Monday, September 01, 2008

When Being Open Backfires...

We've always had a fairly open house. We teach our children the correct anatomical names for their body parts and don't balk when they use them.

Unfortunately, between ages 3 and 4, all of my children suddenly became obsessed with their "private parts".

Seth was at home with me all the time, so I just tried to explain to him that his penis was private and for him only. It seemed to work. (All except for making Ms. J. uncomfortable whenever she came to dinner. But he kind of had a crush on her, and three year olds aren't that great at picking up women.)

With Toby though, maybe he's more obsessed, or maybe I'm just at my limit (which would be awful because I'll soon have another 3 year old boy).

A while back, Toby said, I have a penis. Do you want to see? (He actually says this quite often, it's my response that was different.)

I said, No, I do not want to see your penis. No one is ever going to think your penis is as fabulous as you think it is.

Dylan told me I was being harsh and mean.

Then one day I overheard Dylan say, Your mother is right. No one is ever going think your penis is as fabulous as you think it is.

Small victories.

I have a fear though. Toby goes to preschool. I know one day I will pick him up and his teacher will tell me "Toby showed us something today." And for the split second before she tells me I will be thinking "Please, oh please, oh please, NOT his penis." Then she will say, "His penis."

And I'll just sink into the floor.

Because for all my "openness" with my kids, I am not the least bit open with adults. And I honest to goodness have no idea how to handle that.

No thanks, I'll just die.


  1. I'm sure Toby will not be the first. This morning, Mikayla proceeded to show everyone her new underwear. There is an exhibitionist in everyone of them!

  2. no worries. Teachers NEVER tell parents the embarrassing stories. It's too embarrassing.

  3. You are KILLING me*!*
    You are will never be as fabulous as they think it is ...NEVER.

  4. Featured on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle online:

  5. I think I need to try this one on my boy. He keeps pulling down his pants around the house letting it flop about. Best he hears its not fabulous from me than than his first girlfriend ... or the cops.

    Very well done!

  6. hahaha I think every parent dreads that phone call or parent/teacher conference.

    Cute post. Hilarious.

  7. Well, be glad you don't have my kids. When my daughter was two, she became obsessed with a pair of my underpants.

    They were white cotton boy-short style with red lace trim and a picture of a giant strawberry on the front.

    For a period (ha! unintentionally gross pun) of three months, she treated them like her blankie and dragged them EVERYWHERE.


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