Boys will be boys and have boy parts

***WARNING: Contains anatomical references and some prepubescent humor***

Another new discovery for Little Champ, besides balloons and rolling across the room and even Henry the cat, is something he found during our many visits to the diaper changing table.

Now, after working at a preschool/nursery and having two brothers who are 8 and 16 years younger than myself, I am not very phased by boys’ discovering their boyish anatomy. So I just let him be while I changed him, wincing when he would grab with a stronger-than-what-I-would-deem-comfortable grip.

One day, he had an exceptionally messy diaper, and it was at this moment that it would have been favorable for me to have four hands. I was holding his legs up with one hand, and was removing the diaper with the other before a bigger mess would be made. But then, to my horror, his little fist plunged right into the sludge.

“Don’t touch your—THAT!” I cried, not knowing what to refer to it as, since LT and I had never discussed it.

Startled, he began to raise his hand up to his mouth.

“Aaaiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” I freaked out and karate-chopped his hand away.

After lots of wipes, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and whimpering, the fear of Hepatitis was gone and germaphobe in me was appeased.

Now I give him a toy and slap a wipe on his little boy parts before he can go all Christopher Columbus down there.

But here’s the question to parents, and here’s where it gets awkward (if it wasn’t uncomfortable enough already): Do you use the anatomically correct words for your kids, or a euphemism or cute nickname? Do you just avoid the subject all together? My family was a nickname family, but I don’t want that turning into some awkward experience for my son when he realizes that 1) other people don’t call it that, or 2) he has no idea what other people are talking about. On the other hand, it would also be awkward for my child to use one of the “correct” words in public.

Yet this is coming from a person who has played, on numerous occasions, the game where you take turns saying “penis” louder and louder until someone wins by screaming it the loudest and freaking out a whole lot of innocent bystanders. Like they do in (500) Days of Summer. So if he did yell it out in an inappropriate time or place, I’d probably just laugh, apologize, and be shunned.


5 thoughts on “Boys will be boys and have boy parts

  1. we just call little boy parts wee-wee’s, and little girl parts pee-pees. tho i have read extensive arguments that you should just call it what they are, but that gets confusing especially when it comes to girls, to call it labia or vagina. Funny discovery story: My two year old found his “tail” then went a little south and asked what those where.. not knowing what to say but not wanting to ignore him, i simply said, “those are your balls” “My balls? I’m gonna throw them! Momma!! they are stuck!!” with the most confused look. oh boys.. so i guess you could just not call it anything and wait for him to come up with a name (i.e. tail)

    • Oh dear…hahaha.

      Of course, it’s the boys that seem more curious, and they are usually home with their moms or women caregivers, not their dads.

      I never asked, and I don’t think I called my parts anything. I had a friend whose sister called it her “front bottom.” All I remember is that I have always hated the word “crotch.”

      See, I have heard “pee-pee” for boys, too. That could be even more confusing! I was thinking of using “pee-pee” since it is the first syllable, repeated, and thus different from “pee.” And then maybe “Vee Vee” for girls, and graduate to the “real” words. I thought about “Ee-vee” and “gee-gee,” but since Evie and Gigi are both girl names, that might lead to some trauma in the future. I’ll just hope that if/when we have girls, they never ask :)

  2. Well, having just boys, we never named the girl parts, but the boy parts were just called their “guy.” And, they never really had a problem distinguishing “their” guy with the word guy in normal conversations. :) Anything but Princess Sophia or Krull, the warrior king! ;)

  3. I am not a mother. but I can dig through my resource list for the Human Sexuality class because that exact question came up in that class and there were a few parenting books relating to how to teach your children age appropriate information (I don’t remember if they were Christian or not, but I assume they probably are if she recommended them). I remember Mrs. Talley saying she knew of a series of books that go through different child development stages to help give ideas of how to approach the subject in a non-shaming way. The last thing anyone wants to do is associate shame with those parts, otherwise the child’s “all or nothing” brain will be really confused as they grow up with this negative association. It often is the cause for children never wanting to ask their parents about sexuality and thus, getting their education from other confused little ones.

    Can’t say I’m looking forward to that aspect of parenting. It’s so complex to try and keep the appropriate boundaries without giving negative messages or too much/little information.

    Let me know if you want me to try and find the name of those books. otherwise, I know you well enough to know you are probably doing a lot of the research already. :-)

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