Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Anatomically Correct July 13, 2008

I sent an e-mail out to close friends and family about a funny conversation I had with my daughter. Brianna will be 4 in September. Jeremy turned 2 in March. They are 19 months apart. Jeremy is in the process of being potty trained. He and his sister are both very curious about their anatomy; especially their genitals.

Brianna: Mommy, Jeremy has a penis just like Daddy.
Me: Yes, honey, that’s right.
Brianna: Mommy, but we have China’s.
Me: [throw head back & crack up] Uh, vaginas, Bree.
Brianna: Yeah, Mom, China’s.

Can you stop the laughter? I am telling you. So much fun to be a mom sometimes.

Anyway, so I sent this e-mail out. I got a lot of responses back… mostly LOL’s and funny comments of things other people’s children have said about the same subject. Too cute! But I had this one friend… we’ll just say she’s a little prudish… and that’s ok. So she asked me all shocked expression and stuff how in the world my daughter learned that her brother has a penis and she has a vagina. Huh? I looked back at her all shocked expression (b/c she has kids) like… yours don’t know??

I have never called my sons penis anything other than a penis. Ok, well I take that back. I have called it a wee willy winky before. He’s peed on me. When he was a newborn. And I’d say he squirted mommy from his wee willy winky. I also did that when I washed him in the tub. He is ticklish. Majorly! So in order to get him to let me clean his penis I would say “time to clean your wee willy winky” and that would get him to allow me to do what I needed to do without the squirms and giggles. But aside from that I have always said the right words for the right body parts. A nose is a nose, toes are toes, a penis is a penis. Same for Brianna. She has a vagina. Mommy has one. Daddy and Jeremy don’t have them.

Is this shocking? I think not. But maybe some people don’t spell it out for their children. I suppose some think that talk isn’t age appropriate. I don’t know. But I have a feeling that if you, as a parent, avoid calling body parts what they truly are you are going to somehow damage your kids. Maybe not to the point of needing therapy, but confusing them or making them feel badly about their bodies is damage done. Am I wrong?

So Brianna is so excited for the new baby. I have this book that is amazing… “A Child is Born” with so many pictures of everything. Sex (not porn — it’s very clean and scientific — infrared), conception, implantation, growth of embryo into fetus, growth of fetus in stages, vaginal birth and c-section birth, in-vitro fertilization, breast feeding, you name it it’s there and in full color pictures. Brianna is looking at it right now. I think if she has a healthy understanding of the glorious creation of God’s that she will not be affected by it in a negative way. Or shocked. Or disturbed. Or confused.

Is this controversial?


11 Responses to “Anatomically Correct”

  1. carey Says:

    Oh my gosh….how can anyone be surprised or otherwise affected by using the correct names?!!!!

    You are in my opinion, doing everything perfectly.

    The book is a great idea, they will now from the get go about life… all of my kids from the time they were babes in arms watched there own birth videos.
    I think adults have more hang ups than kids. If you’re nonchalant about things so are they. Anyway when they watched there own video they had questions and I just answered them (age-appropriate) of course.

    You’re an awesome mom Heidi!!



  2. candidchatter Says:

    Thanks Carey. XO!

  3. Heidi…I appreciate what you are doing with your children. Honesty is always the best policy.

    Now, can I ask a question, about another parenting matter, that relates to honesty?

    How do you handle Christmas and Easter? Is there a Santa Claus and Easter Bunny?

    Are you consistent in this honesty practice?

  4. candidchatter Says:

    Hi Steve. I am sort of glad you asked and sort of not. Not glad because my answer might draw a lot of criticism from people who think I’m nuts. Glad because, yes, we are honest all the way around.

    Christmas: My kids know Santa is like Mickey Mouse… not real. However, we don’t make them stay away from him. They are allowed to sit on his lap for a picture if they want to. We take them to look at lights around the neighborhoods. We sing Christmas songs — both secular and Christian. We decorate a Christmas tree and put gifts underneath. None of the gifts are labeled “from Santa” (or “from Jesus” for that matter). They are labeled “from mommy & daddy”. We set out our nativity scene, read books about Jesus’ birth, tell them the reason for the season. We are honest. And we have been told we are ruining the holiday for our kids. Whatever. But they know who Santa is… a fictional character who was created for Christmas… just like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and the Grinch. All fun and games.

    Easter: We absolutely do NOT do the Easter Bunny. Nor do we color/hunt eggs. I have a super hard time with this one because of the pagan roots and fertility goddess involved. If they become Easter Bunny curious we will handle it like Santa… fictitious just like Mickey Mouse. I don’t want to scare them. But Easter at our house is all about the resurrection of Christ. Period. That one is too serious to be played with. It’s our salvation and that cannot be watered down.

    Halloween: We do not dress our kids up and trick or treat. So far so good. We try our best to ignore it altogether. I don’t know, as time goes on and they get older this might be quite the challenge since there is nothing Christian to take its place. Last year I almost couldn’t let Brianna watch any of her regular shows b/c they were all about Halloween and candy and trick or treating and dressing in costumes. That’s tough. You didn’t ask, but I thought I’d throw it out there for you.

    So yes. Now hopefully the crap won’t hit the fan when others read this who vehemently disagree… or think my kids are missing something and I’m abusive. Blah!

    Heidi Reed

  5. Shannon Says:

    I agree with you on the names. You know your brother…. he has lots of names for both, and I am always telling him that I do not want them calling them that.

  6. candidchatter Says:

    Shannon: LOL! Yeah girl. Good for you!!


  7. Heidi,

    I appreciate your reply!

    In raising a daughter, my wife and I followed your same practices concerning Easter, Christmas, and halloween. You should have seen the looks and heard the comments made! You would have thought we were the antiChrist! Even though we were following the teachings of Christ, at least we thought we were, our friends, fellow believers, and church members, thought we had gone off the deep-end, and literally lost our minds.

    Keep up the honest sister! Be honest with your children! That way, they will know that when Mommy and Daddy tell them something, it is true. My question has always been this: If we lie about Christmas and Easter, telling them that santa and the easter bunny are real, then I tell them that Jesus Christ is real, was born of a virgin and died on a cross for our sins, how are they going to know when I am telling the truth and when I am making it all up? Which story should they believe?

    You are on the right path! Sorry if the emails or comments flood in!

  8. Toby Says:

    Found you over on RagamuffinSoul and thought I’d check ya out. Good stuff as my 2 and 6 yr old’s are also seemingly obsessed with their anatomy.
    Judging from the alike-comments over on Los’s blog and from the fact that my 2 yr old also prefers “China” to vagina, I was thinking…Hmmm soul-mates?? Then realized we both seem to have those already. So, maybe blog-mates? Maybe I’ll just stick with “great minds think alike.” Yeah, that’s it! 🙂
    Thanks for the insight…Just ordered “A Child is Born” on Amazon. Thanks for that also!!

  9. Toby Says:

    Wrong link above….This one will work 🙂

  10. candidchatter Says:

    Hi Toby. Glad to meet you my long lost blog-mate. Thanks for the comment. I’ll find you on the right link. 😉


  11. daphne Says:

    I am shocked how many of my friends freak when they find out we say penis and bagina (youngest trades Vs with Bs).

    I also answer any and all questions on anatomy and sex. The older 2 (ages of all are 4, 6 & 8) know how a baby gets into mom’s belly. Most of my friends find this inappropriate. My girls think it is gross but they can talk to me or their dad about it any time.

    I started my period at 9 and thought I was bleeding to death when pressure did not stop it, among many other confussing things that happened to me. I feel like if you want your children to talk to you about stuff, they have to know it is ok to talk about. Telling them you do not talk about such things and not even calling a penis a penis implies it is bad to talk about.

    Glad to find a mom who keeps it real. Also, I have tats and lost a baby at birth, and often either shut down or start up a bible study discussion when I mention my ‘scars’. You sound like my kinda girl. ; )

    Grace & Peace, daphne

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