One of the best suggestions I had when the kids were little was to keep a journal of things they said–how they pronounced words, what they called different things, funny quotes, etc. The kids think it’s pretty entertaining to get that book out every once in a while and read it. We went through it the other night during dinner. That brought back one of their favorite stories to hear.
Maya was two years old. Austin was four. We were in Walmart shopping and Maya said that she had to go potty. Off we headed to the bathroom. We got in to the big stall. I was of course saying “don’t touch anything, keep your hands on your belly.” (That was my strategy to give them something to do with those little germ-seeking paws … seriously, why do kids love to touch everything in a public bathroom??!!) I feverishly lined the toilet seat with paper–because it always felt like a race to get them on the pot so they didn’t have an accident. She patiently waited. Once I had the toilet protected with the thinnest TP in the world, I helped her and pulled down her pants. She immediately exclaimed, “Aahhh! Where’s my penis?!” She seemed completely surprised to not see one. As if she had one that morning and it disappeared while we wandered the aisles of Walmart.
It’s worth mentioning here that there was a woman in the stall next to us. She was pretty entertained by the antics coming from the three of us. I heard giggling.
I started to tell Maya that she didn’t have a penis because she’s a girl. That’s where the 4 year old chimed in. “Yah, Maya, you don’t have a penis because you’re a girl. You have a bagina because girls have baginas. I’m a boy and I have a penis because boys have a penis. But we both have a butt because everybody has a butt.”
Cue snort from the stall beside us.
Maya finished her business while Austin continued his anatomy lesson. She seemed satisfied that Austin was right and that she hadn’t misplaced her penis after all. That it hadn’t fallen off somehow. She didn’t drop it back in aisle five. Crisis averted, thanks to the full and very accurate explanation from the four year old.
We got her pants back up and headed out to wash hands. The woman in the next stall came out to the sink to wash her hands and was still chuckling. She smiled and thanked me. Told me that my kids were adorable and that she hadn’t had a good laugh like that in a long time.
I was just happy that conversation didn’t happen at the register.