Button had been working on homework for an hour, and then there was dinner, and then there was more homework. She finally finished (and well, I might add) and I directed her to the next “to do” on her list — put her lunch together. This was her very reasoned, matter-of-fact, respectful response:
“Mom, can I please go to the bathroom first? See, I think my academics is really important. I want to pass this program so I can get into the next program when we move. So I’ve been working really hard ever since I got home to do my homework. But I’ve also had to go to the bathroom ever since I got home. I think my homework is a greater priority than reading fiction books, or going poo-poo, for example. But now I *really* have to go poo-poo. So can I do that before I make my lunch, please?”
Later in the evening, she lets me know that two boys in her class found the word “bagina” [sic] in the dictionary at school. She let them know that she knew all about the “bagina” and did they? She concluded that they didn’t, based on their response. I jumped in.
“Button, it’s best not to go around using the word ‘vagina’ with people.”
“Because that’s a private place on your body, and when you start using that word, people start thinking about something that should stay private. I don’t even use that word with Daddy.”
“Why not, Mom? Daddy is safe to talk about these things with.” (I’m glad that this is her foundational thought).
“Yes, he is. But that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to just talk about all the time. That word is a private word, for special conversations. So I don’t use it much, even with Daddy.”
“I don’t understand, Mom. What’s the problem? I mean, you guys connect, and you like to connect A LOT!”
I laughed, and I didn’t have a response to that. I was so caught off guard!