Wednesday, March 5, 2008

damn those outside influences

Before I start this post, I want to offer a disclaimer that the details shared are a bit risqué, even though it’s about an incident with my 5yr. old.

Last night as I was cleaning up the kitchen, Olivia was in her room reading and as usual, Yannick was hanging out with me. I wasn’t paying him much attention at first, but at some point I noticed his little pelvic thrusts as he was was pointing at his penis and lightly singing, “It’s a dick, it’s a dick.”

I couldn’t believe my ears, but thankfully my higher mother internal voice kicked in and reminded me that if I overreacted and blew this out of proportion it may create a bigger issue than it actually was. After taking a few deep breaths I was able to finish cleaning the kitchen and when I was done, I asked Yannick to come and sit with me on the couch for a little chat. By this time he had stopped his nasty little serenade, and was on to a more appropriate tune, but regardless, this needed to be addressed:

Mango Mama (MM): Yannick, I heard you singing a little song in the kitchen and I was wondering, what’s a dick?
Yannick: a penis
MM: If it’s a penis, what are you calling it a dick?
Yannick: Jack from my class told me it’s a dick
MM: Did you ever hear daddy or your either of your pop pops call their penis a dick?
Yannick: no
MM: Then, why are you following what Jack told you?
Yannick: I dunno
MM: Well, do you know what a dick really is?
Yannick: No
MM: It’s a nickname for Richard
Yannick: So, you mean my penis is a Richard?
MM: Noooooo! That’s not what I mean
MM: Do you see Olivia or I going around naming our vaginas?
Yannick: No, do you want to give your vagina a name?
MM: No, it already has a name--- vagina
Yannick: Oh
MM: So, what do we call your penis?
Yannick: I dunno
MM: a penis, we call it a penis
Yannick: yeah, right… a penis

For some reason, I wasn’t convinced and Loverman wasn’t due home until after the kids were in bed, so I decided I needed another perspective to help me address the situation while it was fresh in this boy’s head.

I called my father-in-law and relayed the high and low points of my exchange with Yannick. My father-in-law has been an elementary school counselor for years and he assured me this was normal for boys Yannick’s age. I told my father-in-law, that I could care less if it was normal, I don’t want Yannick going around calling his penis a dick and he agreed to talk to him. I called Yannick to the phone and as he began his conversation with his grandfather he walked into another room and shut the door. Now, why this boy felt he needed privacy for this man-to-boy conversation, I’ll never know, but after about 10 minutes, be made his way to my room and as the conversation came to a close, he said goodbye to his grandfather, hands me the phone and says, “I’m straight now, it’s not a dick or a Richard, it’s just a penis.”

Sure, it’s a funny story and hopefully he really did get the message, but personally, I’ve always hated the term “dick.” It’s just nasty and base and I don’t appreciate this Jack-kid exposing my boy to this nasty language. It’s times like this that home schooling sounds like a boss idea.


Melissa said...

I was grumpy. Now I'm not. I'm giggling non-stop. It's a pretty funny story.

But I agree with you about the crass term. We don't use nicknames for body parts in our home either. We didn't when I was a kid, and so neither will my children. We call 'em by their names...

Mama Kim said...

i love evrything about this blog of yours. so glad to have you in my life! Go Richard!!

Anonymous said...

Aww, you handled it well. Nip things in the bud immediately. Good job.

What is it with kids needing to walk off with the phone? My son does that too. LOL

jillybean said...

Mango Mama, I too was giggling at Richard. Then I sobered up when I realize that I will probably have to have the Richard talk too. Oh my!

the prisoner's wife said...

LOL@ "so it's a Richard?"

oh this what I have to look forward to with my little one? i'm NOT ready!

Nerd Girl said...

Oh how I know what you mean! We don't use nicknames/slang either, and I was beginning to think we were the only people in America who don't. Lovegirl goes back and forth between what we have deemed acceptable and what she hears at preschool. I am amazed at the amazement of her teachers because she uses the proper terms for body parts and functions.

You handled it well though, and I'm sure that between you and your father-in-law, he's good. For a while anyhoo . . .

Anonymous said...

This is the best story yet MM. I have a headache from laughing. I can just imagine you moving through this discussion trying not to laugh yourself.

I give thanks for your rich stories/reasoning/lessons.

The bredren Y