Anatomy. Questions. Honesty. Please make it stop.

I’m not great at talking. With writing, I can backspace, delete, and edit until I get it right. My mouth unfortunately doesn’t have that feature.

When I know I’m going to have to speak to people, my mind goes through every scenario it can think of and what my responses should be. The night before any human interaction, I literally lie in bed and mentally rehearse what I should say. Then I inevitably mangle it anyway.

I think part of it is that I can’t lie. Everything I’m thinking shows clearly on my face. I can’t make my mouth form words that I don’t believe. You might be surprised at how badly blunt honesty is received. I spend a lot of time making noises and trying to look anywhere but at the person who just asked my opinion but who I know doesn’t really want it.

So it’s hard for me when I’m caught off guard. I blurt out things (true things) that I probably shouldn’t.

Lately this has been a real problem with my daughter. She just turned 7 and she’s insatiably curious. I have this intense desire to teach her to respect herself and others and to not judge and to continue to be the kind and compassionate person she already is.

But.

This fucking honesty thing. I mean, I even dodge questions about Santa.

The latest debacle involved lady parts.

Since she learned to talk, she’s referred to her vagina as her “front butt.” This has been killing me for YEARS. Every time she says it, I clamp my mouth shut. She’s our only little girl, and my husband has vehemently disagreed with my notion of providing anatomically correct names. He even told me that “a lot of people call it that.” Pfft.

I find that hard to believe.

The other night it was just the two of us, and she announced that “everybody has two butts.” I choked back laughter laced with not a little horror.

Me: No. No they don’t.

Her: YES! This one and this one! *gestures at…both butts*

I took the opportunity that presented itself, thinking “YES! FINALLY!” and calmly told her that her “front butt” was actually a vagina. She was fascinated. I was impressed with my composure.

I was not anticipating her next question.

Her: So, everybody has a…vagina and a butt?

Me: Erm. No. Boys don’t have vaginas.

Her: *wide-eyed shock* So, it’s just NOTHING? There’s just nothing there??

Me: *losing my shit* You really don’t know? Has someone told you something? You REALLY DON’T KNOW?

Her: No! Tell me! What do boys have?

Me: *wonders how pissed my husband is going to be. Can’t think of a way out of this situation.*

Me: *calm and matter-of-fact* Boys have what is called a penis.

Her: A weenis! What’s it look like?

Me: *mentally cursing myself* Uh. Well. *looking at my finger and wondering if it will suffice.*

Her: Maybe you should just draw me a picture. I’m never going to understand unless you do.

Me: I’m not drawing a picture of a penis.

Her: I’ll go get some paper.

Me: NO! Go get your father. *Before I fuck this up even more.*

Her: Yeah. He draws better than you.

Me: …

So my husband comes in, and thankfully she explained the whole conversation and all I had to do was say, “SHE ASKED!” to his raised eyebrows.

Now she’s sitting between us, with her back to me, a pad of paper in her hand, asking him to draw a picture of a “weenis.”

She can’t see me, so I hold up my index finger and waggle it around, silently asking him if we should tell her it’s like a finger. He looked at me like I was an alien. I WASN’T READY FOR THIS CONVERSATION, OKAY?

He’s all, “blah, blah, girls and boys are different, blah blah…” I already SAID all this! So we’re back to the picture. Now, because my husband is smarter than I am, he draws a boy and a girl. All I could think of was drawing a…weenis. Anyway, he explains all the differences as he’s drawing. Like, “Girls usually have narrower shoulders and a smaller waist. Boys are mostly more square shaped, like this.”

When he gets to the point, I’m behind her, frantically making hand motions and mouthing, “MAKE IT SMALL!”

This is pretty much what he drew:

 

weenis

Yes, he drew it better. Actually, the “weenis” he drew was about half that size. No, I don’t know what it means that I drew mine like this. Shut up.

 

Her: *Excited as fuck* OH! What does it do??

Me: *desperately needing this conversation to be over* IT PEES. You pee from your vagina, boys pee from their penis, and everyone poops from their butt. Which is technically called an anus. *Jesus. What is wrong with me?*

She is practically bouncing up and down, full of new knowledge. I’m telling her to NOT go announcing this at school, that these are private body parts, and some other stuff I probably shouldn’t have said.

I have no idea why I assumed that she knew boys had…different parts. I guess because when the boys were little I was a single mother, and they just knew that I was different than them. I know my middle kid found out when he came barging in the bathroom and screamed, “OH MY GOD MOM, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WIENER?”

Unfortunately, the torment didn’t end there. Apparently that was enough for her to ponder just then, but last night she was full of new questions. I’m not willing to divulge my answers. I’m just hoping that she never does either.

 

About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

54 responses to “Anatomy. Questions. Honesty. Please make it stop.

  • climbing bean

    I’m so bad at lying, too. #1 asked me at Christmas time if I thought Santa was real. I was trying to find ways around saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    He’s also been super curious about all sorts of anatomy questions and I have to stop and think to myself, ‘Now. How much is too much information, here?’

    • Steph

      Lord, I apparently missed every new comment from Feb. 4. So sorry!

      I do that too! It’s awful! Little does she know what power she holds, lol!

      Now, if you want to know how much is too much, or any other thing about parenting, post your question on a blog or Facebook or Reddit. I didn’t even *ask* and I’ve got all sorts of people telling me how I SHOULD handle things. ***Note: Please don’t actually do this unless you have very thick skin because people are mean and pointy and they will jab you with their spiky words.

  • The Hopeful Herbalist

    😀 So glad I’m way beyond those conversations! And yea, only reason I open my mouth is to change feet! Have a great day

  • Leah

    My son wasn’t too much older than that when he told me he was pretty sure that girls didn’t have balls because it doesn’t hurt when you kick them there. (I didn’t ask how he found that out. Didn’t want to know.) I confirmed his suspicion that girls do not have balls, he then asked me why not?

    You know that filter that’s supposed to keep your mouth from saying what your brain thinks at times? I don’t have one.

    So I responded with “God didn’t have anymore elbow skin left to make balls for girls too, so girls have balls on the inside of their stomach.”

    My son is a high functioning autistic child, at the time he didn’t talk much. For some reason he felt the need to share that little nugget of information at school. My only solace was that I’m pretty sure that was one of the most awkward phone calls the principal ever had to make to a parent.

    • Steph

      That is HYSTERICAL! Omg! I know my daughter has heard my older boys saying “balls” and “nuts” and now I’m wondering wtf she thought they were talking about!

  • Michelle

    HAHAHA…this is awesome. What DID happen to your weiner? I think I lost mine in a hunting accident or something.

  • 365daysofmusings

    Oh. My. Gawd. I can so relate to this post. This cracked me up…almost beyond repair. And, sounds to me like you did a great job! 🙂

    • Steph

      HOW did I miss this comment?! EEEEK! Sorry!

      Hi! Thank you…I assume you’ve sealed the cracks, lol. Thanks for commenting–your next one won’t languish in moderation for a month, I promise!

  • Jesska

    Those conversations are always going to be hard, one of my aupair kids grabbed a boob and asked why I was so fat… luckily I had the option of letting his parents do the explanations 🙂

    I’m totally amazed that you can have a 7yr old who has never seen her dad (or a brother) naked…

    • Steph

      Hahaha! My boys are 13 and 17, so by the time she reached an age where she might remember seeing anything, they were past the point of running around naked, lol. And it’s just somehow happened that all the babies we’ve been around have been girls. So I don’t know why I assumed she knew!

  • heylookawriterfellow

    I am now convinced that you should write an anatomy book for children titled “It’s Not A Front Butt.”

    I will be sorely disappointed if this book does not exist someday.

  • onegirlbreathing

    We have had the “correct terminology ” debate at our house. I get on my husband for referring to all lady parts as the vagina. It’s just not true. (My mom is a nurse; we had to learn it all the right way.) So, when my boys asked where my “peepee” (their best attempt at penis) was. I too told them I didn’t have one. When they asked what I did have….I went with what they could see…the vulva. This, somehow, got translated to Volvo and now I fear they will always think that women carry a small foreign car between their legs.

    • Steph

      Oh, a VOLVO, lolololol! My mom was a nurse too, and my brother and I knew everything…we played under tables while she taught lamaze classes! I wish I still had the book she got us. Would’ve been real helpful!

  • ercatalano10

    For some reason I imagine you saying, “Boys have what is called a penis,” with a British accent. Too funny. I am not looking forward to this discussion. Z calls it a front butt as well.

  • Kat

    I’m am so glad that I’ve finally learned NOT to be drinking when I read your posts.

  • Lisa A

    I am dying laughing. I open up wordpress to write something and all I see is “No Penis”/”Penis”. Thank you for making my night.

  • Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Rofl 😂 omg that was so epic!!

  • Shay

    I say buy a kids book that explains it. There are quite a few good ones out there. Just google it to find the best ones.
    Conversations like that can be super weird to have especially trying to explain things in an age appropriate way. I have a 5 year old boy and a one and a half year old girl. With my son I wanted to make sure we all used correct terms about body parts even though it was super awkward for me at first! I came from an all girl family!
    Over the years I have realized how important it is to have body awareness and not have any shame within that. Something I never had growing up. I learnt almost everything from outside sources. I have also heard too many stories of kids being abused and not having the ability to communicate well enough with someone trusted because of the lack of body awareness or terms. Example a child goes up to her aunt and says “my babysitter touched my daisy and I didn’t like it” the aunt listens but has no idea what she really just heard because she doesn’t know the girl refers to her vagina as a daisy.
    So stories like that have made me a bit more open towards using proper terms because in a way it is another form of keeping my kids safe, educated and unashamed, even if it does make me cringe cause if my own discomfort.

    Now with my daughter I have had to get used to saying Vagina out loud. I’m a lady it should be normal for me…somehow not so much! I have come to realize the more none chalant about everything I am the less intense of a reaction kids seem to have. Sure they may go around and scream penis out the car window as loud as possible, or tell the man in line at the store that he has a penis, but eventually it will get old 😉

    Or my favourite that came from my then 4 year old when talking to his Aunty “it’s hard being a boy cause you have a penis…but know what? It’s harder being a girl cause you have a vagina and have to have a period and can have babies! You be like ahhhhhhhhh a baby coming out of my gina”. He then ran off laughing and saying “hahaha that’s a crazy!”

    • Steph

      I’m getting a book for sure. I had a great one when I was little. But then, my brother was only a year younger, so I obviously knew we were different! I do agree that if you don’t make it a big deal, they won’t either.

  • soozee

    You don’t really think you pee from your vagina?

  • beth teliho

    when my oldest was somewhere around four or maybe five (he’s now nearly 12), the pediatrician handed me age-appropriate paperwork following his well visit. Among the several pages or so about how much sleep they need at this age, yada yada, it mentioned this was the time for them to learn correct body terms for their privates.

    So I did.

    Which led to two of the single most embarrassing moments of my life.

    1. that same child singing the “penis song” (which is just the word penis sung over and over in varied tones) throughout the aisles of Target. Notice aisle is plural. As in many.

    2. my youngest (when he was three-ish) YELLING “You’re a penis” at me because I wouldn’t let him have candy at the check out line. Also at Target.

  • A Kinder Way

    My cousins little girl called it a front butt too. I called mine an apple. I have no idea why. My older sister and I talked about this awhile ago and she has no idea why I called it that either.. Who knows.
    You’re sons reaction to your ‘wiener’ not being there was enough to make me laugh out loud. Great post…as usual.

    • Steph

      Thank you! A friend and I talked about this, and she called hers a monkey! And my son’s reaction was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I still laugh when I think about it!

  • PNWJenn

    Our son is four and we’ve always been clear a out anatomical parts being different and having specific names. He knows that babies come out of the vagina. This caused some consternation at his Lutheran preschool, where some unsuspecting young teacher got flummoxed when describing how Jesus was born, saying that he came out by the belly button.

  • Malinda

    It’s better that kids know from early on what everything is and not just come up with their own words for their privates.

  • tiredwife

    I was fairly lucky in the fact that my kids are only 2.5 years apart. So there was nudity all over the place. It was actually when they learned the terms that things became interesting. For example, I had to listen to a conversation in which my daughter named every person she has ever known in her entire life and included their genitalia. For example

    “mommy. Mommy has a vagina, But daddy, he has a penis. And grandpa has a penis. But Meemaw, has a vagina. And so does Oma. Mommy? Does Aunt so and so have a boy or a girl? A girl? Ok. She has a vagina”

    And this went on for HOURS, everywhere. If you interrupted her list in the car, she would remember and continue her list in the grocery store. She tried to point out complete strangers and tell them if they had a vagina or a penis. And you COULD NOT get this child to shut up. short of walking through the store with my hand over her mouth, she would recite the list. No amount of talking, shushing or bribing with cookies worked.

  • sage

    totally hear you on the santa thing.. i can.not lie! my 5-yo asks about claus, i mumble, look away. the easter bunny is even worse.
    different on the bodyparts though. were kinda naked around here. ‘my 2yo loves talking about her vagina & her brother’s penis 😂

    btw: been down for a while.. came to your site to smile & laugh .. thank you 😘

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