I had an eye-rolling moment this afternoon. One of those times when you think, “You didn’t just say that. Oh, no. You did just say that. Wait…really?????” and it’s also an extremely squicky moment.
I had taken S to a class and was prepared to sit down to wait for her outside the classroom. I even brought my laptop, fully intending to get some writing done. I found a good spot, booted up, and…yep. Chatty Mommy sat down next to me.
Now, anyone who knows me knows I love to talk. All right, that may be an understatement. My husband says I need to get my 10,000 words in every day. Writing takes care of a lot of that these days, but if I’m in the company of good friends, I let loose.
I do not love talking to complete strangers, or listening to them talk endlessly.
To be fair, I had no idea she was so talkative. I politely asked if she had a child in the class too (hey, she could have been randomly stalking classrooms). Right there was my first mistake. My second was failing to turn right back to my computer as soon as she’d answered me.
For the next hour, I listened to her talk about her kids. How they were so different from each other. How homeschooling was proceeding for the oldest. How she writes her reports. Her fears about her five-year-old’s progress in reading. And on…and on….and on…
Until she finally asked me about curriculum. We don’t use one, though we do use a few workbooks and some other materials. I shared that, and mentioned that I want to avoid full curricula because I want a bit more control over what we teach. She began telling me about how she’s had to modify the information in some of the lessons. And therein lies the squick.
This conversation is now on my Top Ten Things I Absolutely, Completely Did not Need to Know about a Total Stranger’s Children. Apparently, she didn’t like that the health book had children learning the differences between male and female bodies and using proper terminology for male and female anatomy. At which point she told me that her children don’t use “vulgar” euphemisms, but that her daughter calls it her “front butt.”
I thought my head might possibly burst.
I have a boy and a girl. They share a room. They took baths together until they were four and six, and we only stopped so they wouldn’t kill each other in the shower. They are completely familiar with the difference between boys and girls. They know and use the correct words for their body parts (all of them). They are not ashamed of nudity or embarrassed about bodily functions (in a good way). They are very comfortable in their bodies, thankfully, and I hope it remains that way.
I shared the “front butt” story with the fam at dinner. Of course; who wouldn’t share that kind of thing over a plate of homemade lasagna? When my husband asked S if she would like to begin referring to her anatomy as her “front butt,” she frowned at him and emphatically said, “No!” And because we have now reverted to age ten, this caused hysterical giggling in all of us.
There is no reason why kids can’t be taught from an early age to respect their bodies. This includes using correct terms, knowing what their bodies look like, and being aware of what their bodies can do. We don’t need to fear that using the anatomical terms are somehow going to lead them astray; the opposite is much more likely, in fact. They’re just words, people. Get over it.