Thursday, October 16, 2008

I didn't think I'd be pulling out the "U" word already

First let me immediately squelch two emotions on the grandparent front: I am NOT pregnant. That kind of news would have sent one set into squeals and my mom into sheer panic.

Okay. Glad to have that out of the way.

I never quite know what Lily's little brain is thinking. Today, completely out of the blue, she uttered this thought:

Mommy, what happens to the baby in your tummy when you eat food and it goes down and splashes all over the baby?

I stuttered around and can't even recall exactly what I said, but something to the effect that the baby isn't actually in your tummy, but another part of your body.

The moment I mentioned the term "uterus", she completely lost interest and skipped away.

I don't blame her, I think the word uterus is a little ugly myself and am glad it doesn't have to be a part of my daily conversations.

There are two schools of thought on all this body part naming business. I say two, probably more than that though honestly.

I like the idea of calling everything exactly what it is from day one, or at least I thought I did, until I actually had children. Then it seemed so unnatural and a little awkward. I like the innocence of the little names we have for the "private parts" and think it is fine keeping it that way for a while at least.

Then Lily poses questions like she did today and it makes me feel like a liar.

What school of thought do you belong to? I can totally see the benefits of being more straightforward, but just haven't succeeded in doing it.

The craziest thing to me is that kiddos actually see eachother's "privates" at times during the course of the preschool day. Potty breaks are pretty public business at many of the nursery schools we've experienced. Maybe this freaks me out because I have only same gender children, so the opportunity for life's little lessons doesn't present itself as part of our day.

Which leads me to a true story that makes me giggle every time I think of it. It may not be very funny typed out because I won't be using names and I don't know how to spell a key word...even phonetically.

There once was a 2 1/2 year old girl who was new on the preschool scene. She was accustomed to calling her potty part an ouou (oo, like in soup). She was very concerned when during the day she spied a boy's potty part. After school she ran up to her mother and exclaimed, "Mommy, that boy has a long ouou!"


jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

Gosh. I don't know. I find myself using made-up words for body parts with my little one.

You're right - it just feels less strange. Who wants to hear a 2 year old girl use the "V" word? Kinda creepy if you ask me...

I figure that she can learn the real names later...

Jennifer @ Taking My Time said...

We've always used the term 'privates.' I'm really weirded out using the technical names. I remember when I was a preschool teacher and one of my students' moms was a nurse, taught her kids the proper names and when she said p*n*s in front of me while talking to her son, I was soooo embarrassed.

Oh and my husband hates the words uterus and cervix. Hearing those just gross him out!

Wilson Family said...

So funny! Well I think we were on the side of technical terms. So both boys call them penis'. But that somehow is the only technical word we got across (I think because we just used other names not really thinking about it, but they aren't cutesy kid names either ie, balls, boobies). LOL Just as long as they have something to call it, that isn't inappropriate. The nice thing is that we (those of us with just boys) are lucky that there are just a couple parts on them to name, and an occasional Mommy part. Usually the whole baby process doesn't come up too much. Thanks goodness!

R said...

before, we danced around the issue and gave "parts" cutesy names. (we have 2 girls.)

...until i met a friend who is a social worker who counsels abused children.

she said that many many times adults can't be prosecuted when abuse is suspected because children don't know how to properly communicate what's happened to them.

her advice to her fellow mom friends was that it's never too early for our children to know technical names, so we taught our oldest at about 2 1/2. and she thinks nothing of it at this point (she's almost 3 now).

just my take on it. i don't judge! :0)

Brittany said...

Eventually we will use correct terms, but only after they have both reached the point that they will no longer blurt it out in public. Right now it's simply "girl parts" and "boy parts". Still correct but not precise.

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