November 10th, 2010
Holy stubborn donkey gams. She has a point.
I’m one of those parents who don’t use “cutesy” words to describe biological functions or private parts. God bless you if you call pee, “tinkle,” or a penis, “a wee wee,” but I just can’t stand it. I even have a hard time saying “va-jay-jay,” Oprah-approval-rating and all.
A few years ago, when the kids started using the word “butt” to describe butt, and my husband told them to say, “booty” instead, I disagreed on the semantics. Why booty? A butt is a butt is a butt. I know he was just trying to avoid the potty talk (another term I can’t freaking stand), but biologically-speaking, a booty is not a butt. I want my kids to know the proper terms for things and not be one of those whiny lame-os who say “hiney,” or a similarly irritating word substitute for butt. It’s a BUTT!
To me, cutesy terminology just detracts from the power of words. Also, why say one word when you really mean another? Like “LOL.” Please just say, “You’re funny.” Or “That’s hilarious.”
Because LOL sucks.
My point is this: The other day Booger (oh look! a cutesy word for my four-year-old!) looked at my naked body after I stepped out of the shower and told me I scared her.
Naturally I asked why, and her answer was “You have donkey legs.”
I quizzed her to determine the etymology of her word choice, and as we surveyed my legs in the mirror to assess their degree of donkishness, Booger quickly changed the subject.
“Mom? Did I come out of your tummy?”
Well no, she didn’t. She lived in my uterus for awhile, but technically, she came out of my vagina. I just couldn’t bring myself to say something otherwise.
And thankfully, I didn’t have to, because she then said, “Did you push me out of here?” pointing to the general area, somewhere northerly of my cloven hooves.
Gratefully, I said, “Yes,” to which she answered,
That kid is a quick study.
But then, but THEN, she wanted to know how she was made.
Now here’s the sticky wicket.
I hate cutesy word choices, but I DO recognize that Booger is only four, and probably won’t understand vocabulary like “spermatozoa” and “fallopian.” So after an inner moral struggle during which I abandoned hope for proper word usage, I said:
“Dad gave me something to make you and I put it with the thing I had and you grew in my stomach until I pushed you put of my vagina.”
“Oh,” she said. “Was I a donkey too?”
“Actually the scientific name is ‘equus asinus,'” I brayed. “And no. But I’ll tell you what, you were one little cutie patootie.”
What? From the waist up, I am human after all.