No sooner do I start writing about kids and language than Lisa Belkin writes this at HuffPo, linking to a blog post from a woman who doesn't want her three-year-old to use the word penis. He's a boy - so he's an owner-operator, but apparently until he went to preschool and was corrupted by the big, bad outside world, he didn't know the word.
We used every correct anatomical term with Eve - including vulva for external genitalia, instead of the usual vagina-covers-everything approach. I don't think I ever had much shyness about using these words, but if I did it was long gone before medical school. I was a dorm health aide in college, and one of our training sessions involved listing every word and phrase we'd ever heard as a euphemism for genitalia or sexual acts or forms of contraception. It was a very interesting afternoon, and by the end, I was perfectly comfortable with all the words I knew, and some I didn't. It was no big deal, after that, for my three-year-old to point to the dog and say "Mommy, he has a penis. He's a boy". (I am aware that not all penis-bearing humans are boys, but I didn't explain that when she was three. She knows now.)
There are words I don't like - I won't ever use cunt, no matter how many women tell me it's been reclaimed - and generally I am far more comfortable with the real, non-euphemized words than with the street vernacular, but I've heard them all and I can repeat them without blushing.
Which is a good thing, because last night we were driving home from shul and Eve tuned the radio to her favorite Top 40 station. A song came on I hadn't heard before - something about a whistle - and she said "Mom, do you know this song is really about blow jobs?"
No, I didn't. Nor did I know that you knew the term "blow job". By the time we got home, she'd learned the correct term (apparently in health class, they didn't teach them the word fellatio), and also been reminded that men also perform oral sex on women - it's not a one-way street. "Have you ever done that?" Yup. "YUCK". I'm glad you feel that way.