Kyra's bedroom has a small set of built-in bookshelves. Until the completion of Lucas's room last spring, they were the only bookshelves in the house. When I decided to hold onto "What to Expect the First Year" and "Your Baby, Your Child" while gleefully pitching the pregnancy books, Kyra's room seemed the best place to store them. Fast forward to today.... I was dressing for a quick celebratory visit to the college (our ten year service award!) and Matt and I were both frustrated with the kids' inability to settle for a nap or, at minimum, a "rest" as we call Kyra's time off....or is that really our time off? Anyway, Matt could hear Kyra moving about her room and went upstairs to encourage her to sleep. He came down barely stifling a laugh. Apparently Kyra has been perusing the child-care books, paying particular attention to what she called her "favorite page." The page with which she was so fascinated? Penis care, complete with two illustrations--one of the circumcised penis, and one with the uncircumcised penis. Matt described her as studying the images intently.
I should note that nudity and body part discussion is hardly taboo in our house. We were early proponents of the "proper words" for anatomy, and we continue to be despite embarrassing moments from time to time (including two-year-old Kyra going around the table of an extended family gathering at a restaurant considering aloud the particular parts that might belong to the person seated there!). We do discourage much contact with her brother's private parts, despite that she is more than happy to help him push his penis down into his little potty. (As a side note, those little potties present quite a challenge! I had no idea when we had a girl in potty-mode. The shield is handy, but it rises so high, the poor little guy ends up stuck on nearly every "mount!") We have presumed our comfort with bodies just being bodies, private parts and all, might limit some of the fascination so in evidence at naptime. Not so!
Fast forward a bit further.... Matt had left for his basketball league, the kids had just completed their baths, and Kyra, after being removed from the tub early for a series of poor choices, was crying fitfully for her Daddy. I was trying to get Lucas into a diaper, stifling my own laugh as he tugged and tugged on his own penis making the "Chhhhh" sound he and Kyra make when they play firefighter. Apparently, with no prompting from elsewhere, he already understands the power of his hose! Unaware of this firefighter role play in full swing, Kyra wandered in holding the book open to her favorite page. She held it up and, with tear-filled eyes and a completely serious voice said, "This is how I remember Daddy--by looking at these."
Will they ever forgive me for writing this? Absolutely not. Would I forgive myself if I neglected to do so? Absolutely not. Ah, the bind these blogs put us in....