Mr Disgrace is in...well...disgrace. I had a well formulated plan for what I was going to say when Rory asked me how babies are made. This was going to involve the words 'special cuddle that only grown ups are allowed to do' and a truthful but vague description of how babies make their way out into the world (glossing over the many hours of torturous pain, things tearing and the epic blood loss, perhaps). This, I felt was entirely age appropriate and offered enough of the facts of life to satisfy my 4 year old without turning him into 'that' child in his class who would upset the other parents by telling their kids all the gory details.
Enter Mr Disgrace. One morning a few weeks ago, I came out of the shower to Rory shouting "ER, MUMMY, IS IT TRUE THAT DADDY PUT HIS WILLY UP YOUR BUM HOLE TO MAKE ME?"
Well done, Richard. Brilliantly executed birds and the bees talk there. Thanks for that.
"Well, not quite sweetheart. It wasn't exactly that hole..."
"Ladies have three holes, don't they? A weeing one, a bum hole and a baby hole."
"That's right. It's the baby hole that we're talking about at the moment."
"The baby hole?"
Now it's my turn to be in disgrace: You see, although my child is fast approaching 5 years old, I have so far entirely skirted around the issue of what to call lady parts. His bits were easy - he knows that it's a penis and he calls it a willy. I don't especially like the word willy, but it seems to be used by most people, so it was the obvious choice as everyone would know what he was on about if he mentioned it (hmmm, although sometimes I wish we'd given it a code name so nobody would have known what he was on about when he mentioned it). But girl parts are a different matter entirely.
He's been told that the 'baby hole' is a vagina, but that's not a very memorable word and seems a bit formal. Everyone around here seems to call it a 'foof'. I refuse to even say the word 'foof', let alone apply it to my genitals. Utterly ridiculous word. Just as bad was 'twinkle' which kids seemed to call it when I lived in Yorkshire. Then there's the camp that call it a 'fairy'. Nope. Not going there either. What's the deal with us reducing part of a woman's reproductive bits to anything to do with small, imaginary, magical beings? Even 'foof' sounds like it might be a sound that fairies make when they fart, and vaginas do not twinkle (unless you're into vajazzling. And ain't nobody got time for that shit).
Delving further (hahaHAAAAA), the options are no better. There are the coy ('downstairs', 'girlie bits', 'hoo-hoo' - that last one is not even a word, it's JUST SOUNDS. FFS). There are the well used, yet somehow not quite appropriate for a small child ('fanny', 'muff', 'vag'). There are the inventive ('penis fly trap', 'cock socket', 'chasm of doom' and so on) and there are the nasty, mainly the C word (vile, although somehow sounds less offensive when said by a northerner, and positively friendly when said by someone from North Yorkshire).
This is just the tip of the iceberg of vaginal lexicography, but I'd be here all day if I listed every word I've ever heard. Needless to say, none of them are appropriate for my son to use.
"I just want a word that doesn't make a mockery of a woman's parts", I say, clambering onto my feminist soap box. "It's a body part that withstands far more than a penis ever does. It endures childbirth. It stretches to accommodate a baby, it gets battered and bloodied and altered beyond all recognition, and then it goes back to how it used to be (more or less). And people want to call that a 'twinkle'? It needs a better word.
"How about 'THE MIGHTY FLUE" suggests Mr Disgrace, giggling like a schoolboy. Again, thanks for that Rich.
I quite like The Mighty Flue, though. Although I'm not sure what the staff at Rory's school would think if he announced that the girls in his class and his teacher have MIGHTY FLUES. And believe me, he would. So we're back to square one. Somebody - anybody - just give me a word.