Monday, April 4, 2011

Must. Keep. Face. Straight!

Oh my.

Last night Teena and I had one of those conversations I have dreaded. Dreaded! Partly about boys, and partly about parts. Things I have no problem cursing about, I had to discuss nicely, nonchalantly, and without laughing hysterically. I had to be mature. The parent. Guh.

One of Teena's teachers has started referring to their rear- ends as their "bums". As in, "sit on your bum" or "get your bum out of here". I guess Teena thought that sounded exotic, so now she goes around saying "bum" instead, and reminding us all that we can call it that too. No more Fancy Nancy for this child.

So we were sitting on the little couch and we had just finished reading a book together. Daddy and Genea had gone upstairs already, as he puts Genea to bed first and then I send  Teena up and she goes to bed so there is not a log jam at the bathroom and so that Genea is not unsupervised. Suddenly, to my alarm, Teena asked me, "does boys and girls have the same bums?". Well, it's taken me some time to get used to this fancy new terminology from her, and I am greatly used to the Judge Judy form of the word "bum" being you useless piece of human garbage. So I didn't get it right away, and then I did. Guh.

It took me a minute, but I figured out why she must be asking pretty quickly. For me it was quick anyway. I asked her, trying to keep the shrillness out of my voice, "why, did you see something you want to know about?". Yes, yes, of course she did. Great.

Though my left eye was trying to spasm and my stomach was violently contracting, I said calmly, GUH OMG, "you mean a p*nis?". She just stared at me. She didn't know the word. Damn public schools! Whatever happened to kids learning this important stuff on the playground? Anyway. I realized I was going to have to be more descriptive. GUH! I wracked my useless brain for a clear way to convey to her confidence in my knowledge and information.

Useless, I tell you, my brain was useless. I held up a finger. Hmmm, not quite. Then I crooked the finger downward and asked her if that is what it looked like.


She proceeds to describe to me her young cousin needing to use the bathroom right after she had, and an oddity she noted at the time. In positioning. And equipment. Of which, the time had to have been several months ago. She tells me all about it. In detail. GUH!

In an effort to relate, in a confidence inspiring way, I said, you must have been surprised at what you saw. It's different, isn't it. *Smile calmly* What with the standing up and the aiming and the what not. *Smile*. I thought sharing my own experience with a first sighting would be nice. Lay some groundwork for the future discussions I won't want to have either. Keep the lines of communication open like Oprah says I should. Make sure she will be comfortable coming to me later. Guh. I told her the story of the time I first saw one. My own surprise. And interest. And surprise. Guh. 

Then she asked me the killer question. This is where I deserve an award. Of some kind. Because I kept a straight face, did not projectile vomit, and somehow managed to convey the correct terminology. It was my own fault, really it was, but I still want an award. Because this is what she said.....

"does all boys have a pee finger?"

OMG OMG, I am about to bust open my own gut from trying not to laugh. I am almost spitting as I pronounce the word correctly for her and uh, what it is.  A p*nis. Not a pee finger, a p*nis. Note to everyone, I don't even WANT to be having this conversation and I am thinking  pee finger is actually not a bad term and maybe I should just leave it at that, but I didn't. I soldiered on. I used the appropriate words and described to her the things she wanted to know about. I made myself proud. I told her she could ask me any other questions she might have and this is what she said.....

"does boys have eyes?"

And now I am like, OH NO she wants to know more and exactly HOW MUCH of my nephew's paraphernalia did she see that day. Crimeney! Where were the parents? Hmmmm?

Then I realized, oh. She is being silly. She doesn't want to talk about this anymore (THANK GAWD) and now she is asking if girls have eyes and she is closing hers. She is pointing to her face. Sigh. BIG SIGH of relief.


  1. That's awesome....the pee finger. :)

  2. Trust me - she'll be coming home with lots of questions from the school playground! I got The Body Book for my girls several years ago, it helped to have picture references. My girls are 16 now and I have had to answer questions most Moms probably never do, simply because we learned all this stuff from friends and reading and being logical... our daughters don't have any of thee above skills. I found being short, simple and to the point works best. They will think about it for some time then out of the blue I'll get a new term or activity to decipher and explain.

  3. pee finger... tee hee, that's good. Perhaps she a Fudge should talk because for along time he thought that sperm travelled down your leg and out your big toe...


    If you want to be REALLY open about penises, there is a great book written by Marc Brown (from Arthur!) called "What's the Big Secret: Talking to Boys and Girls about Sex". (There you go, I said it!) Also "It's NOT the Stork", by Robie Harris. Totally lots of giggling from all of my kids every time we read them (and we have read them and re-read them, because they still "re-write" how things work, just like they "re-write" their adoption stories and everything else until they've got babies being born out of belly buttons and I'm like "WHAT? I did not teach you THAT!"

  5. I'm with Corey, the book, It's Not the Stork is fabulous. Very, very age appropriate and really good. So much easier to have this convo with a book in front of your face.

    But wow, you did a fab job Essie, that was brilliant! Tilting the finger down was a stroke of genius.

  6. I'm so good at keeping a straight face that my kids think it's perfectly fine to ask about anatomy (specifically mine) loudly in public bathrooms. But PENIS FINGER!!!! Awesome.

  7. If you want your girls to get a real education, just send them down here for a few days. Those darn 'pee fingers' are usually loose and running free at least once a day. By the time there visit was up they would be so disgusted by how boys are they will never look or ask questions again!

  8. LOL. My DD (4 y.o.) refers to it as "peanuts".

  9. I laughed with tears.

    That kid needs a brother.

  10. Hysterical! I'm impressed - a good job not laughin' out loud!

  11. OMG! I am DYING here! That is HILARIOUS!!! I hope she has TONS of more questions for you. In fact, I may send Paloma your way :)

  12. Dd (7yrs) exclaimed to her brother 5yrs as he was peeing and she was in the bathroom getting ready for bed: " Aww you have SUCH a cute penis" then explained that she and mommy are girls and girls have a "her-gina".. (rhymes with vagina) LOL ... "pee finger" and "hergina"
    Maria (Canada)

  13. So funny!!! You handled it so well! Once my three year old yelled in the grocery store, "Daddy has a penis, but Mommy doesn't". My husband almost fainted!

  14. I used to be all for truth and honesty, but then my son started referring to nipples as nibbles. Who am I to correct that?

    He also calls Justin Bieber Justin Beaver, and I haven't corrected that one either.

    Pee finger....I new a guy who could have accurately used that term to refer to his.

  15. You are a much better person than I am, I would have said, "Yes; all boys have a pee-finger." and left it at that. I do have an evil side.

  16. This story was funny when told in person, but even MORE funny when told via the written word (as only YOU can tell it :) ). Pee finger...must remember to use that term in future lectures :).

  17. Very funny, pee finger!! Hahahahahaha.


  18. Oh, i forgot to add that for the longest time my girls thought they had a 'china' down there. I let that one slide......

  19. OMG, this is so funny!

    Ok, see, if I bought a book then I WOULD STILL HAVE TO READ IT TO THEM! Though I will remember the suggestion....

    I really thought both the girls had seen the business before this. They have been to day care, been around babies, been to the beach, I mean, really!

    Saying it is "cute" and a " peanut" is so funny.... I never thought of it as cute, lol.

    I like the "china" and "her-gina" because we still have to deal with that too.


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