It's time to shut the bathroom door
Monday, September 21, 2009
Did you know Mama doesn't have a penis? Yeah... well now you do and so do quite a few people at my son's school, the gym and my SO's family and a number of friends.
About a week ago, I needed to pee desperately while at home alone with my kiddo. If it's just the two of us, I leave the bathroom door open so I can hear what he may be getting into. Silence in my house means trouble; silence followed by the giggles means ensuing chaos, so it's critical I keep an ear out for the little monkey. On this particular occasion, G followed me in to the bathroom and watched me go through the ritual of pants down and sitting.
G: Mama do you have to poo?
Me: No, Bug, I'm just gonna pee right now
G: Well it's ok if you stand up like me
Me: No honey I can't stand up to pee, I'll make a big mess, I don't have a penis like you do.
G: WHAT???? Let me see!!!
Here's where I paused. I'm not modest, my son isn't modest and I've brought him up to treat his body with respect but no shame and I try to set an example for him by not acting ashamed or secretive about mine. But I was really thrown for a loop by his demand to see the differences in our bodies.
I bribe my kid regularly and I negotiate more than I should, but I NEVER, EVER lie to him. I answer his questions with honesty and I don't dodge anything he asks. I must have sat on that toilet for five minutes with my shorts around my ankles and my son waiting for my answer before I decided how to deal with this little situation. I'm not sure if I failed him in some way, but I opted to skip over his request to actually see the difference and went with,
Me: Girls have vaginas and they're flat in front instead of penis' that stick out.
Me: I don't know why, but that's the way boys and girls are different.
I stood up and got dressed normally and exited the bathroom. We went back to his coloring book and chatted about whatever came to mind. Hours later my SO came home and took G to go pee in the potty and what do I hear, in a suspicious tone of voice from the little man, but "Do you have a penis?" While I'm silently laughing so hard tears are rolling down my face in the kitchen, SO says with a man chuckle (you know the one I mean), "Yes, yes I do." Gryph tells him "Well, Mama doesn't!" The next day he posed this same question to my ex-husband who replied with the same man-pride and absolutely roared with laughter when G shared my shocking lack of dangling appendage.
My son introduces himself and the rest of us any time he encounters new adults; servers at restaurants, nurses at his pediatrician's office etc. His first day at the gym went something like this, "My name's Gryphyn and this is Daddy, and that's my Mama and thats my Dave and my Oma's not here and they're my family. I have a penis but Mama doesn't."
I can only laugh and be grateful that this bout of childhood honesty will pass soon enough.