I thought about taking my 3-year-old to the “gender reveal” doctor’s appointment but ultimately abandoned the idea.
Instead, we showed her the 4D ultrasound pictures. I pointed out to an enthralled Cambria the head and arms and explained what baby was doing.
She later explained the images to my mom.
“This is the baby sucking her thumb,” Cambria explained. “This is the baby’s head.”
“And this is the baby’s pagima,” which is how Cambria pronounces vagina.
My mom looked at me in shock.
Yes, Mom, it’s what we call the female body part. In fact, we use it quite often.
Stop pulling your vagina. Does your vagina hurt? Wash your vagina really good.
I later told my friends about the look on my mom’s face, and to my surprise they were just as horrified — at me, not my mom. Apparently, many moms have cutesy names for their kids’ private parts so they can avoid hearing their innocent children using grown-up words.
“Hoo-haw”, “noo-noo” and “wah-wah” were among their favorites.
I can somewhat understand this reasoning. I don’t mind hearing Cambria say “pagima,” but I would probably cringe a little if I heard her say penis. Though, if I were having a boy, we would use penis to describe his boy part.
I just think it’s easier. Let’s cut to the chase and call a spade a spade.
If Cambria ever has to use the word at school or with Grandma, everyone will know what she’s talking about. (My friends counter that she will inevitably point, so they will figure it out).
If you say “nah-nah,” at what point do you have them update their vocabulary to the anatomically correct words?
It’s going to be just as shocking to hear your 8-, 12- or 16-year-old utter the real words as it is your 3-year-old. The first time you hear it will always make you squirm a little.
Let’s be real. There are so many other slang words that will soon come along. I’d rather hear vagina and penis any day, no matter the age.
Melissa Cruickshank is married with one daughter. She works full-time. Read her here on momaha.com
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What do you call it? Do you agree or disagree with Melissa?