Stephanie at The Dirty Mommy blog discussed an amusing tale with her young daughter showing her anatomy smarts on the playground. I think most parents can recognize how embarrassing it is, particularly since kids seem to pick times when you least expect to be having that particular discussion.
We've been dealing something similar with our Little Guy. We try to use the correct terms for his body parts and he seems to understand it pretty well. He's known for a while that he has a penis. However, he's reaching a point where he's now recognizing the difference between boys and girls. So far we have established that (always at the top of his lungs) Little Guy has a penis, Daddy has a penis and boy-cat Tiger has a penis. He's always so proud of himself for identifying them. Petting girl-cat Caitlin, on the other hand produced shock and concern.
Caitlin was sitting on my lap, getting pettins, and I was scritching that little spot where the tail connects to the body because she loves that and always arches her back for more. As we were petting her, Little Guy noticed that there was something different about her.
"OH NO MOMMY!" he screeched. "Where is Caitlin's penis? Where did it go?"
I explained that Caitlin was a girl and, therefore, did not have a penis. Big Guy and I both emphasized that boys have penises (penii?) and girls do not. So far, we have not had to deal with what girls have instead. Now, however, he's just as proud of his knowledge of who has a penis and who does not. This is becoming even more important to him as we work on potty training and he spends a good portion of time nude. This makes it difficult to try and enforce appropriate times for identification because right now he needs to be naked to get to the potty in time. Add to that, our desire to not give our son body issues and sometimes the embarrassment reaches epic levels.
On Sunday, as I was preparing to take a shower, a very naked Little Guy burst into our bathroom proudly announcing that "Mommy has no penis!"
Er, yes, thank you. Go find Daddy. Go sit on the potty. Go do SOMETHING else!
"Little Guy has a penis! It's naked, see?" Cue typical boy dance. "And dancing!"
Yes, I know. Go into the family room.
"I have a butt! It's naked too! See?"
Luckily, Big Guy appeared to shoo our son into the family room and his little potty. I know I need to thank my lucky stars that I have a smart, clever son. He puts pieces together and figures things out much faster than I expect. Now, if we could just get him to understand the importance of using the potty!
Are Anatomically Correct terms okay?