Saturday, 5 June 2010

Serious Genital Questions

Things are looking up. After coming nineteenth in a hotel Beauty Competition last week, I spent last night with a long-haired Brad Pitt in a red convertible. Who knows what tonight’s dreams may hold?

Before coming to my very serious questions this morning I would just like to share a couple of things with you. Last Sunday, Miss Stitchie and I went walking by the canal. In order to fortify us for our trek we had a grand three course brunch. I even cleared my table and put a table cloth on (unironed).

I served:

Hash browns with Smoked Salmon served with Soured Cream and Cherry Tomatoes
Orange and Grapefruit Juice
Followed by Breakfast Muffins and Fresh Fruit (strawberries and mango)
And a cup of caffeinated tea

This has set me on a path of grand breakfasts and brunches. This morning’s offerings are Apricot French Toasts with Maple Syrup, followed by Melon and Grapes.

And now we come to the serious question of genitals. Returning from lunch in Covent Garden yesterday and after a sticky bus ride home, I stripped my son of all his clothes, placed a potty on the floor (we have never successfully collected anything in it yet) and sat him on a throw on my sofa. He watched TV, legs akimbo, with one hand in a bowl of grapes and the other on his genitals. Perfectly normal behaviour for a man. But we are coming to the stage where I need to give a name to his genitals.

I asked Bushman.
“What do they call it in Jamaica?”
He shrugged (usual response)
“Penis?” he offered.

I considered this. I have also been considering the fact that in the not to distant future I will have an entirely different set of genitals to name too; a whole trickier set of genitals with even weirder and vaguer terms. For example, the very general “bottom” and even worse, the whole “front bottom” scenario. Which ever path I choose to go down I need to decide now, because if my son has a penis surely it should follow that my daughter has a vagina? I can already see my mother dying of embarrassment if my offspring were to proclaim either word in public. I don’t think my mother ever referred to my genitals directly.

So, I started canvassing opinion. My friend Platinum Blonde admitted to me that somehow her daughter’s genitals had ended up being called ‘Mrs Mimms’, there was a squirm of embarrassment mixed with laughter when she told me. There was a lot of ‘willy’ and ‘fanny’ business with other people and I was left very confused. Medically correct terms or friendly mainstream colloqualisms?

So, question no1. this morning is: what do you call yours, or theirs?

Now down to question number two. In my life I have always dealt with fully grown penises attached to men who knew how to take care of them. Now I have a penis of my own which I have never really paid much attention to. I may have once or twice gently pulled back the foreskin to check that everything looked healthy but I’ve not spent much time closely examining it. My friend Buttercup recently disclosed that her doctor had ticked her off for not cleaning his penis properly. She was instructed to pull back the foreskin and clean around it. I have never done this. Is this something I should be doing, I asked myself?

So, I did what I always do in these situations, I googled it. There was a lot of conflicting information on the net, however this was my favourite offering. The sink thing had me in stitches!

Anyway, the question still remains and I put it to all you mother’s of sons, what the hell do you do with that penis? (Of course I have already asked the very clean but none too talkative Bushman, who shrugged and seemed unsure if, at 18 months, it was too early to be pulling back the foreskin.)

I’m off to make my grand breakfast now. I hope it’s not too early for such serious genital talk.


  1. when the testosterone levels rise to exhorbitant heights in my house of 3 boys, 1 husband, I have been known to shout "There are too many willies in this house,"

    My sister-in-law calls the vagina a lady garden - while my husband prefers the term vadge ( like madge) which I suppose is what we all say actually, not that we talk about it/them much.................ooooh it's to hot!!

    Have a tasty weekend

  2. Strangely, I ended up calling my daughter's a 'fanny' however, my sons is definitely a penis. No idea why.

    Penis cleaning, I was told under no circumstances to try and retract the foreskin. At all. Apparently it will do it whenever it's ready (somewhere between 4 and puberty apparently), or whenever he pulls on it hard enough I guess. Baths and good wipings when I change his nappy and nothing else, seems to be working fine for us.

  3. I have always used the term penis for the boy's genitals and vagina for my own/girls (although even at the ages of 4 and 6 they still pronounce it "Ja-jina'. I felt a bit strange saying 'penis' and 'vagina' so many times a day (believe came up in conversation from the age of about 3 onwards FAR more than I had ever anticipated). The killer was when they became obsessed with who had what and would ask every man and woman they encountered "so, you have a penis/jajina...right?'. This happened particularly frequently at the checkout. In an 'outdoor voice'. I never quite knew where to put myself.

    As for the cleaning - my 4 year old is uncircumcised and I have never pulled back his foreskin to clean it. Mind you, he has been playing with his penis pretty constantly since the age of 3 months and I get regular confirmation on a daily basis that it is retracting pretty easily and it seems pretty clean (from a standard 2m vantage point at least).


    Right. Off to get lunch. It would take more than this to put me off food...

  4. I just wrote a lengthy comment on my freaking iPod and lost it. Vagina. That's what I wanted to say - and congrats on having a girl!
    Btw, I did indeed develop a girl crush. It's Ellie. She's so gorgeous and tapered, it's almost painful. Almost.

  5. Ha! I try so hard to use the correct names, but so far I have chickened out with my little girl and I've not called it a vagina yet. In fact, I haven't used a name at all yet. As she is two, I know I have to start soon. With my son, I use both the kiddy name and the adult name. And he knows about vagina, too. This parenting is not for the fainthearted.

    As for the foreskin problem - I imagine you could just leave it to bathtime soaking. I hope. Because I don't want to go there.

  6. We use the word Vulva for our daughter's bits. Which is the real proper name for the part you can see (Vagina being the name for the internal tunnel bit only). Though my husband thinks its funny to call it a Volvo, which is bound to lead to some embarrasing moments.

    And we use penis for the boy bits, though have been known to say 'willy' too, despite that not being a usual term here in in the US.

    My friend always called her boys bits his 'privates'. Then realized that he thought she was calling it his 'pirate'. so that's what they call it now!

  7. Munchkin calls that general area.. a "poo poo", thanks to nursery.

    As for the pulling "it" back, I've given up on, it's too traumatic (for me). The doctor can come over in the evenings during bath time and do it for me if he's so damn worried! Fingers cross there's no more cysts under there! x