Thursday, June 17, 2010

what to call THAT region

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.


  1. You know that if any kid is going to yell, "You hurt my vulva!" in public, it would be Brooke!

  2. she totally would be the one. and actually at almost 8, she's even more likely to yell it than at 2. sigh...

  3. Last fall, James made the rule that "we do not say penis or vagina in public". This was after a shopping trip to Greenlife were he was getting many looks and whispers because all three of the kids were discussing loudly which one of them had a penis and which one had a vagina. Yup, we are "those" people.

  4. oh ladonna, that's awesome! see, i wasn't imagining it when i forsaw my future in a grocery store w/ a kid speaking about groiny words.

  5. I still struggle with this one... Of course my oldest knows what it is called. But we went with the cutsie names.. pee pee. LOL Oh well.


don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!