And the flowers and the trees and the moon up above and a thing called Love.
For a chance at pride not prize, who can tell me who sang that song? Anyone? Well, maybe I’m showing my age after all. The correct answer would be a gentleman by the name of Jewel Akens from 1964, a mere 11 years before this world was graced with my presence.
I’m not going to spend my time telling you the story of the birds and the bees, as I’m hoping you all should know how that story ends. No, what I’m more concerned with is when I should have a conversation with my son about the male and female anatomy, more so than the other parts.
Yeah, yeah, I know he’s 3 & 1/2. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not a good idea to lie to him. And I’m well aware of whatever I tell him will be spread across the schoolyard playground like butter on toast. I suppose that’s my biggest conundrum at this point…how do I explain to him the differences between the male and female bodies while also keeping a certain level of innocence in tact?
Why am I even talking about this right now? Well, I made the drastic mistake this week of darting into the bathroom as we were walking in the door from school. I was already in mid zip with my shorts, as I yelled over my shoulder, “mommy has to potty really bad.” Unfortunately for me, I had a momentary mental lapse and didn’t lock the bathroom door when I bolted in. This left the door wide open, no pun intended, for Davey to walk in and “keep me company” as he likes to say.
As I sat on the toilet peeing, my 3 & 1/2 year old is hovering above and peppering me with questions like,
“Mommy, why do you sit down to pee pee? Mommy, does your pee pee come from your butt like your poopy? Mommy let me see if you a boy pee pee that it comes out of?” And upon trying to scrounge up to me and literally look in that general down south vicinity of my body, he hits me with the following, “Mommy, it looks like you don’t have a pee pee like I do, so what do you have?”
Honestly, I just stared at him and we both listened to the last little bit of dribble. Alarm bells began screaming in my head, shouting and blaring over and over, “you’re in trouble, this is too soon, you must be honest with him, don’t you wish you’d have had a daughter?” They continued to swirl over and over, round and round until I literally began feeling dizzy as I sat on the toilet.
“So, what is it, Mommy?” Davey asks me again as he takes a few steps backwards and plants his little tush on the stepping stool as if waiting for me to go into a deep story.
“Um, well,” I stammered. “Maybe you should ask your daddy.”
Yeah! That was it! After all, since I have two boys that means I’ve immediately been given a “get out of jail” free pass on the this part of parenting. Right? I mean, it should be my husband’s job to explain this. Wouldn’t you agree?
Well, that’s what I kept telling myself as Davey persisted on and on (dang you, Bruce genes, for giving my son this characteristic). Really I can’t force my husband to be the only one to deal with this part of the parenting. So, I did my best and told Davey that girls don’t have pee pees (we’re not into using the word “penis” yet since I’m not exactly desperate for a speech of “I have a penis” every time we walk into a store.) Basically, I just danced around the question and told him girls have something smaller. He seemed to accept that as he walked out the door before quickly turning around and saying, “good girl, mommy, on pee peeing in the potty.”
I skirted by that one, although I’m sure there’s another question just like it lurking on the horizon. What am I so afraid of, you ask? I’m not afraid, I just want to get it right without being too technical and without spoiling the opportunity for other parents to explain this to their kids. I’ve already begun to imagine the phone calls from the parents of some of Davey’s classmates if I had used the “v” word, or if I’d started explain the urethra or the workings of the bladder.
I was able to wipe my brow and pat myself on the back for managing to duck and dodge this question. I can’t wait until he starts asking me where do babies come from…no not really.