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Old 06-13-2006, 11:33 PM   #54
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Re: What to call private parts?

I understand the reasoning behind teaching kids the proper names, but I also understand teaching them a little discretion about when/where/how/with whom to discuss things. I mean, dh and I obviously know the proper terms, but have you ever discussed your "vulva" with your husband? When I go to the doctor, I use the medical name, in other settings I use whatever euphamism seems appropriate at the time.

When DJ was still nursing, somehow the whole act of nursing and everything about it came to be known as "booby". That wasn't just the body part, it was everything about breastfeeding...and it wasn't kind of started out as me making fun of dh and then DJ picked up on it. I was talking to my cousin who was also nursing a toddler at the same time one day and said something about "boobies" and she freaked out telling me I shouldn't be calling "it" that around DJ. I asked her what they call it at their house and she said that she's tried very hard to avoid calling "it" anything. Now this is straying from the OP's question just a little bit, but I always felt more comfortable, no matter who was around, when DJ would get up in my lap and pat my chest and say "booby" (which btw usually came out sounding more like "bee-boo" or "boo-boo") than when Samuel would climb up in her lap and try to take her shirt off. Personal preference I guess... Anyway, she was freaked out by the thought that DJ would say "booby" until her son got hooked on the word penis and started using it for shock value. She taught him "penis" the same time and same way she taught him "eyes", "ears", etc. but even at that young age, he learned very fast that just saying that word freaked adults out so he yelled it at every opportunity.

Once, several months ago, when I was changing DJ's diaper and we were naming off body parts to keep his hands out of the way, he grabbed "it" and asked "What's that, Mommy?" so I very nonchalantly told him penis and he repeated it. I have to admit though, it felt strange. Since then, it hasn't really come up in conversation Tonight, DJ (23 months) was taking a shower with dh and when they got out and were drying off, DJ was right about eye level with dh's waist. I don't know why this is the first time he's noticed but he just stared for a minute and then asked "What's that?" DH kind of stammered and stuttered and I just told him "Penis...just like yours." DH got MAD and said I shouldn't teach him that because now he's going to go to my mom's house and drop his drawers to show everyone his "penis". So I guess I'm kind of torn. If he comes right out and asks what it is, I want to give him an honest answer so that he knows the proper terminology. At the same time though, I want him to be aware of social and cultural expectations regarding discretion. DOes that make any sense at all?
Barbara - Unexpectedly back after a long hiatus...anxiously awaiting #6!
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