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?