Why in our society do people—OK, mainly those of the male persuasion—find it funny to teach little kids bad words? I always vowed that I would not be “that mom” that allowed that to happen with my own kids. I know, I know—how we judge before we actually have children of our own!
Anyway, while I was taking college night classes my girls were left in the hands of my sweet husband. I never gave it a second thought—after all, he is their father, not a babysitter. I shouldn’t have to leave out instructions, right? Maybe there is one I should have left: do not teach our kids bad words for their body parts. I guess I thought it went without saying.
Nonetheless, one morning after waking up my daughter found me at the computer and pointed to her chest. I didn’t understand the word she was using, so I probably just nodded and smiled. Then, when she pointed to my chest and said it again, I stopped what I was doing and paid closer attention.
“What, honey?” I asked.
“Titties!” she exclaimed, gleeful at her new understanding of her body.
“What?” I repeated, feeling as though I was in a deep fog. Surely this conversation couldn’t be happening.
“Titties,” she repeated. “You titties, “ she said, pointing to my chest. “I have titties,” she said proudly, pointing her own flat tree-year-old chest.
It didn’t take thirty seconds for me to jump to the phone and call my husband. “WHAT have you been telling her?” I demanded.
“I didn’t know what else to call them,” he defended himself.
“Um, how about breasts?” I suggested. I was seething. It didn’t help that he was laughing. It certainly didn’t help that I had been on speakerphone and his entire office (full of men, naturally) were laughing. To me, a girl calling her body parts by those kinds of names is just a recipe for disaster. Maybe I overreacted, maybe I will laugh one day. Who knows? But for now I strongly believe that girls know the proper names for their body parts. I feel it protects them in the future.
Weigh in, Mamas. What is your take?