Cheering For Our Private Parts

As I’ve written about before, we’ve made it a point to teach out children that proper names for their anatomical parts. And while we emphasize that those parts are private and special, we don’t want to imply that they are secret or weird. Which sounds pretty boring and fairly easy until we are all in the car. Together.

My daughter, N, spontaneously announces: I have a penis.

My son counters: No, you don’t. You have a vagina.

N is unimpressed: I HAVE A PENIS!

E: NO, YOU DON’T! I HAVE A PENIS, AND YOU HAVE A VAGINA. Girls have vaginas and boys have penises.

N, being the little feminist the she is, does not believe that all girls have vaginas. Or she is just enjoying how upset her older brother is getting (another fantastic feminist quality). Either way, she continue to tout her penis and my son continues to shout back about vaginas.

However, I, being an older and wiser feminism theorist, get nervous. I don’t want N to think penises are better. I want vaginas to seem just as cool.

So I think fast and talk loud because N is now screaming: PPPEEENNNNIIISSSS


And I raise my hand and yell like it’s the best thing to happen to me: MEEEEEEEE!

And N suddenly wants in and yells: MEEEEEEEE! I HAVE A VAGINA!

But I don’t want to emasculate my young son so I then yell: WHO HAS A PENIS?

And my husband and son quickly raise their hands and yell: MMMMMEEEEEEEE!!!

And we all cheer.

Also, this may be the one time feminists and cheerleaders are on common ground.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

29 thoughts to “Cheering For Our Private Parts”

  1. It’s nice having all boys because at least for right now, there is no confusion on this particular issue. I kind of can’t wait for the wide-eyed stare that I’ll get when we start detailing the specific differences, though.

  2. This is too freaking funny! When the kids were younger, this was a point of contention– not between our two boys, but between them, and all of their girl cousins (we have the only boys on both sides of the family). Well, not all of the girl cousins. Just one, in particular. Thankfully, she was happy to be different.

  3. So I’m guessing you played the “Penis” game in high school, when you’d go to quiet places like libraries or movie theateres and a friend quietly says, “penis” and you not to be out done responds a tad louder with another “penis” only not be outdone your friend says back louder “penis” and so on and so forth until the one who has the most guts finally yells it the loudest and wins…or maybe that was just how I grew up.

    By the way, you give me the courage to use correct body parts. Otherwise Riley would only know his wee wee and who knows what I would have called Lucy’s hoo-ha…probably that.

  4. My sister, thanks to endless hours of Pinnochio, was conviced that someday she’d turn into a real boy. It took almost a year to convince her otherwise. She is now 20 years old, and still a real girl.

  5. Because I only have boys, the v-word has yet to come up in conversation. We only discuss the absence of my penis. And it’s of great concern to the 2-year-old. He makes the sad-I’m-so-sorry face, complete with head tilt when he says, “Mommy not have penis?”

  6. Hooray for vaginas! And Penises!! Because boy would I be sad if there were no penises in this world.

    That sounds really dirty, but you started it so I think it’s okay.

  7. CMH has yet to ask about her brother’s parts. She is too busy telling him he is so cute when he has his diaper changed. I’m waiting for it to come up – I should work on my response now, huh?

  8. I had this discussion with my son recently (the girl is still too young to understand), and he was simply fascinated, in part by how we pee differently. My husband cringed the entire time.

    1. If you really want to freak out the kids, show them those bizarro new Summers Eve ads with the talking vaginas, divided up into ethnic categories.

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