We've always been very honest and direct with Cadence when it comes to our bodies, and will answer any questions that she has. We also try to use proper body part names whenever possible, and I've tried to treat it more like "just another talk" and less like "The Sex Talk." I'm now wondering if maybe I should revamp my strategy a little.
When I got to the sitter's today to pick her up, I was told that she had gotten in trouble (no surprise, really.) She was defiant and told one of the helpers "no" when it was time to come in, which got her in time out (and a severe talking to and grounding when we got home. I *will not* have her being disrespectful to them.) I was also told that one of the older boys there (he's a 4th or 5th grader), said that Cadence had used the word "vagina" while talking to him. He wouldn't tell them the context, just that she had said "that word." The sitter told me, and I told her I would try to find out why it was said. We both agreed that it's fine to use proper names, it's just not a subject to talk about in front of a lot of other people.
Now, this put me in an awkward position. Not because I was worried about talking to her about it - we've talked about a lot more than this recently. Mainly because I wanted her to understand that it's not something that should be talked about with every friend she has, but not because it's bad or dirty. She tends to go to extremes on everything, so I was mainly worried about explaining that to her.
When we got in the car, I started asking her about it, and the conversation went like this:
Me: So, Cadence, why did you say "vagina" when talking to Michael earlier?
Cadence: Well, he had the ball and I wanted it.
M: Um, ok. But what does him having the ball have to do with vaginas?
C: Well, he had it, and I wanted it, but I couldn't reach it.
C: And he had it down there (points down toward her lap)
M: Oh! He was sitting on it!
C: Yeah, so I told him to give me the ball that was under his vagina! (smiles triumphantly, and is very proud of herself.)
While trying not to laugh hysterically, I told her that only girls have vaginas, not boys, and she told me she knew that, but couldn't remember what the boy parts were called. I also told her that all she had to say was "Please give me the ball that you're sitting on!" and that vaginas or other parts didn't even have to be mentioned. We also talked about how any part that's covered by your swimsuit is a private part, and they only need to be talked about with Mommy, Daddy or a doctor, and only if something's wrong or is hurting for some reason. That she doesn't need to be talking about those parts of her body with anyone, and if anyone ever tries to touch her or look at her there, then tell them NO! I also realized that I probably should have been a little more proactive about "private parts" during the talks we've had, but really wasn't expecting this to become a topic of conversation at the babysitters!
I will say, though, that I hope she continues to remain this open with me as she gets older, because I shudder to think what kinds of things she may get herself into. She's fearless, has no filter, and is pretty. That can be a dangerous combination, and I know Mike and I have our work cut out for us, keeping her safe. Lord help us.
Things I'm thankful for:
1) My two girls
2) Conversations with Cadence, even grown up ones
3) Funny misinterpretations
4) The hope that maybe she'll reach her "wild stage" before she can drive
5) The hope that maybe the 2nd one will be like me ;)