It was bound to happen one day. With two brothers in the house and her sharing a bathroom with one, it was only a matter of time before my daughter experienced her first penis-sighting.
The suspect was her brother, and he had the unfortunate timing of exiting his shower as his little sister came into the bathroom to brush her teeth. “Oh!” she said, pointing. “What’s that?” He hurriedly pulled the towel down from his head to his midsection and then said, “Well, that’s my penis.” End of story? Riiiight…
Months earlier she had caught him half-nekked and asked about his chest and he told her those were his nipples. I guess she figured, on boys, they were called something different.
So the next time she happened upon her brother, she had a request: “Can I see your nipples and your zucchini?” (I told him he should be flattered—and keep covered up.)
It reminded me of the good old days when my children were innocent and the public school system and cable television shows hadn’t filled their ears with words we didn’t use in our house.
I remember our oldest telling me on the drive home from second grade that someone had said the S-word and gotten in trouble. My mind raced but wisely, I played dumb. “The S-word?” I asked innocently. “Yes,” he said. “You know.” And more quietly he said, “Stupid?” Ahhh. That S-word.
Weeks later he relayed that someone slipped and said the SH-word. Again I played dumb and he offered, “You know. Shut-up?”
Oh, if only those were still considered bad words now that the boys are teenagers. In a fit of frustration the other day, I slipped and said the real SH-word and my son was mortified. “Mom!” he said. “Stop!” I wasn’t sure if he thought I was overreacting to the situation or was appalled that his mother had a potty-mouth. I do try to control myself as much as possible. Sometimes it just slips out.
And then this weekend I referred to a basketball coach from the opposing team as an ass (He really was!) and my son didn’t reprimand me this time. He did give me a funny look because I said it as we were exiting the gym, and the coach was just a few steps in front of me. Seriously though, I’m sure he’s been called that before. Unfortunately, I have to admit, he and I are a little alike. We could both be better examples. I’ll work on it. I wonder if he will….