I’ve heard many tales from friends and family regarding children inserting objects into various bodily orifices. In fact a dear friend of ours was recently recounting a story of his youngest of 3 girls being taken to hospital to have a marble removed from her nose. Apparently on extracting the marble they soon discovered a whole array of other small objects that had been living up there too, pushed into the depths of her nasal passages.
So yesterday when my husband informed me that our 2.5 year old had said something was stuck inside her ‘down below’, I was naturally somewhat concerned and ready for a trip to A&E. Not entirely sure the best way to deal with the situation I explained to her that I would have to take a look. From what I could tell it appeared everything was at it should be, phew! It then became apparent that what she was referring to was actually very much a part of her. This was a new one for me, how the hell do you explain to a toddler the intricacies of the female body? Unable to quickly recall any words of wisdom or articles I’d read on this particular topic I attempted to elaborate myself.
“Sweetheart- just as your finger is part of your hand, that part is part of you too and absolutely meant to be there”.
She looked at me with uncertainty, then she smiled gave me a nod and continued to try to drive her pink unicorn over her baby sisters feet . I felt relieved and rather proud of myself, she totally understood.
Later that day I overheard her say again to my husband that something was stuck down there. Ok, so maybe I’d slightly overestimated my daughters ability to understand the complexities of the human body…she is only 2.5 years old after all.
I heard my husband explain to her that this was her ‘vagina’. I have no idea why it is that the word ‘vagina’ is one that is so uncomfortable for people to hear or say (or maybe it’s just me). Huge ‘hats-off’ to my husband for using the correct terminology. In actual fact he deserves even more brownie points as it was I who informed him that we must always use the correct words for body parts. We’d received a memo from kindy informing us how important it is to refer to our children’s genitalia correctly. This apparently helps in the prevention of child sex abuse so pretty important stuff. Regardless of these facts, I am obviously no where near as grown up as my husband or indeed my toddler. Whilst they were there sitting down having a sensible conversation, I was hiding around the corner tears rolling down my face, crying with laughter.