He was 3-1/2 years old and, having "discovered" himself, had managed to irritate his little male part to the point where it burned when he tinkled. Not knowing this yet (after all, he was my first born and who knew that they actually did that at that age!), I feared he might have a bladder infection and so scheduled an appointment with the most wonderful pediatrician in town, Dr. O'Brien.
Now, part of the reason I loved Dr. O so much was that he was a very straightforward, no-bones kind of doctor. If he thought I’d benefit from being scolded about how I was parenting, he felt it was his duty to scold away. And I appreciated the help, being a first time mother and all. Anyway – on this particular day, on the way to the appointment, I suddenly remembered one of Dr. O’s favorite scolding topics: using the proper names for body parts. How many times had I been told that in order for children not to grow up embarrassed by their bodies, the parents must instill in them the knowledge that there were no bad parts… just normal parts with medically correct names and functions. And as the good listener I was, I had promptly begun, early on, referring to my son’s privatest part as his weewee. Now here we were, on the way to the doctor and my wonderfully intelligent, very verbal 3-1/2-year-old was about to tell the very stern doctor that his weewee hurt when he pee-peed.
Knowing that I’d get “the look” as soon as Bug told his symptoms, I figured it was better to start his medical education late than never. “Doctors have the funniest names for our body parts,” I began. “Really?” he said. “Yep,” I replied, “like they call your head your cranium.” At that he giggled, so I couldn’t resist the urge to repeat it silly-style, “currraaaaaaaneeuuummm.” His sweet, beautiful laughter served to encourage my instruction. Moving from the head down the rest of the body, I told him as many of the medically correct names as I could remember – right down to the part in question.
“And they call your weewee a penis,” I said in the same sing song voice I’d used a zillion times to conclude bedtime stories... and they all lived happily ever after – the end. Little Bug sat there for a few minutes, mulling over this new information and then asked what, to him, was a very logical question: What do they call your hiney?
I WENT BLANK! “Ummmm… let me think…” I stalled. I swear to Pete, the ONLY word I could think of was A__hole. Thinking that that probably wasn’t the best thing to teach a 3-1/2 year old, I copped out and told him that I couldn’t remember so we’d just have to ask Dr. O when we saw him. Patting myself on the back for skating the issue so deftly, I started to reach for the radio volume knob when the little light bulb in his eyes clicked to bright. “I KNOW!” he said , very delighted with himself that he’d figured it out. “You do?” I asked. “Uh huh,” he beamed. “So what did you figure out?” I asked anxious to see what his awesomely creative mind had come up with.
“POOPUS!” he exclaimed! “Poopus??” I marveled, “Why do they call it a poopus?” “Well,” he said thoughtfully, “it’s a poopus ‘cuz if you pee with your penis, you gotta poop with your POOPUS!”
Works for me!! Now I have to get off my poopus and go finish unpacking my kitchen!
Peace and blessings to all!