It had to happen. I could not write a blog about male dominated households (MDH) without addressing their obsession with the __enis. And that is how I am going to refer to the word in this post, for fear of turning up in search engines that don’t really fit the intended audience of this blog. We'll see if that plan works. If this subject is sensitive to you, please stop reading and come back tomorrow but know that I am going to talk about this obsession as it relates to my 6 and 4 year old boys, and not as it relates to my husband.
My boys aren’t obsessed with their __enises as much as they are obsessed with the word. I think __enis must be the funniest word ever invented. Otherwise, why would my boys bust out laughing every time they hear or say it? When referring to this body part, I prefer to use the word __enis, rather than my mother’s chosen label, which is wingy dingy. The boys went from referring to their __enises as wingy dingy to wenis __enis to now mostly just __enis.
My grandma doesn’t think it is right to use the clinical terms when describing _enis and _agina. She thinks it is perverted, and that a nickname should be used. I guess this is old school thinking, or maybe the way the majority still thinks. I’ve always heard that it’s best just to call it what it is, rather than applying some embarrassing nickname. There will be plenty of time for that when the boys reach college.
I have always agreed that it is best just to call it what it is. To me, giving it a nickname implies that the clinical name is dirty or a bad word. By association, would that make the boys feel dirty or embarrassed about their body parts, and the naturalness of them and their uses? I don’t want them to ever feel ashamed of or embarrassed by their body parts. And I want them to feel comfortable talking to me their dad about any questions they have if they need to. I just can’t picture a conversation with my sixteen year old beginning with, “I have a question about my wingy dingy.”
Don’t get me wrong. Some situations call for a substitute word. In public we generally just call them private parts (As in, don’t show your private parts to the neighbors; that’s why they call them privates, because they’re private). In the bathtub, we tell them to clean their areas (in the front) and their regions (in the back).
I think John and I have done a sufficient job of making the boys comfortable talking nonchalantly about their anatomy. Maybe too good of a job. Some examples:
We went to see Bee Movie over the weekend. The main bee was talking about hitting the humans where it really hurts, which I understood to be the wallet. Luke yelled out, “He means the _enis.” That was the funniest line in the whole movie. He had learned this lesson just moments before after hitting his father in the concession line.
I was talking to a mom in the parking lot at Jack's school, and Luke was trying to get my attention by tapping me. I ignored him, and he kept tapping me. When we got back to the car, he said, “Didn’t you notice I was punching you in the __enis?” I said, “First, you don’t punch -ever. Second, you especially don’t punch in someone’s private area. Third, I don’t have a __enis because I’m a girl.” And he responded, “That’s right. You have a __agina because it’s down by China.” Credit that one to my sister.
And, Luke again (I know, I know, we definitely are in trouble when he hits puberty), who has an aversion to underwear, was wearing a pair of sweatpants with a hole in them. We didn’t realize the hole existed until he left the house. Luckily, he was mostly spending the day with my sister. When he discovered the hole, and how it was sized perfectly to show anyone that was looking his frank and beans, he said, “Look, Nan. Trick or treat!”
Lastly, Jack was taking a bath one day. He is very sensitive, as I have mentioned before, and always worries about hurting someone’s feelings. He also worries about his feelings being hurt, and especially being laughed at or called names. He asked me, “Mom, do you think that at anytime ever in the history of the world someone said to someone else, ‘Dude, you look like a _enis.’?” I was too busy laughing to answer his question.