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"Penis or Pee-pee"? That Is the Question

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Private parts get a lot of attention around here. Funnily enough, that is my first post topic. It seemed an unavoidable one though, really, since much of the conversation in our household is surrounding bathroom habits. I have three children – ages 2, 4, and 6, so someone is always practicing using the potty, having an accident on the carpet, needing to wash their hands better, laughing hysterically at each other's flatulence, cracking jokes about the aforementioned flatulence, creating obnoxious names, demanding a reward for doing the dirty deed…and so on and so on.

Anyway, all of this talk got me thinking about parents' use of silly or fluffy words to describe private parts. Sometimes, a child may name his or her own genitalia because he or she cannot pronounce the correct word for it, and often the result is quirky and even cute sounding. But for many kids, their moms and dads are responsible for their familiarty with "pee-pee," "Willy," or "hoohah," and "pookie." Personally, I love "hoohah" – seriously, how funny is that?!

When my eldest child was a toddler and tentatively asked about his private parts, I was determined to teach him the correct lanquage to describe his body. At a time when nearly all my relatives and friends were creating fluffy pet names for their children's bottoms, I emphasized the syllables in "penis" over and over to my son.

"Why shouldn't he refer to his body part as a penis?" I thought defensively. "That's what it is, after all!" I stuck with this reasoning for awhile but before my son could commit the word to memory, I had lapsed over to calling his private part a "pee-pee." I had wanted to stand strong in my convictions, to remain politically correct, but it bothered me listening to this young thing walk around and sound so grown-up. Kids are supposed to talk like kids – to have a unique, quirky lanquage of their own; a different, sometimes silly, sometimes adorable view of the world, their surroundings, and themselves. Hearing the word "penis" in his toddler vocabulary both embarrassed me and made me want to laugh out loud.

Each family, each child is different and "penis" or "Willy," "vagina" or "undercarriage" – it makes no difference to me. My kids' bottoms, however, go by "pee-pee" and "vajay-jay," thank you very much. :)

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