Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The One That Will Attract Several Warped Googlers

A few weeks ago, my son joined me downstairs, grabbed my O Magazine and began determinedly flipping through it. I asked him what he was doing. "Just finding pictures to look at," he replied. Okay.

I went into the kitchen to make dinner, and he sighed. "Okay! I'll just tell you! I'm looking for pictures of naked womans!"

"Oh, okay," said I.

"Are you mad?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "It's totally normal for kids to wonder what other people's bodies look like. When I was a kid, I wondered about that, too, and I never saw anyone naked except myself, really."

"And your mommy and daddy," he added.

I told him that, actually, I'd never really seen either of my parents naked, because they just weren't the naked type, but that different parents do things different ways, and that's why he's sometimes seen me or Daddy naked, and that's all okay.

Then he 'fessed up further: "I wanted to see the hole that girls pee out of."

Ah. "Well, it's very small and hard to see, because girls don't have penises like boys do."

He was listening, so I took him upstairs to my computer and Googled around for a very clinical diagram of the inside of a female torso. "See, this bag-looking thing here is the bladder. We've talked about that before; it's where pee stays before you go to the bathroom. And this little tube here is the urethra, and the pee goes through it when girls go to the bathroom. But the little hole where it comes out is really hard to see because it doesn't stick out like a penis. The tube that a boy's pee goes through is long because it's inside the penis. It's all okay -- just different. And see this part here? This is where poop stays before it comes out. This part is the same for boys and girls."

"Hey!" he said excitedly. "It looks like a poop factory!"

I agreed that it did indeed look like that. I showed him where the ovaries were, since we've often talked about how babies start with eggs. I told him I was glad he asks me questions, because sometimes when kids don't ask questions, they make up answers in their heads and sometimes those answers are wrong. I promised him that he could always ask me and Daddy his questions, and that we would always do our best to give him the right answers. He thought about this, then asked, "Wanna talk about video games?"

"Sure," I said. We chatted for a few minutes about his video games, then he asked, "Mommy? How am I ever going to know what to get you for your birthday??"

I just grinned and told him his uncle is a really good shopper and would take him shopping sometime.

Then he said, "I love you, Mommy."

In our house, that's the signal that I passed the parenting test for one more day. Man, it doesn't get better than that.