I was in the bath with my three boys feeling not at at all self-conscious… Until .. My two year old pointed at my pubic hair and said “Stosh”. This is his word for “Moustache”. His association of the word comes solely from Mr Pontipine. See image above.
“Stosh” he repeated and pointed between my legs. I looked down, Not quite the look I was going for.
I tried to brush over this conversation by distracting him. I threw a rubber duck at his head. That worked. But then my four-year-old piped up.
“It’s not a stosh is it?” he asked, his quizzical glance making me feel very self-conscious.
“No it’s not.” I said, turning my back on all three of them.
“What is it called?” he asked innocently.
Great, let’s gang up on the only girl.
“Well when you were two you called it a star”. I said. Hoping that would be it.
“It’s not a star.” he said “a star is this shape” he added helpfully drawing an outline in the air with his finger.
“I know. But you just called it that.”
“Well what’s it’s other name?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” I said, trying to bide myself some thinking time.
“What does every one else call it?” he demanded.
And that was me stumped. Three pairs of eyes on me (even the baby had jumped on) waiting for an answer. Me, uncomfortably huddled at one end of the bath.
“Well…?” he asked. He wasn’t going to let up.
What to say? Vagina popped into my head, but he is 4. I really didn’t want to start with vagina this and penis that at this age – far too formal.
I was aware that “star” had been scrapped, which I was quite thankful about as they were starting a “space” topic at school next term and I was worried he would be sharing with the class “My mummy has a star”.
So what to say… Why isn’t there a nice, child-friendly, universally used name for girl’s bits? Like willy. Willy is used by everyone. It’s not offensive and is not used as a derogatory insult.
So what could I say?I ‘m the only girl in my house, so the pressure was on me?
Fanny? Used to describe someone who is spineless.
The “C” word ? I know Caitlin Moran says this is her term of choice, but really to your 4 year old daughter Caitlin? I don’t think so.
Lady garden? -Please! Bork!
Front bum? I really don’t want it being associated with a bum, where poo comes out? I just don’t. Why should it be?
So my answer was:
“It’s got lots of names, people call it all different things, but if you ever need to call it something you can say “girl bits” people will know what you are talking about.