'Naming' our private parts for our toddler

Irish mum is confused what name she should give to them

In our house we are starting down the long road towards getting rid of nappies.
I hasten to add we haven't even bought a potty yet but we are starting to get the conversational ball rolling about all things pee-pee related. This has led to some very interesting discussions. 
One book we bought recommended we allow our toddler watch us go to the toilet. As I haven't gone to the toilet alone since she learned to walk this wasn't a problem for me. My husband was less than enthused but he manfully stepped up to the plate (toilet). Immediately there were questions and observations. 'That's his willy.' 'No, Mummy doesn't have a willy.' 'No you don't have a willy.' 'You have a ….' What to call it? My husband suggested the ladylike 'flower'. I nearly split my sides laughing!
We don't live in a Mills & Boon novel where men have throbbing manhoods and women delicate flowers! When we were young my parents referred to it as our front bottoms. I put forward this suggestion but my husband said that would just confuse her. What is so wrong with the actual name? Vagina. I mean that is what it's called isn't it? But just as I wasn't comfortable using the p-word I couldn't quite bring myself to use the v-word either. But we would have to call it something!
What is with this desire to nick-name body parts? As if by re-naming them we can make the whole thing a little less embarrassing…for ourselves; toddlers couldn't care less what they are called they just find the whole thing endlessly fascinating. What they've got, what mummy has, why they don't have a fun toy to play with in the bath like their little brother?
Toddlers are brilliantly without an ounce of shame and it would be so nice if they would stay that way…streaking through public parks aside. If they sense that their parents are embarrassed then they will be embarrassed and so my husband and I have to let go of our own insecurities and pretend a level of comfort with our own bodies we don't really feel. This is hard. Sometimes it sucks being a role model on a daily basis but I tell myself this is how it must feel like to be a celebrity - my toddler accepts that everything mummy does is wonderful (well ignoring my attempts to dress her - she hates this). I am well aware this will only last for so long. So I should take advantage of it while I can!
I sense this is only the very beginning of the struggles we will face with toilet training. I foresee a summer full of laundry and accidents in various venues around the country. I imagine this issue with naming body parts will be long forgotten in a haze of wet clothes and pee stained floors. One day I will probably laugh at myself for being so silly. It's only a word after all! So I am going to buck up and start telling my girl what it is she actually has down there. After all it's better than the alternative - her announcing her flower needs a wee in the middle of Dunnes!
Written by,
Ann-Marie a 34 year old mum to a very active 20 month old toddler. She is currently at home with her trying to fit in writing between nap-time and endless loads of laundry! She is keeping a blog about life with a toddler called Adventures in Toddlerdom and is also writing a children’s book. Check out her facebook page here.

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