Si and I had previously discussed how we wanted to proceed when the girls started asking questions about specific body parts. We had decided that we were going to use the correct anatomical terms from the get go, in an attempt to avoid any unnecessary confusion later. We figured that the girls would probably be 2 years old or so before any of these "anatomical" terms would need to go into effect.
Or so we thought....
We have been working on naming major body parts with the girls for a while now. We sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" on a pretty regular basis, and we have several books that go over body parts - mainly eyes, ears, nose, teeth, tongue, and belly button. The girls are absolutely obsessed with my growing belly and belly button (and breasts), along with eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and teeth, so I thought the girls had a pretty decent understanding of each of these body parts we had been working on.
Apparently this is not the case.
Last night the girls were enjoying their nightly bath and were busy touching each others noses and ears. I jumped in asked them to point to their belly buttons (as belly buttons have been a recent fascination to them and I was 99% sure they could easily identify their belly buttons).
Livvy pointed to her belly button right away, but Bri, instead of pointing to her belly button pointed to her, ahem, lady parts. Si and I looked at each other in an absolute panic!
Oh no, I thought, what was our plan again?
Correct anatomical terms, right??? That's what we'd decided when we talked about this months ago, right? Right???
Well, technically that isn't her "vagina" is it? No, that's probably her "clitoris"...but were we going to be that specific? Oh, but I don't like this naming "real" parts at all!
Crap! So what do I do?!
Si is impatiently looking to me for a response....
"No," I replied "that is your vagina. Show me where your belly button is."
Bri, again, points to her lady parts.
"No, that is not your belly button sweetie, THIS is your belly button" (pointing to her belly button).
"Now show me again where your belly button is."
Bri again points to her lady parts....
"No sweetie, that is NOT your belly button, that is your vagina. THIS is your belly button."
(You are supposed to reinforce what you have taught them, right??? You should make sure they really understand, right??? Wrong??? I just don't know! Should I have just dropped it???)
By this time Livvy is getting confused, so I decided to move on.
"Livvy, where is your nose?"
Livvy points to her ear....
Oye...I guess we have a ways to go on naming body parts after all...
So, what do you guys do? What terminology do you use with your kids? Is it pee-pee's and wee-wee's? Private parts? Lady parts? What do you call the girl (or boy) parts, and why??? I'm kind of thinking there should be some standard so everyone does the same thing, otherwise this gets incredibly confusing and difficult for both the parents and the kiddos! Besides, while it may be the correct anatomical term, I don't really want to be in the middle of church service and have one of the girls blurt out something about their vagina - eek! Not that there is anything I can really do to prevent that...kids DO say the darndest things at the absolute worst possible times, don't they?
I understand this is a bit of a touchy topic, so thanks for sharing your input and advice!
Until next time -