Tonight after showers, my seven year-old comes running out with his monkey towel on his head and nothing covering his lower region. He bounces over to the huge trampoline his grandmother cursed us with this Christmas and begins his exercise routine in the nude. Not that this is so far-fetched from what his father would do if the bungee cords would support an adult, but I’m wincing because of a conversation with the day care provider yesterday.
Provider said when my son was defending my daughter from another girl, he went for the attack of pulling down her pants. The provider’s creased forehead and low tone warned not to giggle, which was my first reaction since this did not seem all that unlike what grown men sometimes do. But her narrowed eyes burrowing a hole in my son’s head and explanation of having a sit down with the girl’s parents worried me that I had a pervert on my hands. (Again, not talking about his father.)
Still doubting my parenting skills, I rush him to his room for underwear and pajamas. As he pushes his leg into the bug covered jammies, I explain he’s old enough to know boys and girls are different.
“You’re at an age where boys and girls don’t see each other naked.”
“Why?” Both daughter and he say staring wide-eyed at each other waiting for my description of how they’ve somehow turned into weird aliens.
“Boys and girls have different parts. Girls have breasts, which you call boobies,” I said.
“Booobies.” His half-grown in front tooth is visible from his ear to ear grin.
“And boys have penises and girls have vaginas.” The heat rises to my face and I curse under my breath that I started this conversation. Then curse the fact my husband isn’t here to endure the same torture.
“I know about ‘ginas,” he said.
“Camille and Chloe were talking about it at school. At recess.”
“What?” I choke on what little saliva I have left in my mouth.
“Yeah, they were digging in the sand really deep saying they were going to get to ‘Gina.”
“No Honey, that’s China. I said Va-gina.”
“I know ‘Gina,” he stresses.
“No, there is a difference. China is a place and Va-gina is a private part on a girl’s body. V-v-vuh-jahy-nuh.”
“That’s what I said.” He waves his arms in front of him like I’m crazy.
“Okay, let’s not use that word any more. Let’s just say private parts.” My hands wave in front their faces hoping to erase this horrible train wreck of a memory before they are scarred for life.
“I’m going to call it ‘Gina. The place the girls are trying to get to,” pipes up daughter.
My hand slaps against my forehead and I admit defeat. Did they ever have a chance?