Did anyone else watch the premiere episode of The Talk on CBS yesterday? It’s basically like The View, but with an all-Momma panel, including a couple of celeb Moms I ADORE: Sara Gilbert & Sharon Osbourne. It was Sara Gilbert’s idea — which only makes me love her more. I always felt a connection to her as the character Darlene on my favorite sitcom, Roseanne.
One of the topics that came up on was talking to your kids about sex. Now, being a Momma of a 2 & 5 yr old, I didn’t think this applied to me yet, but since nothing else is on at 2p and I had a dreaded pink load of laundry to fold, I kept watching. Turns out, the main thing they discussed was what you called your private parts around your kids. Growing up, my very Catholic [your-body-is-a-temple] mother would only refer to them as “Your Personal” Seriously. My vagina, my breasts, my ass — I only knew them as “My Personal” for years!!! What?! No cutesy names, but no real definition regarding the difference between my private parts. I was confused for YEARS; don’t know when I actually discovered that “My Personal” was actually called a vagina, for example, no idea when I realized what a penis was and never felt comfortable talking about my body until my 20s… even if I experienced quite a bit with my body before then. I was so naive & learned 99% of my sex-ed from my friends… how could I possibly learn or want to talk to my own mother about this topic when she couldn’t even say penis or vagina out loud??
The Mommas on The Talk all varied in their answers. Sara Gilbert agreed with the experts they interviewed, that when referring to a vagina, penis, etc, you should call them a vagina or a penis. Leah Remini, made me laugh and shutter at the same time. Leah seems very protective of her daughter, and calls her vagina a “cupcake”. Wow. Made me wonder how confused her daughter had to be when she ate actual cupcakes. Sharon, of course, had a couple of unique names for her kids’ private parts… sounded adorable & hilarious in her accent, as does just about everything that comes out of her mouth!
Because of my own confusion growing up, I’m on the “proper name” bandwagon. My girls both misunderstood the difference between their butt & vagina around the age of 2. During diaper changes, my daughters would say “My butt!” and point to their vagina, I would tell them, “No, your butt is behind you, where poop comes out of, but this is your vagina, where pee-pee comes out.” It’s something I’ve had to say several times to reinforce the topic, but only at the moments where it’s questioned. I don’t go around discussing vaginas at the drop of the hat with my kids. At this age, I do feel topics like this should be on a “when-questioned” basis.
A couple of months ago, during a diaper change, my youngest pointed to her vagina and said “LOOK! There’s my GOGINA!!” in the cutest little 2-yr old voice you’ve ever heard. I had to stop myself from laughing my ass off the first few times she said it, but now she pretty much says it every time we change her diaper. Although I’m not on the cutesty name bandwagon, I’m totally on board with gogina, mainly because she came up with it herself, and let’s face it, the word gogina makes me smile like crazy. Plus, this [hopefully] won’t lead to confusion like “my personal” or “cupcake” might. I also hope that being open & honest about our body parts will help ease into inevitable discussion of sex some day. Ugh. Not looking forward to those days… but I am preparing myself now, and giving them a little bit of what they are ready for now should help all of us down the road. I need a beer just thinking about that discussion.
How do you refer to body parts with your kids?
Keeping up with 2 little girls, writing assignments, music gigs, the house, laundry, ETC, backwards, wearing ass kicking boots and a smile, without spilling my beer. Ok, ok, so I spill my beer, but my floors have never been more germ-free since I started putting a little alcohol on them. Who needs ammonia...
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