According to Benjamin’s former toddler group teacher, children who know the proper anatomical terms for their private parts are less likely to become victims of molestation. Knowledge gives them power, if the adage is true.
Well, then my kids are pretty darned safe. Not only do they know the proper terms, but they are quite happy to use them in all situations. Hence, Zachary, when using the bathroom alongside a new acquaintance, has been known to inform her, “This is my p-nis.” I am sure her mother appreciated show-and-tell.
Zach did have a hard time learning the proper word for the dark pointy things at the ends of my breasts, however. When he was just two, he would often see me breastfeeding Benjamin, so he requested the necessary vocabulary for processing the experience. Unfortunately, he kept confusing his nipples (and mine) with the bendy part in the middle of the arm.
I was feeding his brother out of my elbows.
Benjamin, now two, also wants to be sure to embarrass me whenever possible, so he has long since asked for the word for those little circles on his chest. He, too, has confused the word “nipple” with another body part, which explains the conversation we had the other day.
“What are these things in there, Mommy?” he asked, picking up the round, cotton pads.
“They are my breast pads.”
“Ooooh, I like them for your pimples.”
Maybe “nipples” is a really hard word to pronounce.