Dally Wallys, Foo-Foos and Smitzees – Who Needs ‘Em?

Written by Kath, a mom without a blog

A little warning today everyone….I’ve dug into the depths of my closet and pulled out the old soapbox. I’ve dusted it off and I’m climbing on top for a good, old-fashioned rant. Be forewarned, this may not be pretty. But I’ve got something to get off my chest, so here goes….

From the moment we become parents, our lives are forever changed. In addition to taking on the responsibility that parenthood entails, we also become our child’s first teacher. As soon as we bring that little one home, the teaching begins. We start with in-depth descriptions of the day’s events.

“I’m changing your diaper now.”

“Where’s Mama?”

“Let’s bundle you to keep you warm.”

You get the idea. Our little ones arrive half-baked, really. This grandiose world is completely and universally new. It’s our job to teach our precious ones the ropes.

We sing the ABCs, name colors, introduce family members, teach animals, and teach those all-important animal sounds. Oh yeah, and teach body parts.

I remember back when my first-born was so small. For entertainment, my husband and I would sit him down in front of us and ask him to point to his various body parts.

Us: “Where’s your eye? Where’s your eye?”

B: Points to eye and nearly pokes eye out with index finger. (Cries wildly in pain).

Us: (Clapping like mad) “YES!! YES!! That’s it!!” Our boy was a freakin’ genius, man!

You know, maybe my husband and I should have sprung for a baby sitter instead. 

But I digress…

Time goes by and that toddler/preschooler notices some OTHER body parts. Maybe it’s in the tub. Maybe a new sibling has come along by then and has “different” parts. That’s when, my friends, it happens.

“Mama? What’s THAT?”

And, very likely, beads of sweat break out on our forehead, our hearts begin to race, and (feeling a little dizzy) we blurt out….something.

“That’s Mr. Winky, honey.”

“That’s your foo-foo.”

“That’s a smitzee.”

“Well, that’s your hoo-ha, of course!”

Because we just can’t bring ourselves to call it what it is. A penis. A vagina. The words are frankly too vulgar sounding to come out of our little cherub’s mouth. So, we make something up that sounds, well, “cutesy.”

But why? WHY do we do this? Are we afraid that the next time we’re at the park, our child will run around screaming, “Vagina! Vagina!!” at the top of their lungs? Did your child scream, “Elbow! Elbow!!” when he learned that word, too?

And so what if they did? That’s when we, as parents, have a brief chat explaining that some body parts are “private” and we don’t go around yelling about them. A preschooler is not too young to learn about those private areas. Trust me; they’re not looking for a detailed explanation about how that part works. They really just want the name of it. So, I say, let’s give it to them.

Case in point. I’m a pediatric nurse at a busy outpatient clinic. Recently, a 4 year-old girl came in screaming in pain. As I try to assess her, I ask her where it hurts.

Child: “My dally wally hurts!”

Huh? You’ve got to be kidding me.

That 4 year-old stared at me and I stared back, neither one of us knowing what to say next.

That’s when I shot her mom a “for Pete’s sake help me out here” look. Turned out the little girl had a sore on her labia. Go figure.

Or, picture this. Your 5 year-old son is in kindergarten. While urinating in the bathroom, he sees another boy watching him. He might say, “Stop looking at my noodle.” How’s he going to feel when that other kid says, “Dude, that’s not your noodle, that’s a penis”? I’ll tell you how he’s going to feel. Duped. Betrayed. That’s how.

Listen, I’m not saying we should start sexually explicit dialogue with our kids or anything like that. I’m just sayin’ hey, let’s call it what it is. A vagina is a vagina and a penis is a penis. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, folks.

Okay, I’m stepping down from the soapbox. I started getting a little dizzy from the height. Good to be back down to earth. I’ll leave you all with a conversation I had with my 4 year-old daughter as I was showering her the other night. (She, for the record, is currently obsessed with her body parts).

N: (Pointing to her chest) “Mom, what are these?”

Me: “Those are your breasts, honey.”

N: “No, not THOSE. These.”

Me: “Those are your nipples.”

N: “My nipples? Hmmm…”


N: “Mom?”

Me: “What, honey?”

N: “I just love my nipples. They look like little pancakes.”

Yep, pancakes are her favorite food.

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