Monday, January 18, 2010
*Parental Guidance is advised.
Help me out here. I have three boys. Testosterone seeps from the walls of my home...I often feel as if I'm living in a fraternity house (which isn't too far off from my college days...oops, another inappropriate self disclosure).
Anyway...three boys...one teenager, two "tweens".
Here's my issue...my youngest is OBSESSED with his penis. Okay, has the shock worn off? Look, don't come by my blog and expect me to sugar coat anything...I'm a "say it like it is" kinda gal, so yes...I said penis. And that's the issue...hottie husband is APPALLED that I refer to my child's private parts as a "penis", but ummm, isn't that the word? "Can't you refer to it as a 'weenie' or his 'pee pee'?" hottie husband pleads with me with a trace of alarm in his voice after I had just yelled at Benjamin to quit grabbing his penis. I stood and starred at hottie husband..."seriously?"
Growing up in my strict, religious household, I vowed to always be open and honest with my kids. I promised myself that my own children would not have to learn where babies came from by way of the twice held back fourth grader as I myself learned from Amy Pavitt, who demonstrated the miracle of life for me via a graphic explanation and visual aid, using a stick and drawing in the dirt on the playground during recess. At age nine, I found the whole scenario to be shocking and quite disturbing!
A few short weeks later, after school my mother told me she had left some "educational reading" for me in my bedroom. Laying on my bed were two pamphlets, the kind you'd order from the back of the Kotex box. One was called "Menstruation," and the other was "Puberty and Body Image." I flipped through them casually and tossed them aside. Later my mother asked if I'd had any questions, "it's nothing I didn't already know" I assured her, too embarrassed to have the "talk" with my mother. She was mortified. The subject was never brought up again.
Or...there was the time I got my first period in the eighth grade, and shyly telling my mother about it - her only instructions were to help myself to the pads under her bathroom sink and to take a daily shower so I felt "clean and fresh" (I am certain this is where my OCD began). Or the time my mother found a box of Tampax in my bedroom, and in a dead-on Mommy Dearest voice, as though she had discovered a box of condoms and a bottle of vodka under my bed, asked me what the hell those things were and what I was doing with them. I was fifteen, and excuse me, but I hadn't yet realized that tampons were the "devil's way of stealing my virginity," but that encounter ensured a healthy fear of internal female protection for many years...
And that sums up my "sexual education" from my parents...I cannot allow my children to have the same insecurities and shame about the human body that I grew up with...I won't let that happen.
So, my point in all of this is, it's called a penis...why not call it a penis? Am I right? Yes, it is awkward...but what about parenting isn't awkward?
Do you agree? Or do you have "nicknames?" I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you don't agree with me, then don't bother leaving a comment...(Just kidding).
Posted by Betsy at 7:13 PM