Archive | February 2013

You Say “Pee-Pee”, I Say “Vagina”, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off!

   Some people only use slang for their body parts, or genitalia in general. Often the slang can be borderline offensive. The sensitivity of such language begs the question; are we offended by the actual words? or are we bashful over what those words mean?

   Once we have children, that naughty slang goes out the window. It seems that there are really only two ways to go, the cutesy nickname or the technical term. Growing up, my mother never called a vagina, a vagina. I don’t recall her ever saying the word penis either. When I would have rashes, she would call my “area”, my weewee. This terminology is especially confusing because “wee wee” seems like it should be a euphemism for penis. Her other word was, in fact, “pee pee”. To this day, I question her which one was supposed to be which. She tells me every time, with such certainty and yet I still cannot recall it completely.

 As an adult, I simply referred to it as a penis and vagina. There was no reason to get cute or vulgar with it. I think that cutesy terms sound uneducated and vulgar terms should be limited to intimate bedroom dialogue.

  Proudly, I have remained with that belief even as a mother. My son is 3, and quite intrigued with his body in general. We will sometimes go over who has a penis and who has a vagina, and he can decipher the two smashingly. Since he is so young, I don’t like to go in detail, but I do like to remind him that his sister does not have a penis because she is a girl. I feel that I am laying the groundwork for more serious and complex questions in the future.

   When my mother is around, she will still say those comically awkward names. When I correct her, she pushes out the actual word with embarrassment. It’s an odd thing to see a 55 year-old woman get that red-in-the-face over “penis” and “Vagina”. 

  Teaching my children the correct words for their body parts seems small, but it’s the little choices we make as parents that make the whole thing so much fun. Hopefully, my mother will be able to say those two simple words too.

Anyone else have any unique terms you use for your children?

Raising a daughter is like running a very small mental hospital

Children go through phases, perfectly understandable and expected. My daughter goes through phases about every 35 seconds. She can be ridiculously happy one moment, frustrated the next, laughing, then crying. She can be the sweetest thing that just wants a hug and a kiss, but she can turn quickly to hating you and wanting nothing to do with you. My daughter is clearly insane, or perhaps just 2.

Having a daughter that is slightly off-her-rocker was something I dreaded considering I am a bit bipolar. When I was younger, I thought I was just moody, depressed, or anxious, but apparently I was all of those things. My son is a bit emotional and sensitive but appears to be relatively free from the shackles of any mental health issues. My daughter could be just suffering from the “terrible twos” something my son never went through.  Since my daughter is so young, I am hoping there will be a space of time in her development that she maintains some amount of balance and sanity. As a child, my behavior seemed relatively balanced, but my unstable environment may have just created that illusion. My children may have an uncommon living situation, but they are never without the utmost love and attention. My daughter tends to be an attention seeker as well, making me think that her mood is due to the dramatics she insists upon. As I grew concerned with her behavior, it occurred to me that she is the little sister to her mild-mannered brother. She is the crazy one, the impulsive one, and my son is the stable, mature and reasonable one; roles that were once filled me and my brother.

Every parent has to watch out for signs that may signify a larger problem. Parents worry about emotional problems, learning disabilities, physical issues, and there is really nothing to be done until the problem arises. Loving our children and caring for them to our greatest ability is the only thing we can do.  As a single mother, I am relieved that I have family, friends and my children’s father in their life. It takes a village to raise a child, my friends.