So, I’m sure that those of you who are parents are familiar with asking your children not to write on all sorts of things. I can’t even remember all the things I’ve stopped (or tried to stop) one of my children from defacing – walls, couches, furniture, books, their face, other people, the mortgage statement, the cat….it’s a seemingly never-ending battle where there have been times I’ve considered locking up every single writing implement in my house with more fervor and paranoia than one would with a loaded handgun.
Today my littlest was writing on herself with a highlighter. I was torn between telling her to stop and also trying to let her have this reasonably safe (it was NON-TOXIC, people!) opportunity to learn the important lesson that her body is her body and it is her prerogative to do with it as she wishes, within reason.
So she’s sitting there, doodling on her legs and arms with a green highlighter (easy to wash off, I’m actually paying bills, again it’s NON TOXIC….whatever) as I’m half paying attention.
Then she starts giggling. And stops. And then more giggles. She’s under the table at my feet, bareassed naked from the waist down (judge me, I don’t care. If I decided to make it an issue that my children had to be fully clothes 24/7/365 I would never rest. Ever. I have naked children. I have decided that it’s more important to allow them the freedom to be comfortable in their own bodies rather than force them into clothes because of some ill-conceived notion of impropriety. We try to walk the very thin and sometimes ambiguous line of not making them feel as though there is anything shameful or secretive about their body and also wanting them to be able to respect (some) social norms. And also not attract pedophiles. And yes, I know she’s two. Too intangible of a message, you say? Mayhaps. I don’t care.)
I glance down at my two year old and see that’s she’s writing on her labia. With a green highlighter. And giggling. What the fuck was I thinking?!!!
So yes, “Don’t write on your vagina.” is a sentence that actually passed my lips today. I kid you not. This followed with a conversation that went something like this. “But I want to.” “Okay, but don’t.” “But it’s mine.” “I understand that, but it’s going to be really difficult to clean all that off.” “I’ll do it. It’s my vagina. I like it green.” At which point, I took away the highlighter. This, obviously, caused my toddler to have a raging tantrum, throwing herself on the floor, limbs flailing, wailing at the top of her lungs in true cliched fashion. It took me a few moments to realize that the wailing was actually words: “I want a green vagina! It’s MY vagina! I want it green. I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant to color on my vaginaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.”
Yup. Just your average Tuesday afternoon in this household.
Can I open a bottle of wine at 1:27pm or is that just not a good thing?