Friday, November 5, 2010

The Joys of Parenting: The Unmentionables

{*Warning: This post is kinda long. But I use words like butt, boobs and...vagina. I apologize if anyone is offended but I'm just keeping it real.}

When you become a parent, the first thing that usually enters your mind is "I am not doing any of the things my parents did to me." Now, don't get me wrong. My parents were (and are) great; they instilled the right morals, values and habits in me. Do we always follow through? No. I definitely pushed the boundaries but at the end of it all, I think I turned out to be a pretty decent person.

Which brings me to now. 

I pride myself on being an open-minded, cool, laid-back, understanding and honest Mom. Most of the time. I have certain views on the world around me just as my parents had theirs. But, Berlyn is my daughter so she gets raised with my set of values, beliefs, etc. If she changes her mind? That's fine with me. Just as long as it doesn't involve knocking off a liquor store or something.

I was really not prepared for my 3 year old to begin talking about....the sex stuff. I wasn't sure exactly when the appropriate age was but I just had no idea it would come so soon.

It all started with her obsession with her bottom.

Last year, when she was 2, I spanked her because, well, she's got an attitude. She wasn't listening to me and I was really upset and at the end of my rope. As I spanked her, she turned around and screamed, "NO! That's MY butt!!!!!"

I collapsed in a fit of giggles.

Then, this year.
My family and I were on a mission to get her out of the habit of saying "butt." She finally got it and was referring to it as her bottom. The only problem? She was calling her front part her bottom too. Uh, now what?

Thoughts swirled through my head..."Do I tell her what "it" is?", "Is she too young?", "Oh my god, I cannot say "vagina" to her!!!!" 

I was freaked. out.

I asked several friends and family members what they thought I should do. The consensus was to tell her those were her "privates." Okay, I could do that.

But, a few days later I don't know what came over me. I felt like I was lying to her and I decided I would tell her the "correct" term.  

Now, let me flashback, oh about 22 years real quick. Only my best friends and close family know this story and I can't believe I'm writing this but, here goes. 

In elementary school, I already knew all about s-e-x. My best friend, who is a year older than me, was with me on the playground one day when, naturally, we began talking about vaginas.

In mid sentence, she stopped me and said, "Wait....what did you just say?"

I replied.. "Bagina."

"B"agina. Seriously, that's how I thought it was pronounced.

My best friend exploded into laughter. "No!!!! It's "Va" Va Va VOOM".

I'll never forget that day as long as I live, because we joke about it to this day and consider what would've happened if no one had ever corrected me. Can you IMAGINE?!

So, back to Berlyn.

After her bath one night, I told her what that area was called.

She yelled proudly, "That's my BAgina!"
I could not believe it. My daughter pronounced it exactly the way I had when I was 8. I stared at her in disbelief and quickly corrected her but let her know she didn't need to talk about it. After all, there is a time and place for all that.

That didn't work because for the next few days she ran around screaming, "This is my BAGINA!!!" while grabbing herself.

Yeah, I was proud. Apparently, so was she.

Which leaves me with the "boobs." Oh lord. These seem to be Berlyn's favorite subject. 
She grabs mine constantly and even while I am trying to tell her no and explain why it's not okay to grab others, she breaks into hysterical laughter and then, so do I.
This is hard stuff, this parenting thing. Especially when I still find all that funny.

This very morning, Berlyn looked at my bra, lying on the bed and said:

" this where your boobs live?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand about using "proper" words. Mike had an ABSOLUTE fit when I taught Cole PENIS instead of PEEPEE!!!!! The other tough thing was teaching him people were not to touch him "in th bathing suit area" w/out scaring the beejeezers out of him.
So many lovely roads we parents get to navigate......especially single parents.
When Berlyn is older, you can back off the "morals", (since you will have successfully instilled them) and enjoy the fun of being a parent.
Remember you can always run something by me....I tend to be a bit Bohemian myself!!!
Your Aunt Wendy