I’ve now reached the stage of parenting in which I’m supposed to start talking with my son about his private parts.
Setting aside the fact that I feel as though I just gave birth to the Muffin Man, let’s discuss how bizarre it is to try to have a conversation with a two and a half year old about his penis. In case you’re not familiar with what it’s like to converse with a small child about well, anything, it usually involves you speaking, your kid not listening, and then him repeatedly asking, “Why?” even when you’ve given him the answers 10 times in a row.
That’s what it’s like when you’re having a perfectly regular discussion about things like the sky being blue or what day it is. Imagine, if you will, attempting to talk with someone who doesn’t really have the ability for abstract reasoning and trying to impress upon this person why it’s not okay for strange people to touch his private parts.
Me: Muffin, do you know the difference between boys and girls?
Noah: Can I have a snack? I want a popsicle.
Me: Noah, I need you to listen to me.
Noah: Okay, but I want a popsicle.
Me: What’s the difference between boys and girls?
Noah: I want a popsicle NOW!
Me: I’ll give you a popsicle if you tell me what makes you different than girls.
Noah: I can pee pee outside. I want a cherry popsicle.
I hand Noah a cherry popsicle. It’s homemade with organic fruit, free of any artificial flavors or colors and sweetened with agave.
Me: Do you know why you can pee outside?
Noah: Because you told me it was okay. I don’t like this popsicle.
Me: Can your friend Sarah pee outside?
Noah: This popsicle is yucky. I want a red one.
Me: You’re a boy, and Sarah is a girl.
Noah: Sarah likes popsicles too. Her Mommy gives me yogurt pops when I play at her house.
Me: That’s just fantastic. You’re a boy, Noah, so that means you have a penis.
Noah: I have a peanut! I love my peanut!
Me: Penis, you have a penis.
Noah: Peanuts, peanuts, peanuts. I like nuts. Can I have some nuts, Mommy?
Me: Your penis is your private part, and it’s not okay for anybody you don’t know to touch you down there.
Noah: (nodding) Uh huh.
Me: It’s really important that you tell me or Daddy if anyone ever tries to touch you in a way you don’t like, okay?
Noah: Okay. Can I have a juice box? My peanut is thirsty.
Me: It’s also not okay for you to touch other people’s private parts either.
Me: Because everybody has private parts, and it’s not nice to touch our friends there.
Me: Because they are private and just for us.
Me: That’s what the word private means.
Me: If anyone tries to touch your private parts and then says it’s a secret, come and tell me or Daddy right away.
Noah: I like secrets. Daddy puts ice cream in secrets and they are crunchy.
Me: Remind me to strangle your Daddy.
Noah: Okay. Mommy, ‘member to ‘rangle daddy.
Me: If someone tries to touch your private parts, what do you do?
Noah: Can I have a secret for dessert? Those are yummy.
So, yeah, I think the whole private parts talk is really going swimmingly. Just on the off chance that Noah didn’t quite get the message, we’ve been reading this book together.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go ‘rangle my spouse.