Yeah, I said ladies. This is just a post for the ladies.
You know what’s great? Telling your daughter the real names for her body parts. That’s right. Female empowerment and no shame and rah, rah, rah! Ya know what my daughter calls her vagina? Um, her vagina. I have no idea why this is a big deal to me for my family: it just is. I don’t even remember where I read it.
Please don’t hear me telling you that YOU should do that. In fact, as this little story is about to demonstrate, just go with some cutesy name, for goodness sake. Yeah, in fact, you definitely should not teach your daughter the real words.
See…the problem with Stella knowing the real words for her body parts is that she actually uses them. She has NO IDEA that the word vagina is any different than the word elbow. She just doesn’t.
Case in point: A few days ago we sat in a gymnasium and watched high school volleyball for four hours. There’s only so much laying on the bleachers a girl can do before she can gets restless.
Between games I took her into a corner beside the student section and we tossed a ball back and forth. Down my arm, over my head, behind the back and on and on. I got creative with the way I passed it to her. Her happy little voice shouted out at the top of her lungs ‘Mommy! Pass it under your vagina! Between your legs!”
Ahem, sweet thing, let’s have a little chat. There is such a thing as words that are private. Words we only say quietly. Words we never shout out next to a bleacher section full of teenagers.
“Why did you teach me that word if you didn’t want me to use it.”
I don’t know, child. I really don’t know.
You know it’s actually not the first time I’ve heard her say that word out loud. The thing is though she used to pronounce the word like pajama. As in…oh, you can imagine how it would be used.