Bums, willies and foofs. Front bottoms. Wiggly worms. Girls and boys ‘bits.’ Welcome fellow potty minds, join me in this potentially contentious minefield of wonder and horror that is kids and how they talk about their private parts.
As LG seemingly has no regard for his tickle tackle and pulls it like a Stretch Armstrong (eeww) – we’ve decided to start having more in depth discussions about what those bits are, what they do and what they’re called. It’s shaky territory for a few reasons, but not least my infantile sense of humour and inability to stifle a giggle when both LB and LG get it oh so wrong. Because any child talking about rude bits is always a bit wrong, and as I love any opportunity to throw in some appropriate genital slang (sounds like a German techno group). I have a bit of a reputation within some circles of friends (you know who you are) for always cracking out the vilest of phrases and so trying to find safe ones is interesting. I’m told it’s inappropriate to say vajayjay or punany to a child but can’t quite bring myself to say ‘flower.’ Plus my mind automatically goes to ‘Penis Fly Trap’ when I say flower so you see my predicament….
Having a boy and a girl means that bath time usually involves the sentences:
“Please don’t put your foot up your brother’s bum” and “Please stop putting your winkle up the tap.”
Combinations of words I hadn’t envisaged appearing in my future, but they’re here and apparently recurring like the nightmare I have about the escaped zoo animals. Until recently LB has a ‘winkle’ and LG has a ‘noo-noo,’ both names they have settled on after my husband and I tried out a few baby safe words. So as I’m forced to say ‘winkle’ and ‘noo-noo’ at least 57 times a day, and as they’re growing up, we thought we might as well teach them the real names. I pondered (moaned) about this to a friend who helpfully referred me to a kids picture book called “Amazing You” by Dr Gail Saltz (Dr? Sold!). I then made the mistake of reading the book at bedtime to LB and LG without giving it a quick scan beforehand. A rookie error.
This isn’t a book review, and as a disclaimer I think the intention of Amazing You is spot on. I just wasn’t prepared for the following picture:
Woah there. Firstly, Dr Saltz is clearly an American as that is one circumcised wiener schnitzel. Secondly, WHERE ARE THE PUBES! There’s more hair on Patrick Stewart’s sheeny shiny noggin. And in a shocking display of inconsistency, the female page of the book has this lady, displaying a healthy trimmed bush;
LG: “Mummy, why has she got hair on her Fanny Craddock (paraphrasing) and he hasn’t?”
Me: “Because some men are hairy like Sasquatch, and have to shave that mess to make their dong look bigger.”
Only joking. I didn’t really say that. I just stuttered around the subject like Hugh Grant until LG shouted VAGINA and they both laughed and pube-gate was forgotten (for now).
The other part of the book that flummoxed me a little was this corker of a statement:
“The baby will come out of the vagina, which is very, very stretchy. It stretches wide enough for the baby to come out and then goes back to the way it was before.”
Now I didn’t deliver mine out of the old birth cannon as my cervix refused to dilate (wimp) and so I can’t speak first hand, but I’m pretty sure once you’ve pushed a human out if it, your growler NEVER goes exactly back to the way it was before. It might regain some of it’s vigour, but it’s vim will never be the same. I’m told its like shitting a melon.
And as for very, very stretchy, that’s a tough one to explain to a kid. You can’t stretch a vagina like you can stretch a Stretch Armstrong. And as far as I know, the only time a snatch stretches that much is when a baby’s head forces itself through and the baby wears mum like a sleeping bag. I would say 99% of the time (unless you’re into some freaky shit) it only needs to stretch a little bit. (‘Stretch’ count for this paragraph = 6. A record). Come on Dr Saltz, if I’m going to teach my children the word scrotum and be forced not to laugh whilst they repeat it, I need to frame their expectations correctly around chuff the magic flagon.
So LG now knows she has a vagina and LB has a penis. We’ve explained labia, scrotum (ba ha ha), testicles, ovaries and sperm. LB now thinks that “girls have eggs that crack onto the tadpoles and make a giant stretchy baby” (pretty much a direct translation). And now they know the real words they like to shout them everywhere. In the swimming pool changing room, LB mis pronounced his as a va-penis and when I laughed, started to repeat it like a football chant. Other Mum’s either looked away with disgust or held in sniggers as his chants echoed and then were joined by LG who saw my initial guffaw and seized the opportunity to make it worse. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Both rascals once shouted BOOBIES repeatedly as I desperately tried to find a new bra in Tesco. How times have changed. I once shopped in Rigby and Peller. Sigh.
The final legacy ‘Amazing You’ has left is not only to create the unrealistic picture that all men are shaved with a circumcised wang but also that along with penis an acceptable name for boy bits is a ‘hot dog’. The book uses it as a silly phrase some children use (who? what children?). LB thinks this is wonderful. He now thinks it’s the funniest thing and when he sees a hot dog (usually a toy one as I’m not a fan – they’re mainly hooves) or a sausage he places it at his crotch and howls at my horrified/ slightly proud expression. It’s like the opening scene in Happy Gilmore.
As private parts have been on my mind, I’ve asked a few mates about slang they’ve used or heard kids use, and my stand out favourites are:
Vagina: ukem-flukem, wiggly (?!), nuni, fluffy (huh?) and Minnie.
Penis: chuddle (which is too similar to chode for me, a fairly new addition to my vulgar vocabulary), peanuts, Crown Jewels (I LOVE this, the idea of a little boy calling them his Crown Jewels is EVERYTHING).
So friends, lets start a crude convo, what hilarious names do your kids use? Or have you heard other kids use? I would love to read your comments, because of said immaturity, but also because I’ve finished binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale and need something to fill my evenings. Thanks y’all.
Until next time, peace out, N ♥ (comment, please comment!).