Friday, January 31, 2014

Potato, Potato, Mychina, Vagina—Let’s Call The Whole Thing Private

Many parents have kids that love to be naked.  We are not those parents nor do we have those children.  We have become even less those people after the pinworms incident of February AND March 2013.  If you have to ask what pinworms are and/or how they are spread then you should just take what I say at face value (and not Google it) that it forever changed naked time in our house, forever.  A common phrase after bath time in our house is, “DO NOT SIT ON THE COUCH WITHOUT UNDERWEAR!”  Last night we had a couple new ones that made me laugh and wonder what if someone could hear the conversations in our house especially post-bath time.  My son SH1 is laying on his back in the 2 inches of water slowly draining out of the tub (for why it drains slowly see my previous post about pooping in the tub) and my daughter SH2 peers back into the tub to catch my son singing and ‘flexing’ to which she singsongs, “I see someone’s wiener wiggling.”  This then dissolved into giggles on both sides of the bathtub.  Cut to 30 seconds later when I hear my husband speak to the same SH2, “Stop playing with your vagina and put your pull-up on.” 
Popsicles in the tub!
I had another mom physician who I respect very much tell me several years ago, before I had even thought about calling privates anything at all, that it is okay to not call private parts by their proper name because there is little worse than having your daughter tell everyone on the subway that grandma has a vagina which her daughter did.  I took this to heart and we called them ‘privates’ for the longest time until there was concern raised by my children regarding the differences in the parts and needing further name clarification. 

My mom recently retired from being an elementary school teacher for many years and had a student (whom she loved very much) whose name was ‘Mychina’.  I can only suppose her parents decided that she was precious like china and she was theirs and then her name basically wrote itself.  I felt similarly about girl private parts that they are precious and to be handled carefully by very few people and thus started calling girl privates ‘Mychina’ and as luck would have it, it also rhymes with vagina—poor Mychina I can see years of teasing in her future.  As with all nicknames that don’t make sense to the people who didn’t invent them, this was later shortened to ‘China’.  I thought nothing of it until my husband, playing fly on the wall, thoughtfully said, “We should not call it China anymore, she is going to go out and start telling people about her China while pointing to her privates and we are going to look like a-holes.”  Ugh.  Oh God, now we are racists.  He is 100% right of course.  Vagina it is.

I do have a point.  These fly on the wall moments are of value.  This week we had a lot of discussion with the residents (doctors in training) at my hospital about ‘situational awareness’ and when to take a step back, rethink, and re-look at the situation because sometimes we are so wrapped up in trying to keep a few drops of water actually in the tub or getting a patient the pain medication that she wants that we don’t see our actions for what they really are and who they could hurt.  Maybe we are not teaching our children good habits or kind words or doctors are not listening to the other members of the team trying to help them and we miss an opportunity to change the trajectory before something bad happens.

To date, I don’t think SH2 has called her vagina ‘China’ to the general population and I pray the nickname has slipped from her memory.  I hope we have nipped that in the bud, but speaking of nips and breast buds I wonder who the term ‘chee chees’ (aka: nipples) is going to offend.

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  1. You ARE hilarious. It must be the doctor in you that finds all this "china" "vagina" talk so easy. We non-medical people find pee pee satisfactory, thank you very much. lol

  2. Ruth, I just love your blog! I don't know how you manage to make me laugh and cry all in the same paragraph, but you do. You have incredible talent.

    On a lighter note, the other day I was at my daughter's soccer game and the coach for the other team kept yelling one of his player's name. SHAKYNA, SHAKYNA! I was getting strange looks as I was laughing out loud, because all I could hear was MYCHINA, VAGINA. Thanks for that!

    1. Hahaha!! Thank Tara! I caught myself a few days ago calling it Mychina again and had to scrub it from my brain. My kids are screwed if I keep this up!