penis, and has become fascinated with not only touching his own, but trying to touch the dog's penis too. Lovely.

Children who know the proper names for their parts are less likely to be molested. I knew a woman who actually taught her son his penis was called a "whistle". Oh My God.
My three year old knows he has a penis and a scrotum. He knows daddy has one too. "I like to look at Daddy's," he told me one day. He does. He'll try to sneak in when the hubby is peeing or taking a shower and look.
He has asked his grandfather if he has a penis and scrotum too. Luckily the man is hard of hearing.

I think it makes sense to use the real terms, so you don't have to deal with which made-up term to go with.

I dread the days when we start getting into these things loudly in public and kid logic enters into such a delicate area (no pun intended). For now, my 4-year-old son has had his questions answered and seems quite decorous about it all.

His little sister will likely not be so polite, it seems so far.

My 3 year old told me very loudly ( in company, of course) that mummy does not have a penis, she only has a mane. The people I was with have yet to stop laughing.

You know, I've REALLY thought about how best to 'victim-proof' my kids, and I read in a kids' safety book that using the anatomically correct terms for body parts is really important if - God forbid - something DOES happen to your little one that they have to make a statement or testify.

Then there's the time K. spent her entire music class attempting to um, double click her mouse. Yeah. Good times.

P.S. I never thought for even a second that your Huz did anything inappropriate with Q. Welcome to the Age of the Tall Tale.

It's a good thing it was your hubby on the phone...that would have been an interesting conversation with someone else. Nothing like a little penis touching to stall the conversation.

We use the correct names for parts as well. Although sometimes it takes a little longer for the name to be remembered, such as the time I caught my 5 year old "fondling" himself and he told me he liked playing with the "little balls". It took enormous strength not to burst out laughing before I could explain to him that we don't touch ourselves when others are present.

This is almost as good as the time my son asked me to give him a blowjob. (He asked for a raspberry on his penis to "magic" it.) Proud parenting moment, I tell you.

I have been using the proper names since my son was born. It took me forever to finally get him to understand that I did not have a penis. It is fine except when he finally did use them in the middle of a crowded restaurant in a loud voice. (Although it was cute that he decided that his dad had a big penis.)

I'm just still picturing his reaction. Bwahahaha!!!

Okay, my beloved nearly fainted when the lil' munchkin said she touched her privates because it felt good....

I meant to add:

The poor guy.



This post is a great post and it's all serious and such but for real??

I almost peed my pants with the whole, 'Well, my DADDY lets me touch HIS pen1s ALL THE TIME!!'

Oh. Mah. Gaaaaahhh. I'm so SURE that the Huz almost choked on his tounge. He was on SPEAKERPHONE no less!

If it was in a movie, people would go, 'Yeah, RIGHT!'


I thought the same thing Sci-Fi Dad did. I have 2 boys so vaginas haven't come up yet (and I'm letting their dad field those questions when they do) Boobs have come up. We end up talking about boobs at least once a week. Why women have boobs, why they come in different sizes, why some men only look like they have boobs, why it is inappropriate to shout "Look Mommy!!! BOOBS!!!" while pointing at form fitting bras in Target. That perhaps 'breasts' might be a better term to use....
Possibly talking about vaginas might be easier...

Yeah, my daughter is such good friends with her vagina that she calls her 'gina. She loves her 'gina, but she'd really prefer to have a penis.

We call everything down there your "bottom," which is not cutesy but not too specific. After all, you're really talking about the vulva and not the vagina, right? So, bottom is every bit as close as vagina, and it works for us without making my husband uncomfortable. When my kids are older I'll tell them the "real" words, but for now, "bottom" is close enough for all practical purposes. We also have two girls, so we don't have to differentiate between boy bottoms and girl bottoms, that might make a difference.

Congrats on using the 'correct' terms for body parts. My MIL never forgave me for teaching our Daughters Vagina and Penis. She told me "No Real Lady ever says Penis"..........I said "if you can't say Penis, you probably aren't ever seeing a Penis"!! AHEM.........

Isn't it amazing what kids will say to get what they want? We're going through the lying thing with our 6yo right now, and he comes up with some real whoppers too that we know just aren't true. He jsut told me Saturday when he lost a tooth that some of his friends get $1500 (no I didn't forget a decimal).

See, now I thought she meant that Daddy had let her touch Drew's penis, and figured it was one time when she was "helping" change a diaper or something.

But, yeah... those sorts of discussions are not fun. Try backpedaling away after you're caught using the word "hoo hah" under your breath.

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