Sunday, April 16, 2006

Susie went "down there" to see a "thing".

I decided very early on that we would be teaching our children the correct names for body parts. The only area I haven't enforced is "boobies". I just can't make her say breasts. She talks about her chest enough as it is without a name change being given.
Recently, I was talking to my SIL on the phone, and said "vagina". I could hear the blushing from the other end. Turns out her daughters call it "down there" and her sons (and I presume her husband...gahhh! The image!) have "weiners". This cannot be a good thing. I know from experience that it can be very embarassing to discover your body parts are not actually what you've been calling them for years.
My mother called it her "susie". Thus, us three girls also had susies. This was fine until mom started babysitting a little girl named, you guessed it, Susie. I was horrified. Why would someone call their child that?! Dad had a "thing", which was always said in a whisper. We also had trouble with the top half. My cousin and I almost came to blows one day over whether the correct name for breasts was "bubbies" or "tuckies". When I was 10 my friend Gina informed me they were breasts. I told her I wasn't sure I was allowed to say that word. In college, another friend referred to them as "wubbies". However, hers were of such a size that she could call them whatever she wanted. "Texas" might have suited them.
So, tell me. What parts reside in your house? Will your child someday embarrass you to death by shouting "MY VAGINA HURTS!!" in WalMart, or will it be shouted in code? If you don't have kids, what do you think is the right way to go here?


Anonymous said...

LOL, I hope you have comment moderation. You know you just opened yourself up! :)

Emily said...

I am all about the correct terms, although I also don't want to horrify my child too early on so whenever I have children, I will answer questions as they come up. No big lectures upfront unless they are unavoidable.

To be honest, I don't think I'd mind a girl who screamed out in Wal-Mart that her vagina hurts. I think more women should be able to say that word with pride and besides, men will NEVER understand the ability of the vagina to cause some serious pain and suffering.

Lisa said...

My folks decided that my little brother should be taught the "correct names" of body parts too. Problem was, he loved the word "penis." So, every time a stranger came into our house (like my older sister's high school friends), his greeting to them was always, "Wanna see my penis?" : 0

Jeannie said...

This is hilarious. My mother used all the proper names but was very nervous doing it except she never named the lower female genitalia. Of course, I had older brothers who never used the term penis but weiner weinie dick dickie and the obvious nasty name. I learned the term vagina from my best friend and never heard anyone use any other term except for the obvious nasty one from the guys. I used the correct terms with my kids until my daughter grew up and we use boobs instead of breasts.

Mary P. said...

I posted on this very subject back in December.

Correct words, all the way. Personally, I find the code words embarrassing, not the accurate ones. I'd far rather have a child say, "Mommy, my vagina hurts!", than "Mommy, my fluffbunny hurts." Puh-leeze.

If you want children who can handle themselves as young adults, when the issue of sex becomes real, you have to start when they're very young, when the issue of sex -- isn't an issue!

Anonymous said...

We debated back a forth on this issue when we were potty training our now 4 year old boy (we also have a two year old boy). I was all about correct body part names until I was reading a book about how to protect children's innocence. The point they made resounded with me.

The authors said that they recommended giving other names such as pee-pee or whatever, instead of the real names because our children will learn the terms as they grow older and as they are able to process such adult terms.

The point that solidified it for me was when I read (I am paraphrasing here) that said if you teach them alternate names at a young age and then they hear something sexually descriptive from another child at school, neighborhood kid, etc. They, at that young age, will not know what it is all about because they are unfamiliar with the name for the body part.

I am sure this probably sounds a bit psychotic..... :)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Why, what you go there is a "cooter," and what I got here is a "johnson." What could be better?

Anonymous said...

As for the "top half" you refered too, my neighbor gave me a good one....she refers to them as "the girls". love it!

Anonymous said...

We'll be using the actual terms as well. I guess I just don't see the point. Most of the time if someone were to say "My susie"'d probably be able to figure it out anyway.

Mrs. Falkenberg said...

Bari: I'm feeling brave, I guess!
Emily: I just don't see how "those" words would be horrifying to a child. "Elbow" isn't scary, why should "penis" be?
Lisa: Did you see Desperate Housewives last night?!
Jeannie: I think my own mother would pass out before saying vagina aloud.
Mary: I knew it! I knew I'd read this on your blog! I also knew you'd agree with me! :)
Anonymous: I can't agree with the author's you read. Why is Penis a hard word to process? What makes it "adult"? And as far as hearing things at school, I'm sure the other kids will clear up any confusion. Kids are like that. They love to share, even if they have no clue what they are talking about! It just means that once your child is deemed old enough, you have to sit down and teach him/her all the correct information, and clear up all misconceptions.
Hoss: Cooter and Johnson, eh? Are they related to Susie and Dick do you suppose?!

Raehan said...

We don't waste time in our house.

Three vaginas and one penis.

Breasts, too.