anatomy lessons


This may come as a shock to you, but males and females have differences in anatomy. Well, if you are 2 years old, at least, it may come as a bit of a surprise.

It may not come as a surprise to you that a 2-year-old who has been going through intensive potty training might be rather intrigued with diapers. So when Theo came home from the hospital, Phoebe wanted to be around to watch his diaper changes. For the first couple changes that Phoebe observed, she was mostly disturbed by the umbilical stump, which was a pretty disturbing thing. “I don’t like that thing,” she said. “Take it off.”

Once the offending appendage had fallen off, when Theo was around 10 days old, Phoebe’s attention was drawn to the diaper area.

“He has a nipple!” she exclaimed with surprise.
“Oh, um, that’s something else,” I replied.
And then, blissfully, the attention got diverted.

Some diaper change, a few days later:
Phoebe: What’s that thing?
My head: Damn, do we have to have this conversation?
Me: Well, that’s where his pee-pee comes out. Um…
Some people call it a “pee-pee.”
My head: Do we really want to teach her baby-talk terms?
Me: But it’s really called a penis.
My head: Damn, did I just teach the word penis to my 2-year-old daughter?
Me: It’s something that boys have.
Phoebe: Oh.
Me: [awkward silence]
My head: [awkward silence]
Phoebe: [Happily] I just have the regular kind.
Me: Me too!

—-
I’ve had this in my drafts for a few weeks, and have since been amused to read a couple of other posts on terms for nipples and other bits from
dragonfly and Emily.

17 responses to “anatomy lessons

  1. Ha! I also managed to avert certain disaster during a conversation about where babies come from a few weeks ago. And I’ll keep on averting it for as long as I possibly can :)

  2. Decisions to be made…it seems okay to lie about Santa, but when it comes to “boy-parts” and “girl-parts” we all get a little nervous about conversations our kids might be having with a psychiatrist 30 years from now.

  3. Laughing, hard. I decided that my kids would use the correct term and started my daugher with ‘genitals’. She immediately made it into ‘gentles’ and confused the dickens out of her grandmother.

    I knew a kid who referred to ‘tinkle’ and ‘plop’. What can you do but laugh.

  4. Oh that’s *really* funny. I have a regular one, too :-)

  5. And this is whst I mean when I talk about blogs being in conversation.

  6. Hahaha! I’m glad I have the regular kind, too.

    Josh was getting out of the shower while KayTar was on the potty one day. She caught a glimpse and started LAUGHING hysterically, she said, “What is THAT?” And continued to laugh for some time. It was so very funny.

  7. this gave me a good laugh…the regular kind!

  8. heheheheheheheheh. fun with children!

    i’m all for teaching them the proper terms, but there are unintended consequences, i’m told. my mother claims that at the age of 4, so annoyed with a supermarket shopper who kept calling my 6-month-old brother “such a pretty girl,” i screeched at the top of my lungs, “he is a BOY! he has a PENIS!”

    of course, mom being a psychologist, found it all fascinating. the other woman, not so much.

  9. Miss M is obsessed with the humble penis right now. She figured out what they were in summer when she saw her classmate in the day care washroom. “Alex can’t poo because he only has a noodle bum,” she told me. I explained that a noodle bum is, in fact, a penis and that Alex pees out of his penis like all boys. Now it’s all she can talk about. “Daddy, I want to see your penis. Mommy, does my teacher, Brian have a big penis? What starts with the letter P: penguin, pineapple and PENIS!!!!”

    It’s never ending in our house. Oy.

  10. The regular kind! Your kid slays me.

  11. We use penis or boy bits… figured I don’t want them to be embarrassed about themselves, and this might be the best way to go.

    But we won’t know how that pans out until the therapy years, right? ;-)

  12. “the regular kind”

    he he

    MQ knew all the proper words at 2. it’s really the best way to go, so fear not.

  13. Pingback: Do you know the nipple song? « collecting tokens

  14. My son thinks “penis” is a great word, and uses his sticky letters to spell it out on the tub wall!

    “Scrotum,” not so much…

  15. Great rendition of that dialogue! [Awkward silence] indeed. Way to handle it gracefully, mom.

  16. rima-
    Ugh. Another topic to be avoided.

    morethan-
    If that’s the worst thing they have to share with their therapists, then things will have gone pretty smoothly…

    Mary-
    I kind of like “gentles.”

    mimi-
    I like it that we have the default kind.

    Emily-
    It is a cool thing about blogging, isn’t it?

    Kyla-
    That’s pretty funny. I can’t really blame her…

    maja-
    Glad you got a laugh!

    jenny-
    That is the part the worries me a bit. (Bits and parts?) I mean, I’m not entirely sure what she’ll say at daycare, for example.

    Mad-
    That is hilarious! We’ve been playing around with foam letters at bathtime, spelling words. I guess I should be somewhat relieved that we haven’t spelled that one!

    Az-
    Ha ha!

    Ahsley-
    She slays me too.

    ewe-
    Yeah, I’m hoping that our kids won’t grow up feeling embarrassed about these things.

    painted-
    I’m glad to hear that others have learned the proper words at 2. Without obvious scarring, that is. (And yeah, I am inclined to believe that the proper terms are better. I’m a bit stuck on the “girl bits” options that are available, though.)

    flying-
    Yeah, I guess it’s a decent word. A definitely better than scrotum.

    riddlebiddle-
    Why, thank you!

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