MamaBlogger365 – Nudity Is No Big Whoop by Mary Rekosh
**Warning: The post you are about to read contains graphic –meaning accurate – terminology regarding personal parts and ladybusiness, and I’ll tell you why: Because I teach my kids the correct names for their body parts. (Gasp! What the Holy Vajayjay am I thinking?!) This is not just because it bothers me when children use cutesy expressions for their anatomy – although it does – but also because I refuse to be responsible for my future adult offspring uttering some dumb nickname down the road during a potential “business time” situation, which would obviously cause any otherwise willing party to burst out laughing at the very least, or at worst pack up their own hoohaa, weewee, or whatever they’ve brought to the table, and flee the vicinity. Hear that, kids? Mommy is not trying to c*#k block, or should I say penis block, the future you.
Gentlemen, listen up. If it did not enlist itself and serve overseas, it has not earned the title “The General”. No exceptions. Also, only if the first name on your birth certificate is Peter is any part of you a “Peter”. However, if your name is Willy and especially if you happen to wear an eye patch for one reason or another, you may – and you must – rename your… you get it. You don’t want anybody expecting to discover a pirate or a kooky chocolatier down there.
Anyway, my kids use the terms “penis” and “vagina”, and they use them a lot. At full volume. They use them in the grocery store line, at the dinner table and liberally throughout stories-and-songs hour at the public library (and if you think about it, they’re right – “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” really is incomplete). To them, these are just regular old body parts like eyes or elbows, so they discuss them – and display them – with equal nonchalance. Makes for some uncomfortable public moments, but also some good stories. (Readers, puh-lease tell me yours in the comments section. I showed you mine; now it’s your turn.)
Once, when I was bathing with (then) 3-year-old Ben, he initiated a conversation about who had what and who didn’t (he had an all-important what and I lacked one, which he clearly saw as a deficiency). He felt sorry that I had been dealt a bad hand anatomically, and he just wanted his mama to be happy. Like most men, I think the notion that I could be content without my very own what to spend all of my free time with/worship/obey escaped him. So, he offered to make amends for Mother Nature’s oversight: “Mama, I could build you a penis”, he told me proudly. Grateful for the sentiment, I assured him that I was O.K. with the current state of affairs and suggested that we both just be pleased with what we’ve got – or not got. (Like he needed encouragement to be pleased with his what.) But then curiosity overcame me, so I asked him what he would use for materials if he were, indeed, commissioned to build a penis for his mother. After careful consideration, he said: “Wood. And paint. Daddy would help me.”
Ben and I don’t routinely bathe together anymore, but there is still no shortage of unabashed nudity in our home on a daily basis. Ben’s getting to an age (almost 7), when many parents start to consider privacy – or rather, start to consider whether we should start considering privacy – and nudity – with our opposite gender children. At what point, if ever, should this become an issue? Here’s what I think, thanks for asking:
If it doesn’t feel like a big deal, don’t make it one.
One mom with whom I share many mutual friends, but don’t actually know personally, demonstrated this tactic perfectly or so I hear. I figure there’s no better way to make a new friend than by broadcasting her awesometastic nudity story all over the Internet, right? (Nice to meet you, S.!)
A little while after giving birth to her third child, S. treated herself to a spa day complete with long overdue waxing and general maintenance in her Southern Hemisphere. The aesthetician/landscape architect who was employed to TCB (technical term) got a little over ambitious due to the magnitude of the project, and basically took her from the “Unabomber” to the “Military Recruit” as far as her lady’do was concerned. That evening, her eldest son (who is 6) entered the bathroom as she came out of the shower, and clearly noticed that something was abuzz(cut). S. wasn’t sure how to handle the awkward moment (I assume she was thinking, “Please don’t salute me, please don’t salute me…”) so she said nothing. Her son nonchalantly remarked with a shrug, “Hey, Mom. Got your vagina hair cut? Looks nice. Can you help me find a Band Aid?”
No Big Whoop.
Bio: Mary Rekosh is a freelance writer, children’s yoga instructor and mother of three in Charlottesville, VA. She is also a parenting columnist and a blogger who hopes that documenting the found humor in her journey through motherhood will help others gain a fresh perspective as well. She believes that children are meant to be seen, heard and definitely laughed about.