So I nanny for a very sweet little 19 month old boy. I have all girls. We talk about privates a lot in our house, especially with the not-quite four year old. She’s going through that phase where she’s obsessed with bodies and the difference between boys and girls (okay, it’s been going on for two years. I keep clinging to the fact that my doctor says it’s “developmentally appropriate” and not that my child is some sort of budding pervert).
Anyway, we say the words “vagina” and “penis” a lot in my house. Susan likes to identify random strangers by shouting “DOES THAT MAN HAVE A PENIS?” in the Aldi parking lot.
So fast forward to today. I’m changing the diaper of the sweet little boy that I nanny for. Kathryn, the baby (again: 13 months) is watching (read: trying to take away the diaper and claw his eyes out). I’m correcting her, mover her out of the way, talking in the I-just-want-to0-get-this-done-before-you-injure-someone-elses-kid-but-I-think-yelling-will-make-it-worse voice.
Kathryn gets fascinated by the contents of baby boy’s diaper. No, not the waste products, the fact that he is a boy.
She points directly to his “boy hood” and shouts: “BALL!”
I cannot avoid laughing. Which she thinks is hilarious. So she says it again: “BALL! GO! GO!” (this is Kathryn speak for “throw the ball, I want to play”)
I try to explain to her that that is not, in fact, a ball that you play with (get your mind OUT of the gutter!). I very calmly explain, “No, Kathryn, that’s a penis. Little boys have penises and little girls have vaginas.”
From out of a deep slumber, up a flight of stairs, in the middle of nap time, Susan screams “WHO HAS A PENIS?!!”
Really. You can’t make this stuff up.