Last night, SB saw me naked. Which is no big deal as far as I am concerned. Except there was a little something "extra" that prompted a conversation I was not the least bit prepared for...
"Mommy!" she exclaimed. "What wrong in your butt?"
Oh *%#$! My period started. SB had seen the string between my legs. This is SO not a conversation I want to have with my almost three year old. So at first, I tried to dismiss it.
"It's nothing, sweetie."
Nice try. This was not going to go away that easily. She pressed further.
"Something in your butt, Mommy! I see it."
Um. OK, let's try this approach...
"It's nothing to worry about. It's something big girls need sometimes. We'll talk about it when you're older."
Oh, no. Did I REALLY just say that?! Yeah. And it worked about as well as you would expect. Although I didn't quite anticipate this reaction:
"I a big girl! I not want anyfing in my butt!"
A moment of panic. A deep breath. Then I decided to just be honest.
We are very open with SB about the human body. We do not hide from her. We don't parade around naked, either. But if she sees us without our clothes, we answer her questions frankly, using anatomically correct names (thought we didn't when she was younger) and keeping it as appropriate for her level as we can.
SB has been more interested in the differences between her body and mine up to this point than between her and hubby. And I have discussed them with her at a very high level. (Though I chose not to blog about the "Mommy, you have hairy bottom!" conversation. You're welcome.)
I have also begun to talk to her about the inappropriateness of people touching her in certain places and about privacy. But I digress. The string. I needed to explain it to her in a calm, matter of fact way.
"There is nothing in my bottom," I began. "It is in my vagina."
Horrified look. "Your BAGINA?!"
Me, trying to stiffle laughter, "Yes. It's called a tampon."
"It's something Mommy needs sometimes because I am a woman. It's perfectly normal. I am OK. And it doesn't hurt."
"I no want anyfing in my bagina."
"No, of course not. And you're not going to have anything there right now."
"No." She remained concerned.
"It's not something scary. It's part of being a grown up. There is no reason for you to worry. And Mommy will talk to you about it lots and lots. I promise."
She seemed to relax at that point. And then her concern turned to fascination. She asked to see it again. I obliged, briefly, and was about to change the subject when hubby walked in to the room. I quickly brought him up to speed on the conversation we were having.
Now there was a horrified look on his face. I thought he was going to make a run for it, but he jumped in very casually and said,
"It's totally normal, sweetie. Mommy is OK."
And that was that. We all moved on. But I'm still trying to figure out if I really am OK. Because I realized this is just the first of many conversations on this topic I am going to have with my daughter. And I am not ready.
I'll also be waiting for her to pick just the right moment to proclaim loudly, "Sumfeen in Mommy's bagina!" when we are out in public. That'll be fun!