so what’s politer?

Last night, 6-year-old Cooper was complaining about having to take a bath, as usual.

COOPER: Can it be a short bath Mom?
MOMMY: Yes, Cooper. Just wash face, hands, feet, and (here I indicated, by pointing, what Monty Python used to call “naughty bits.”)

I then walked down the hall to pull out pajamas for him and his brother. After a minute:

COOPER: Mom! I’m done!
MOMMY: OK, honey!

As I walk back down the hall to the bathroom:

COOPER: I washed my weiner hole!

This was one of those moments when you are just so so sorry to be the only adult around. I pop my head in the bathroom.

MOMMY: Your what?

COOPER: I washed my weiner, and my weiner hole.

I bit the inside of my cheek, hard. This was a moment for some Mommy Mock Horror, a move perfected by my own mother.

MOMMY: Cooper! Where did you hear words like that?

COOPER: At school.

MOMMY: Those are not words we use in this house.

COOPER: (confused) But Mommy. It’s politer to say “weiner” than “penis.”

MOMMY: What? No it’s not.

COOPER: (quite sure) Yes, it is.

This gave me pause. Is it politer to say weiner than penis? I proceeded carefully.

MOMMY: Well. If you’re going to be really polite, it’s better not to say either one. But if you’re in science class, and you’re talking about your body, it’s OK to say “penis.” And if you’re having hot dogs for lunch, it’s OK to say “weiner.”

COOPER: Why?

MOMMY: Well- because- a hot dog is a weiner. That’s what a weiner is.

Cooper’s eyes grow huge.

COOPER: WEINER MEANS HOT DOG?

And then he laughed for the next fifteen minutes. Eventually I had to just leave, while he called from the bathroom, saying, “Mommy! I washed my hot dog!” and other such 6-year-old witty repartee.

I had to open my big mouth.

What do you all think? Would you rather your kids say “weiner,” or “wee wee,” than “penis?” Is “wee wee” more polite than “weiner”? I suppose it is.

As far as names for girl naughty bits in our house, bathtime conversations usually go like this:

COOPER: Maddie has a china.

FERGUS: No, Cooper. It’s a PUH-chima.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan February 6, 2009 at 3:54 am

Oh.My.Gosh! This is hilarious… I am forwarding this to my friend – she has all girls and I have one of each – and we’re both in the trenches of potty training – and she thinks it’s funny that every day while we’re on the phone I have to remind my son “to put his weiner in the hole”. ugh – boys. 😉

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Roxane B. Salonen February 6, 2009 at 6:02 am

Truly hilarious! The things we hear at bath time. Aren’t we so lucky? 🙂

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Breedings February 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm

That’s so funny! I have a 9 month old and I can’t wait until she says funny things!

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Juggling Act February 8, 2009 at 2:00 am

Funny, funny. Kids love potty talk. We use all the right terminology around here, but that’s not to say my kids know when it’s appropriate to use it. One day, Sophie randomly announced to everyone in the checkout line at the grocery store that she had a vagina and her brother had a penis. What does one say to that?

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Marketing Mama February 8, 2009 at 6:01 am

I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. Thank you for sharing this. LOVE IT!

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Cstargel February 13, 2009 at 1:19 am

I saw your article “Boy Crazy” in February’s Baby talk and fell in love with you! I have two boys, 4 and 2 and we just had our baby girl in December (Didn’t know what we were having)! I felt every word of your article to a tee!!! I couldn’t wait to look up your blog! Thanks for the entertainment!

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Jennie Skaggs March 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

We were just discussing this yesterday and a nurse said a boy called it his pickle one day….it was the funniest thing. She had no idea what he was talking about. I have a couple of years before we get to that stage….My husband is getting his phd in geology and is very scientific. So I think the technical words will be used in our home. Howver, you never know.

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spydyee May 1, 2009 at 6:43 am

I have given birth to 9 beautiful children. I have buried 2 of them. I have laughed and cried many time during their lives. My oldest just turned 30 and my baby is 6. I have 5 grandchildren. Of all those 6 are girls and the other 8 are all boys. We have had pickles, wee wees, wieners, and a few funny things like one who called his “Mr. Pees A Lot” Kids are so very much fun. However, I hate to be the damper on the fun times but we had an experience that caused us to begin to require our children to use the “correct biological terms” for their body parts. Our daughter was one of several that may have been molested by a teacher. She is a non-verbal autistic child. Because of her inability to communicate to them or us we have no evidence that she was molested. However, the one child that could say something was torn apart by the defense lawyers because the child’s names for her body parts were cute nicknames and meant what she said was ambiguous at best. Needless to say he was not even prosecuted because the DA knew he did not have a prayer of winning. He was fired as a teacher but not prosecuted. As much as we can all laugh and enjoy their bath time antics we need them to know the right names and use them. So tell Fergus that Grandmother Spyder says “That’s right its a PUH-chima”

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kristirufener May 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

LOVE it.
Absolutely. I would think its better in public for them to use the cutesy names, but make sure they know what the real name is. Just like you did. Bravo superblogmom!

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