Little Pitchers Have Big Ears
Around the time potty-training begins, most parents talk about the differing equipment in the family. Mommy and Daddy have different looking pee-pee areas and they function a bit differently, too. This is the time that most kids learn that boys have penises and girls have vaginas. Or whatever crazy name their parents choose to call them. I was taught the correct names and yes, it meant that I was the one at preschool who destroyed Sasha and Lacey and Emily’s innocence by telling them they had a vagina not a pee-pee. But when Mrs. Tracy called my parents in to tell them about my transgression, they were proud of me. They saw no need to teach me to call my body parts by incorrect names, a practice that would likely teach me that said parts were “dirty” or “bad” because they needed to be figuratively covered up. I agree with my parents and I tend to use the proper names for body parts unless I’ve been specifically told not to by the parents.
This doesn’t always work out though. One time, I sat for a little girl named Molly. Molly was about 5 years old and such a girly girl, I didn’t know if we’d be a good match. I was tiring of playing dolls when she said, “My china is tingling.” I said, “What?” “My china is tingling! It means I have to go potty.” I thought she was mispronouncing vagina, so I said, “You mean your vagina is tingling.” She looked at me like I had just done something very, very bad. In a small voice, she said, “It’s called a china, that other word is a bad name.” I didn’t really know what to say. I make it a policy to go along with the parenting style as much as I can, but I also make it a policy not to lie to the kids. Finally, I said, “Different people have different names for the same thing sometimes, like I say grocery store, but my roommate says market.” She looks like she understands and says, “But they’re both right, right?” I can’t lie to them! So, I said, “Wellll, kind of. One is the correct one but the others are okay to use sometimes, too.” “Like how Mommy usually calls Daddy, Daddy, but sometimes she calls him whatthehelliswrongwithyou or icantbelieveimarriedyou?” “Yeah…like that…do you still need to go to the bathroom?”