Donkey Legs and All





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.


9 Responses to “Donkey Legs and All”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by San Diego Momma, San Diego Momma. San Diego Momma said: Sincere apologies to Tom Robbins. […]

  2. First of all, you do NOT have donkey legs! Second, I haven’t had to have the talk with Gabi yet (who’s six), but I hope it goes as easily as yours did. Oh, and third, I was going to start this with OMG, but I imagine you hate that too, you are making me laugh (I really wanted to write LOL).

  3. OMG this post is just another example of why I love you so much!
    : )

  4. flutter says:

    Dude. Your legs are adorable and not at all donkey like.

  5. Wish I had your cute little donkey legs. Mine are more like hippo legs.
    I like the way you handled that sticky question. Neither of my kids even bothered to ask. And I was SO prepared, too! After my mother explained menstruation (Yeah, she was also a big believer in using the proper word) to my little sister and me, we thought that a girl’s stomach peeled once a month into a napkin…we just looked at each other and said, “Ha! Does she think we were born yesterday?”

  6. Donkey legs! No!
    Those questions are SO hard to answer, even with good intentions. I told the boys that the man has a special fluid that when it hits the eggs it “activates” them. Kind of like science fiction, but they loved how I explained it.

  7. Kendra says:

    At least ‘cuz Anna is adopted we say, truthfully, we went to Russia and got you and, ‘cuz she’s four, that’s enough for now. It won’t last long, I know. Growing up my mom was so opposed to cutesy language she wouldn’t let us say ‘pee.’ Until I was ten or so I thought everyone went to into the bathroom to “you’re an 8.” Of course it made no sense to me but lots of things didn’t.

  8. Mama Mary says:

    Pretty sure I just went tinkle in my panties because I just laughed out mother effing loud. For real. Maybe one of your funniest posts. And donkey legs? She thinks just like you.

  9. Rebecca C says:

    I can only tell you what my mom did with me, because it worked like a charm. She dragged out her medical textbooks (she’s an OBGYN, and was in med school at the time) and explained in proper terms about penises and vaginas, sperm and eggs. I don’t remember exactly how detailed she got with it, but I know she showed me pictures of various things within her textbooks. I never had any real questions until I was much older because she explained it very well. Bored to tears during those uncomfortable sex ed seminars we had every now and then in high school.

    The only problem? The next day I took her medical books with me to preschool (or kindergarten) and proceeded to teach the rest of the kids the gist of what I learned from her, pictures and all. The teacher was so flustered that not only did she take away the books and make me sit by myself for the rest of recess, but she made my parents come pick me up for the rest of the day. Apparently, those kids’ parents wanted to teach them this stuff themselves. ;)

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