Those Things There

18

May 8, 2012 by jooshanoosh

Warning: The following contains explicit naming that other people use but I myself am above.

So, you may have noticed that all of us here at Part Time Authors are guys; we thought it would be nice to finally give the world a perspective on life as a white, married man.  I’m glad you like it, and we thought you would.  But there are holes in our vast blanket of wisdom and so there are times when we expect we can come to you, ask you questions, and receive a myriad of options from you so that we can chose the one that best suits our needs. This is one of those times.

Here’s the thing: my wife and I are in the first months of raising a two-year-old.  She was great as an infant–a little slow in walking, but all in all just a joy to be around.  My wife and I talked extensively about how to raise our daughter so she would grow to become an incredibly talented, well-read, thoughtful, kind, and resourceful contributor to the world that she would inevitably preside over one day. However, in all the discussions of parenting styles and disciplinary options and reward systems we neglected to cover one basic question:

What are we gonna call those

By “those,” I, of course, mean our “privates.”

Perhaps we thought the day would never come that we would have to speak of them out loud in English, however, last week while sitting in the tub our daughter was playing with a large blue plastic spoon that she got for her birthday with a baking kit and she asked my wife if she could, and I absolutely quote, “Put it in her poops?”  It was a horrifying question as it stood, but a little further prodding from Mom revealed that “Poops” was the word she had named one…or both…of her lady bits.  Gracious! Can you imagine if we let this pass?!  She would be thirty-something walking around New York City in her Manolo Blahniks with her three stylish friends and she’d pipe up, “Sorry about lunch, ladies, I got to head to the Gyno and get a Pap for my Poops.” I mean honestly!  How she made such a childish and, frankly, disgusting mistake is beyond me.   

This did, eventually, lead us to the discussion we should have had years before a child ever came into the picture and it turns out, we have no idea what to call them?!!

 There are a few schools of thought on the subject:

The Clinical:  Just call them what a doctor would.  This seems grown-up and reasonable, except that I really don’t like my darling baby saying “Bird Poop” when that is exactly what she is looking at.  It’s way too grown-up and she is always telling me things she sees and the last thing I want is her to point out that dog’s penis in a parking lot, or comment on that cat’s vagina as we are on a walk.  I just don’t like it.  There are lots of times in life when you have to call things what they are, and I would like to push those times as far back as possible.  Also, Lisa Clark, don’t you chime in about how your kids always called them by the clinical name, because I happen to know your girls called it a “Bagina” is not clinical…it’s cute.

The Cute:  There are lots of options for “cute” names for the pink parts.  ‘The Pee Pee’, ‘The Wee Wee’,  “The Tah Tah’s” “Peeny” “Weeny” “Winky” “Wi-Wi” “Tu-Tu” so on and so on and so on…the problem I see is the easability of rhyming on the school yard.  It’s true, not a lot rhymes with Penis.  Also, even if you are doing research on nicknames for a penis, don’t google, “Nicknames for a Penis.”

The Vulgar:  My cousin was changing her 3-year-old son’s diaper and he looked up at all of us and said, “Mom, don’t take my diaper off, they will all see my pecker.”  I have found a lot of people are using slang to describe these bits of the body. I guess we are all worried the subject will come up in line at Costco and a boy calling it his “Chode” is just as embarrassing as the word penis.  Serious, some families are calling it a “Chode.”

The Dr. Seuss:  Perhaps we could call it a “Bampooziler” or a “Snitter” or your “Heffalumps.”  After all, there is that song, “My lumps, my lumps, my lumps, my lovey Heffalumps.”     

The Off-the-Wall:  I told my wife that we should just pick some words that have no association with anything and call them that.  “What’s that Honey?  Your Ambassador hurts?”  or “Okay sweety, the doctor just needs to check out your Fandango and your kumquat and then you get a sucker.” The trouble there is when she’s sixteen and her sixteen year old date wants to order movie tickets!

When I was little we called it a “Wetter.” It was the device for wetting the bed or your pants so we just called it a “Wetter.”  My youngest brother was once standing at the toilet, he was small and so he rested his “Wetter” on the edge of the toilet, and some how the lid slammed shut.  I still can hear his 4 year old cries, “Mom! The toilet hurt my WEDDER!”

We must have just called a bum a bum. We called poop “Yucks,” and I know we didn’t call it a “Yucker,” but were frequently asked if we had to go “Wets or Yucks?”

So, there you have it.  What are we to do?  It turns out, after a little highly filtered search, that this is actually sort of a big deal and people really do have a lot to say about it.  I hope you do. Otherwise my daughter will forever get her poops mixed up with her vagina…and I don’t relish her reminding me every time we go on a walk to get the plastic bags to pick up the dog’s vaginas.  

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18 thoughts on “Those Things There

  1. Lisa says:

    Sorry I have nothing to add, but this post cracked me up! Thanks for the well filtered search.

  2. It doesn't matter what she calls it as long as she knows it's shameful.

  3. Thora says:

    We call it the bottom in general (and with potty training) – the front bottom, and the back bottom. Although we have three girls, so it's a little less…differentiated than with boys. We do use vagina and penis when appropriate specifically, but our girls (6, 4, 2) just have never been the type to start obsessively naming things about other people or animals on the street. We also say breasts, and yesterday at the zoo we did get into a discussion of the nursing breasts of the bonobo (like an orangutan) with my six year old, so it has come up in public, but not in an awkward way. If my kids were the types to start telling strangers about their body parts, I might steer away from the proper names, but since in general we still just say bottom, it seems to work fine. And I'd rather have them know the actual words, even if we don't always use them, then use crazy made up ones. But that's just my two cents, and I definitely have met the kids who obsessively use proper names, just like they like to tell strangers about where babies come from, and all sorts of fun stuff like that, and in that case I might have a different philosophy.

  4. Jen says:

    I have 3 girls (and another on the way) so we only have names for girl parts in our house. When my oldest daughter decided that she wanted to wash herself (about 4 years old) I told her to make sure she got all the cracks (meaning all the various folds and etc. in her privates.) Somehow that name stuck and now we call it her "crack". Now that she's seven and very curious about the new baby coming, I have been using more clinical terms so she can know the various parts. I think that if we hadn't ended up with "crack", I would have gone with "pee-pee".

  5. Too funny! My opinion and game plan with my almost 2 year old…stick with the cute until they are old enough to explain when it is appropriate to use the clinical. You are bound to turn less heads with a "winky" or a "stinker" when they are small. People will laugh and brush it off. I can still remember the 3 year old I taught in sunbeams that told me that the goldfish crackers he was eating were "swimming in his penis". I was a little taken back and shocked he knew that word already.

  6. danniey says:

    Yeah, my son is the 3-year-old who is talking about penises in nursery. We went with the clinical approach and that was before we knew that he would be a big talker. He talks about everything with anyone, and gender seems to always come up. After, "are you a girl?" The next comment that follows is always "so- you don't have a penis?" I can say that it would have been much easier to teach him the clinical words once he developed a sense of discernment rather than try to now tell him not to talk about it. It has made for dozens of awkward conversations already and he only just turned 3.

  7. Rachel says:

    This post made me laugh hysterically. Since my husband is Filipino, we use the "clinical" Filipino words- best of both since they are, in fact, correct terminology, but fortunately not in English. 🙂

  8. Kimbie says:

    We tried the clinical approach once. After explaining in length about "penis" and "vagina", my son, with a most thoughtful expression, said to me, "So, Mom, your pee-pee is in China?" After recovering my breath, and wiping my eyes, we've stuck with pee-pee for boys, and for my daughters, we call them Girly-bits. my sons are old enough now to know the correct terms, but also to not use those words in the wrong a situations. I remember one Sunday, a very exasperated young father carrying his fit-throwing son out of the chapel. At the very top of his lungs, the boy shouted, "YOU'RE HURTING MY PENIS!" Repeatedly. I'm sure that red-faced father would advise you, clinical is NOT the way to go.

  9. Josh Bingham says:

    I love this post so much. I am kind of surprised by the answers. I am a 100% clinical guy. I think it is just as embarassing if your child calls it a Penis is public or if he calls it a Tallywhacker (which is what my BIL taught his kids to call it.) We all know what the kid is talking about.

  10. Christian F says:

    I'm a clinical guy. Kacy's family leans toward the cute. The problem I have with cute is that if you call a vagina a "po po" (they do) it sounds vulgar to me. But seriously, there is no good answer to this question.

  11. Heidi says:

    Um, we go for clinical and efficient. But as Kacy's sister I get the whole Po Po thing.

  12. Casey says:

    All this time I thought it was some long nightmare. That blasted toilet seat threatening the life of my children. I'm sure I had wets all over it as some form of payback. Yes, wets and yucks… But let's not forget "excuse me's". Like if someone cut a toot, my mom would ask "do you have Excuse me's?"

  13. sunrabbit says:

    I'm just wishing I had thought to teach my boys to call their man parts Ambassadors. Oh, hahahahhahahahhaaaaaaahahaahahahhah! I am still laughing about that one. Since I have three boys, we use the clinical term for boy parts, but somehow it seems wrong to have them using the clinical name for girl parts. It's a complete double standard, and I have no idea why I feel this way (since I am the sole female in our household), but when the need arises for me to mention a vagina to my sons, I call it a "girl part." So, as far as they know, boys have a penis and girls have a "girl part." I suppose when my sons learn the facts of life thye'll get to know the clinical term for lady bits, but for now I'm okay with the status quo. And I agree with Josh–if your kid is likely to bring up body parts in public, I don't see how it would be more embarrassing to have him mention his penis than it would to have him refer to his penis as a "wee-wee" or a "willy" or a "pee-pee."

  14. Jaana says:

    My co-worker has trained her son to call it his "peeper". She's rethinking that now as one day in daycare the kids were instructed to use their peepers to observe something. I think you can figure out what happened next…

  15. Carly says:

    We try to be clinical, but I have a hard time even getting the words out myself. I think it's because I grew up using cutesy terms (po-po, anyone?) and now I am stunted and immature and can't say the real words. It's so debilitating! Despite our efforts to use the right terms, our ten year old son (who obviously knows the right words and their functions), simply refers to it as "my area." I guess it could be worse (po-po).

  16. Emily says:

    My roommate the nurse tells me that the Labor and Delivery unit at the U keeps a list of all the strange nicknames they hear for lady parts. I'll see if I can't get it for you two.

  17. megan says:

    I think growing up we said "bottom" and "privates". Some of my kids' friends the other day referred to their "nachos", that was new terminology to me. My favorite was from my childhood friend whose name for flatulence was "bottom burp".

  18. Patrick says:

    My little brother reminded me that we had to call those 'Excuse me's' I had totally forgotten.

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