I’ve taken all your comments on board after my OMG post regarding gender differences. I never really intended to leave the gender explanations this long but after listening to you all last week I decided that I really needed to get my undies off in the shower and do it soon in the name of body image and most importantly, preventative behaviour.
Now that the natural moment for gender revelation has passed (after our first shower) I can’t help feeling a little weird about premeditating this particular anatomy lesson. I didn’t think that I had too many hang ups but I must admit that for some reason I feel a bit nervous about this. Why is that? Is it because I went to a catholic school or something?
I have always walked to the shower naked (we are getting really personal now) but she is usually in bed by that stage and when she has seen me naked it has usually been from a respectable distance. This shower of ours is really small.
Anyhow, once the decision was made to get naked in the shower, good old Murphy came into play and conspired with my daughter to go back to having baths for a while. She must have known.
I even resorted to walking around the house naked for no reason at all but as that is not what I would normally do, it felt unnatural. All my daughter could say was “daddy needs a shirt”.
The best that I have managed to do this week is to make sure that she knows the proper names for the body parts in question which is an excellent start, don’t you think?
So here we are washing away in the bath and naming her body parts as we go as per normal. Arms fist, then shoulders and neck and so on until we get to her bum and her ‘corker’.
I explain to her that her bum has two names. The bum is the soft part that you sit on and the little part where the poo comes out is called the anus. So far so good. I then explain that the proper name for her ‘corker’ is ‘vagina’ and that all girls have a vagina.
“Bagina” she says, trying out the word.
“That’s right” I say,”vagina,
She looks at me thoughtfully for a few seconds before asking,”Does mummy have a bagina?”
“Yes she does. Mummy is a girl and all girls have a vagina”.
“And I have a bagina?” she says.
“Yes honey you are a girl and girls have a vagina”.
“And daddy has a bagina?”
“No sweetheart, Daddy doesn’t have a vagina. Daddy has a penis instead of a vagina. All boys have a penis”.
“Oh” she says.
We continue the bath for a little while longer and then she looks up at me.
“Can I have a penis daddy?”
“Umm no honey. You don’t get to choose. That is the way we are made”.
“No no no!” she says. “I don’t want to have a bagina.”
“But you are a girl honey”.
“I don’t want to be a girl. I want a penis!”
And on and on and on….