That Day I Froze And A Discussion On Anatomy

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen36 Comments

That Day I Froze And A Discussion On Anatomy

There really is a difference between being an actual parent and just talking about being one. In my case, this became readily apparent when I realized that some of my pre parenting plans of action would be more difficult to follow through on than I anticipated.

For example before children, I was adamant that my husband and I would use biologically correct terms when referring to our children’s body parts. I wanted my children to understand how their bodies worked and to respect them and I didn’t feel it would work quite as well if our children referred to their body parts as “units” and “ding-dongs”.


I remember one conversation with my husband prior to the birth of our first daughter reminding him that when she was born we would be following through on this precise biological vernacular, and with that matter all settled, I marched into parenthood.

That is until that fateful day many years ago when my daughter actually queried me on what a certain body part was and I froze.

I froze because I worried that perhaps teaching my daughter to repeat and say the word “vagina” could come back and bite me in the butt. It is a well known fact that toddlers and preschoolers are regular parakeets and will repeat everything and anything they hear and having heard some of her previous ramblings I was concerned.

I was worried that there was a higher than average likelihood that she would the very next Sunday at church perhaps tell all of her friends, her teacher and the whole congregation “she had a vagina”. I had fevered visions that after such an event, there might be more than one call made to social services and the police with a possible end result of either my husband or myself facing possible jail time. I know, I know, you would hope that wouldn’t be the case, until you hear stories like this.

I was concerned that she would tell all of her friends at play school about her new found body part. Thus ending in calls home from Sally and Suzie’s mom about what my daughter had told their daughter.

All of this crashed into my mind as I looked at my sweet daughter and then most importantly myself. I wondered who had I become, because prior to parenthood it had all seemed so clear.

Isn’t that always the way though?

Prior to parenthood I knew that I would never, ever share a bed with one of my children and yet, once that baby was born I did.

Prior to parenthood I knew exactly how to potty train, burp and soothe a crying child.

Prior to parenthood I knew a lot more about parenting than the mother who was sitting at the edge of the tub wondering how she should answer her daughter’s question.

I still felt strongly that I wanted my children to not be ashamed of their bodies and to see both the beauty and the mechanics of how their bodies worked, but those lingering fears were still there.

Because if parenting has taught me one thing, now on multiple occasions, it is that there is not one single perfect answer for ANYTHING, and that sometimes as parents we just don’t know what to do. And truthfully that is OK.

So what did I end up doing you may ask? Did I follow through on my parenting ideal or stay frozen?

I am happy to say I did indeed truthfully answer my daughter’s question. I looked at her and told her the body part she was referring to her was her vagina and she looked up at me, blinked and asked if she could have ice cream after her bath.

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!



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    1. Haha! That is funny! My sister in law once told me she was going over assigned spelling words with her first grader and one of the words was condiments. She about had a heart attack when her then 6 year old accidentally asked instead what a condom was!
      Jen recently posted…That Day I Froze And A Discussion On AnatomyMy Profile

  1. Hi Jen, with age and experience comes wisdom. I was a much better parent without children too!

    When it came to my two asking questions, I tried to be as honest as possible without elaborating too much (unless it was warranted). Children are amazing and seem to take so much in their stride, but they also have that quirky side that makes them feel the need to tell the world. Now I have to ask them what things are and oh do they have fun with that!

    Your expression could have been an Instagram classic had your daughter taken it upon herself to tell all and sundry the fact that she has a vagina!

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    1. oh second part of the story was that about a week later she told her grandma at a busy McDonalds that all girls have vaginas. That was one for the record books…

      I think your plan for honesty is really the only way to go. Well except for Santa and stuff. Oh I guess that is a discussion for another day!
      Jen recently posted…That Day I Froze And A Discussion On AnatomyMy Profile

  2. Literally just had this happen here and proud to say that I also stayed true to what I thought I would do before having kids, as well. Seriously though it does become that much more real and concrete after having our kids though totally when the time is right for this conversation.

  3. Can I have some ice cream after my bath too. Bwahahahahahaha. I wasn’t expecting that.

    You’re a great mom. I’m just saying.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
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  4. ha! My daughter asked for ice cream after I explained about the Supreme Court decision about gay marriage. I guess she wasn’t losing sleep over it?
    Scarlet used to call her vagina her butt. She just thought they were all the same thing. Her preschool teacher told us during her first year that if they asked her if she needed to pee, she’d say, “Nuh uh – there’s nothing in my butt!”

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  5. Lol. This was such a great post. I dread these kind of conversations if I am being honest. Some how I have made it 7 long years without any in depth question. Now that is nothing but the grace of God. I really need to come up with a game plan and I like you tend to want to go the truth route. Even if it seems hard. Thanks for sharing this :).

    1. Yes mam, consider yourself lucky! My middle child came home from a playdate when she was 4 at a park and told me all about the two dogs there who were playing with each other’s bums! The other mother there with her was so traumatized the girls had seen it! I just don’t know if game plans can even begin to prepare us for real parenting….
      Jen recently posted…That Day I Froze And A Discussion On AnatomyMy Profile

  6. Haha! Love this post. Aren’t we all better parents before we had kids? The Husband and I don’t use ‘cutesy’ names, but technical terms just always felt too clinical to me. We just keep it simple with “girl parts” and “bottom parts” when they’re little. Now that the 5 year old is asking more questions, we’ve gotten into the more clinical aspects with no real problem.
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  7. The first few times, I had to suppress a giggle or two, but I”m so glad I taught my kids the real words! I had a student in my preschool class who told me her “monkey” hurt. It took a lot longer than it should have to find out she had a pinworm infection and needed treatment. I had no idea what she was talking about!!
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  8. I’ll take it one step further, I told my 6 year old where babies come from. She asked how she came out and I said she went through a magic tunnel and out through my vagina. Yep, not turning back now!
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  9. Best thing I ever got out of the preschool years was this advice from the sex ed teacher brought in to chat with us parents: “Uncomfortable talking about body parts with your wee ones? Next time you’re vacuuming say the words out loud. Especialy the ones that make you really uncomfortable. Over and over and over. Then when you’ve got a few spare hours, pop the kids in the car and go for a long drive. Preferably on the highway. Share these words with your littlies. They’ll determine the length of that conversation. Do this again and again over the next few months and your kids will have you speaking with ease and like a pro.” Worked like a charm.
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      Oh my goodness that is funny! Totally unrelated, but every time someone says bah in our house the toddler starts crawling around and bahing like a goat. I could just imagine the scenarios with the whole “bah-gina” thing there :)
      Jen recently posted…Like A Rhinestone CowgirlMy Profile

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