It has been another week of sickness here, starting with barfing on the weekend, and progressing to diarrhea for the last two days. Which means I have been cleaning up some pretty vile things emitting from a certain small person a great deal this week. So that’s been fun.
But we have had some pretty good moments, and before I collapse into bed, I shall relate one to you.
The other morning (after the barfing had passed, but before the diarrhea had commenced), I laid out some clothes for Stinkerbelle on her bed while she was downstairs eating her breakfast. Once she came upstairs again, I told her to go in and get dressed. She likes to do this, “ALL. BY. MYSELF.” as we are regularly reminded. So I sat down at my desk and started to check email.
Stinkerbelle began to strip off her jammies, and soon a small nudenik was walking past my door on her way to get dressed. A few moments passed, and then the small naked kid appeared in my doorway.
“Mom”, said That Girl, “can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” I said, turning from my computer.
Stinkerbelle came in, in her altogether, and sat down on the carpet in front of me. She said, “I was putting on my panties, and…” At which point, she splayed her legs out and started futzing about with her undercarriage. Showing me, I might add, all that Nature had given her.
“And I saw…” she said, pointing at her nether regions, “um… What is this?”
I fought with every fibre of my being not to dissolve into hysterical laughter right on the spot. Because every parent KNOWS that the time for That Talk is coming, but you are never REALLY prepared for it. I mean, you THINK you will handle it with great calm and dignity and appear cool. But the reality is, you rarely do.
Which I can tell you, I certainly didn’t. I probably did alright though, and kept the silent-laughter-shoulder-shaking and tears rolling down my face to a minimum.
“Well,” I began, as all good and calm and relaxed discussions of one’s personal regions surely MUST begin, “that is what makes you a girl. That’s a vagina.” Which I know in actual fact is not REALLY what it is — vulva, vagina, clitoris, women’s parts are so complicated, AND BELIEVE YOU ME, SHE WAS SHOWING ME SHE HAD THEM ALL — but that is, for the sake of ease, the catch-all term we’re going to go with at this time.
(Also, it’s not the ONLY thing about being a girl, but DUDE. We’ve got YEARS of this stuff ahead of us.)
So then I continued about how “boys are made differently, and they have a penis.”
“Penis,” she repeated, trying the word out. “Vagina” was too complicated to try, apparently.
“So boys don’t have this?” she asked.
“Nope,” I said.
“But Charlotte has this?”
“Yes,” I confirmed. “Charlotte is a girl, so she has a vagina.”
“And does Jamie have this?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “Jamie is a boy, so he has a penis.”
“But Daddy has this?” she wondered.
“Nope, Daddy is a boy, so he has a penis.”
“But I don’t have a penis,” she confirmed.
“No, you have a vagina. Girls have vaginas.”
“Vagi…” the word trailed off into a mumble.
So I began telling her how boys and girls are different, and was starting to get into how girls have vaginas and breasts and… I didn’t get far.
She stood up, and with great gravity said, “I should go back to my room now.” And walked out.
Clearly I am going to need to work on my delivery before she hits puberty.