Saturday, March 11, 2006

Parts Is Parts

A week or two ago I read an interesting blog entry (Hi Christine!) about the merits of teaching your kids the real names of their various body parts. I recalled another friend telling me the hilarious consequences when her daughter yelled loudly about her vagina in a public place. I wasn't discouraged. I still think it's better for kids to call their parts by their actual names (and also tell them when it's appropriate to discuss those parts, at what vocal volume - and when it is not.)

I also think it's appropriate to teach kids the real terms for the substances that get evacuated from the body. Urine and stool sound a little clinical, so I compromise with "pee" and "poop". Nothing wrong with those terms, right? I think those terms are pretty universally in use by the general populace. Apparently, even those terms were too graphic for MY mother.

When I was growing up, I had "privates" which I used to make wee wee and gah gah. My brother had a pee pee for making wee wee. So sophisticated sounding, no? My poor brother. I'll never forget the moment he found out that calling poop "gah gah" in public would be one of those seminal memories of the first time the neighborhood kids made you feel 2 inches tall and teased you unmercifully for years afterward.

The boy next door tried to play a prank on my baby brother by trying to convince him that the rabbit poop (little round brown balls, by the way) was actually chocolate candy. My brother's response after poking the balls experimentally with his finger? "No way! That's gah gah!" Unfortunately, there was a large group of neighborhood kids who witnessed this gaffe. Come to think of it... that may have been the first time I actually smacked myself in the head in embarrassment too. A red letter day, to be sure.

Yeah. Ouch. Thanks Mom. ;-)

So! What are the "parts" and their output called in YOUR house? How about when you were growing up?

7 comments:

Trish said...

Aww - I can just imagine the embarrassment. Poor kid.

A little boy I know used to have a "bonky" and he would go "pookie" and the result was "dookie" -- but make no mistake about it, he used to "pee" with his "penis."

Shari said...

We do pee-pee and coolie for body parts here, with them we will start to enforce the "proper terms" soon, and we do poop and pee as exrements. not too interesting here.

Laura said...

I'm with you....we call them what they are.
What sealed the deal was when I was pregnant with Hollie 20 years ago and I overheard my MIL explain to her grown daughter after I was seen at 7 months to rule out preterm labor that I had a "cranky po-po"....my doc called it an irritable uterus.
Time and experience has taught me that sex ed is so much easier with my kids if I get over the embarrassment of naming the parts....I also learned that those who have the cutesie names also were the ones who avoided "the Talk" with their kids as long as they could....trust me waiting until junior high is not the time....but that is a whole 'nother pet peeve of mine with parents of my kids' peers.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Well, of course it's just John and me here, but I tend to say "go to the bathroom" or even "use the room of rest." And when I'm unwell, I spare everyone the details and just say, "I'm having digestive inconveniences." - K.

DEREK said...

I know where your coming from, my sisters and brother stayed confused. I'm not even going to tell you the names she gave our body parts, but the number game was fun for the bathroom.

Gail in MN said...

At home we had to go tinkle!
At school it was No.1 and No.2, but I can't remember what we called No.2 at home. Maybe we were just very constipated......
We have a dog that can do a 4....a No.2 and 2 No.1's.

hestiahomeschool said...

Oh, I guess you already know that my girls know all the real names, down to labia and urethra...although Tabby prefers to call labia Flipper-flappers...