When my sister and I were growing up my parents told us to call the female private parts a “tutu”. This is a very pleasant word that always conjured up images of beautiful ballerinas doing pirouettes in their delicate tulle skirts. Since I was a ballerina throughout my entire childhood it always felt a little strange to call my private part a tutu.
Chris and I have chosen to teach our kids to call that private part what it is in our house. We talk openly about vaginas and penises. The kids are very comfortable with that phraseology. Perhaps a little too comfortable.
Recently, I took all the kids to Artbeast in Sacramento. My kids love Artbeast. They get to do arts and crafts all day and make a huge mess that somebody else cleans up. At Artbeast there is an outdoor area with pans to beat on, a sandbox, and water play. My kids’ personal favorite activity outdoors are the naked dolls in the bathtub that you can give a sponge bath.
The triplets were a bit high strung that day. They were being fiesty and loud and I had to keep my eye on them as they were trying to put the beads from one table project into the playdough on another table project. I felt a little judged by the other moms around me, which I usually just shrug my shoulders at; I’d like to see them try triplets and a wild 7-year-old child for a day.
We headed outside and the triplets took their spots sponging the naked babies. Then everyone announced that they were REALLY thirsty. So, I told Ava to keep an eye on the little artbeasts while I went to the car to grab their waters. I hurried because as a mom I had an instinct that told me not to leave the triplets alone for too long on that particular day. I headed back outside where my children were playing and everything looked great. Nobody was screaming or crying. I sat down and Ava leaned in to whisper in my ear. “Mom, while you were gone the triplets were shouting VAGINA and PENIS really loud!” I looked around and quickly surveyed my surroundings. Half a dozen moms with their small children inhabited this particular space. I leaned in to Ava and whispered in her ear “did anybody say anything?” Ava said, “no, but the moms were all whispering in each others ear.”
At that moment I wished I had taught my children to call a vagina “tutu”.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.