Wednesday, June 24, 2009

this is the one that refers to a certain male body part a lot

my favorite part of prenatal doctor appointments is the ultrasound. it's thrilling to see your baby moving and thinking about the personality he's forming and how he's real and how he's developing. . .

my doctor with ava didn't have one of those little ultrasound machines in her office, but my doctor with seth did. so every month i'd squint at that tiny screen to see my even tinier baby suck his thumb or "wave" (so exciting) or kick his little legs. right after we had the big ultrasound to discovery that all of his body parts were in place and that he was, indeed, a boy, i was in my dr's office and squinting at the tv screen while she attempted to zone in on seth's boy parts one more time. she found them and said, "oh! there's his little wee!"

my brain said, HIS WHAT?

i was horrified. this woman went to medical school for crying out loud! she was a doctor who dealt specifically with reproductive organs! and yet, when presented with the male anatomy she says, "wee"?

it was then i swore my children would never make that mistake. in our house, i decided, we're going to call it what it is. well, i wasn't aware at how quickly ava would catch on to the differences between boys and girls. but, i stuck to my decision, i tell her the truth. straight up.

i think ryan perhaps wishes i had not decided this decision. because the other day when he was going to the bathroom, ava threw open the bathroom door and said, "dad? you have a penis?"

"uh, yes." said ryan.

"oh. i don't."

and yet again, while at seth's doctor appointment, when the pediatrician removed seth's diaper ava leaned over and informed dr. n'dell that what he was looking at right there? that is seth's penis. and he was touching it. and he has one, too.

"thank you, ava, for that anatomy lesson." dr. n'dell replied gravely.

ava replied, just as gravely, "you're welcome." these things, they are no launghing matter, you know.

and then, while at target, we passed the women's underwear section. ava nearly screamed, "those cover up your nipples, mom! barack obama has nipples too! and a penis!"

so i ask you this: should i have used a silly nickname that i will risk my children using even when they reach adulthood and avoid embarassment? or have i done the right thing despite all of our embarassing moments and the future embarassing moments?


cara lou said...

Haha! Oh dear -- I am not looking forward to when OTHER people can understand what William is saying. Thank goodness he's still speaking his own toddler language.

I think it is definitely better to teach kids the correct names for everything. I haaaaate when I hear people, especially adults!, use cutesy nicknames for anatomy. It drives me crazy.

I don't think it'd really be less embarassing to have Ava yelling "Barack Obama has a weenie!"

Tyson and Carrie said...

haha! I agree to teach them the correct name even through those embarrassing moments. I grew up very sheltered and Tys grew up calling them what they are, so it was an adjustment for me with three boys. But I think that it is right, even through the time, Trey once yelled "You hit me in the Penis" to Trent while with my parents, they about fell off there chairs and Tys laughed.

Jennifer said...

I think she would be saying these things, whether she was using the real name or the cutesy name. It does make for a funny story!

redstarmama said...

Just so you know, I just about fell out of my chair when I got to the Barack Obama part.

We always say "unit" in our family, but more as an inside joke than any sqeamishness. We have no problem with the word "penis".

Plus, think of all the great stories you'll have someday to use at your discretion.

Mandy said...

i juat laughed so hard my diet coke almost came out my nose.

i think you are a fantastic mom and good job teaching kids the correct names for their body parts. I think it is way less embarassing than if she had been saying some cutesy nickname.

another plus is that now all your friends had a good laugh today.

Amber Marie said...

i'm not against nicknames, however it is better to just use the actual name. and i agree that if she yelled out "weenie" it would be just as embarrassing :) You just have a child that says things like they are- you're surprised?!?!

Amber Marie said...

speaking of body parts and all that i've been reading a book called, "return to modesty" it is interesting. poorly written and long-winded but i have been intrigued with it. as i've read it i've thought about you...for your input, not because you need to read it. :)

Krista said...

HA HA HA!!! Oh dear I haven't laughed like that in a long time. That is definitely the golden question, right? Either way she's going to bring it up conversationally, and often. We are trying to teach correct terminology and simultaneously teach that there are certain topics we try not to discuss in public. No small task, I assure you.

The New Hampshire Transplant said...

Goodness gracious. Can i just say, i adore your boldness in teaching Ava the proper words for the male anatomy and the fact that she is so darn unashamed to use it.

It just made my day.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure. Yes, it's pretty simple for boys, there are only two general parts, penis and testicles. But which do you use for the girls? There is no "one" general word - urethra, vagina, clitoris, labia??? They all have different functions and purposes and they are all much more embarassing to hear out loud than the boy parts.

Seriously, this is something I've wondered for YEARS! I have two girls and we always say "private area". What do YOU use that is more "correct" for girls?

Aria Bethards said...'re braver than me. For teaching your children the correct terms, and for having the courage to post about it. Thanks to you and Ava for entertaining us, once again.

The Strong Family said...

that is too hilarious! ava is a crack up. i always grew up thinking woman's private parts were called a poe-poe. You can imagine how hard my cousin and I giggled everytime someone called the cops poe-poe.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to offend, I was really hoping you would answer.

miriam said...


sorry! meant to answer sooner but weekends are always so crazy. . .

so far i've only answered the questions that ava has asked and when she wants a word for a sepcific part, i answer and whatever she holds on to is the word she uses. so far she has dubbed her "private area" as a 'G', which i assume is short for vagina.

and i guess we'll see where things go from there. . .