Before I had Wees I was one of those people who was never going to do so many things as a parent. You see my future Wees were going to come out of the womb perfect. Little child rearing was actually going to be needed, and I was never going to be flummoxed, at a loss for words or frustrated. Life was going to be like a mix between a Norman Rockwell painting and a 1950's Coco-Cola commercial - all technicolor and flawless. Then something happened - my first pregnancy test came out positive and all my plans of grandeur went by the wayside.
A particularly strong pre-Wee stance I took was that I would never use baby talk. No ridiculous words for using the bathroom, no made up code phrases for disciplining or warning children and above all no imaginary body part descriptors. As the following incident highlights - clearly I have abandoned my position on all of these fronts.
Because we lived in an almost all female world (dad was the only rooster in the hen house) before the birth of Wee 4 my girl Wees thought they had the nuances of life figured out - especially biology and anatomy. They (especially Wee 2) figured everyone looked the same, every where. After all dad has two ears, two eyes, two legs - what would possibly be different about boy Wees and girl Wees?
Now that Reid is five months old and the girls have seen 100s of diaper changes they are very aware that some things are definitely different and now they are trying to process those differences in their age appropriate ways. It seemed we had laid the matter of biological differences to rest when after much thought Bella decided that boys had "tinkle sprayers" and girls had "squatta majigs" and that these differences in private areas were due to gender preferences on how one uses the toilet. It never occurred to her that the reality was spurred for opposite reasons - but I had no plans of stirring up a hornet's nest. An additional benefit of this made up nomenclature was that if they began talking about their bodies in potentially embarrassing situations - say in the line at the deli or while dropping off the dry cleaning - no one around us knew what they were talking about.
Something interesting happened yesterday though. Wee 4 needed his diaper changed (again) and I asked Bella to bring me a new diaper. This she did and than she waited around to see if anything exciting was going to happen. She once caught him peeing on me when he was only a few days old and has been hoping for a repeat ever since.
While I changed Reid, the following exchange occurred.
Bella: What is that?
Mom: What is what?
Bella: That thing below Reid's tinklesprayer. What is that?
Mom: His bottom Bella, you have one too.
Bella: Mom - not his bottom - that other thing, I don't have one.
Mom: Oooh, that thing.
Enter a pause here. As a more experienced parent I have discovered the miracle of the PAUSE. Never rush to fill empty space, whether its during a PTA call for volunteers or a child asking those hard to answer questions. Take a pause - in most cases it will resolve itself without your intervention.
As I sat back and tried to think of just how much I wanted to tell my four year old about the differences between boys and girls and Heavenly Father's divine injunction to go forth and be fruitful, she interrupted me and the conversation continued.
Bella: Reid has a little brain down there. It looks just like the brain we saw in Victoria's Science book.
Mom: Ummm, Bella that is not a brain.
Bella: Yes, it is. It looks like a little brain - is this why boys are always saying they are smarter than girls? Because they have an extra brain down there?
Mom: No, Bella it is not a brain. Boys are not smarter than girls.
Bella: Are you trying to not hurt my feelings? I am going to go and tell Victoria about this.
So as I washed my hands and redressed my son, my two daughters carried on a furtive conversation about biological gender inequity. I had decided I would have to be upfront with them and have a conversation I had been hoping to put off for a little longer when Bella came back in the room with a big smile on her face.
Mom: Is everything okay Bella?
Bella: Yup, Victoria says boys don't use that other brain so we are still even.
It is with a huge sigh of relief and only a bit of sheepishness that I say that I let it go at that.
A bit brainless,