when i was pregnant, i tried to think of all the things i would need to have planned before the baby arrived. nursery clean & decorated - check. diapers on hand - check. tiny clothes washed in baby-safe detergent - check. crib bedding washed & arranged cutely - check. name picked out for boy or girl - check. decisions about immunizations - check. what to call the baby's genitalia - um.... not check. for some reason it seemed like a big deal to me that we decide ahead of time what we would be calling & teaching the baby to call his or her groin area. i did a ton of babysitting, as well as being a nanny & teaching preschool, so i've heard some pretty interesting things from the mouths of children when referring to their do-not-touch-unless-you're-a-doctor-or-parent-giving-a-bath region.
i wasn't crazy about hearing little girls refer to their vaginas because, first of all it sounds rather bizarre to hear that word said in a little baby voice & secondly, the part the kid is usually referring to isn't technically her vagina. it's her vulva. i didn't want my child to use a word like twat or coochie as i'd heard at the preschool from a little girl who also told me once that she saw her daddy stab a pencil into her mommy's neck. i wasn't crazy about the idea of chi-chi or fu-fu or any of the other cutsie names either, so i decided that i wanted to find the proper name for vulva, but in some other language. i did some research online, but none of the online translation sites could provide me with that word in any language, so i was stuck. i was leaning toward just going with vulva, but then i had a vision of being at food lion w/ my future 2 year old girl & scooping her up & putting her into the shopping cart seat a little too quickly & her yelling in her loud, high pitched, shrieky voice, "OUCH MOMMY! YOU HURT MY VULVA!!!" and everything would go silent & strangers would turn to stare at me and judge me for having a 2 yr old who yells about her wounded vulva in public.
so i was left w/ a conundrum. i wasn't able to make a decision about a good word to use & eventually i decided it wasn't all that important after all. it became "crotch" by default since it can serve multiple purposes & be gender neutral. i recently discovered though that brooke thought it was a female specific word when we were watching america's funniest videos & the announcer guy said something about a man getting hit in the crotch. she looked at me with the strangest expression & said, "they just said.... that... the man had a crotch!" i didn't see the problem until she said that men don't have crotches, only girls & ladies. i think we've got that ironed out now, but i'm still a little bit disappointed that we don't have a more interesting word for it. i hate to use vanilla words when there are so many spicy options out there to choose from.