Thursday, July 28, 2005

we just don't say things like that

Okay, so blogs are about as open and free a forum as you can get these days. Still every blogger in the bloggernacle must keep a set of implicit rules for posting. A general rule of thumb I stole from a celebrity blogger is never post what you wouldn’t say to someone in person. Bearing this in mind, I shall proceed.

Today my post is about bosoms.

Ha! Just kidding. I could write about bosoms here because I have no problem discussing bosoms (within certain limits and only in a respectable form of context.) But there are more interesting things to discuss than bosoms. (though certain men may argue with that) Besides, I wouldn’t want to be misunderstood on this rather personal subject.

The fact is, this is the way I was raised. We girls were taught by our mother to use the proper names for body parts. Mom explained to us the female reproductive system, and the system of procreation, complete with visual aids and diagrams, right from our kitchen table. It was all very matter-of-fact and non-tabooish. We were allowed to ask questions, (although we seldom did what with our pre-pubescent heads spinning uncontrollably with this new information, rendering us vertically comatose. It took me months to even look at a boy. It was three years before I talked to one again. When I was 15 I believe I said, “hey” and kept walking with my head down.) It was just all very open and real.

I sometimes forget that not everyone has a Mom like this. It’s proved to be a disservice only in that I’m pretty obtuse to the feelings of mixed company the minute I start talking about cramps or use the words “fallopian tube.” It’s only after the guy has abruptly bolted out of the room mumbling something about a drink of water that I think...oh. I said “fallopian tube” didn’t I? I recognize I should be more considerate. I know that there times and places for these discussions, and this is a practice I've taken that my Mom certainly did not endorse from her kitchen table.

Maybe somewhere down the line I figured that guys weren’t squeamish about this stuff because my Dad certainly wasn’t. Not his fault. Six women in his house. Two men. My brother leaves. And then there was one. Just Dad. He’s so a goner.

Example: a dialogue you might hear at my house…

Daughter: Hey, Dad… I think my uterus is going to explode.

Dad: I’m sorry to hear that, kitten. And how are the ovaries today?

And yet, this minor wrinkle has not deterred me from my resolve to teach my children the same way my mother taught me. I’d rather they know the proper names for things. I want their questions to come to me and not to their school teacher or that schoolmate who thinks she knows what’s what but doesn’t. I got it, thanks. They’ll know they can come to me and I won’t be mad. Sure, their eyes will glaze over in horror as I begin to draw my little diagram, as mine did. They’ll squirm and freak out and probably want to run away, but the initial shock will wear off eventually. And as far as not talking to boys/girls for years know, I’m really okay with that.
I completely agree. I didn't always understand what ovaries and fallopian tubes were, but I'm glad my mom used the correct terms. It's simply biology people, no need to make it taboo, it's just thier names and it's how our bodies work. I completely plan on using the actual names and as age-appropriate how it all works.

Now that I think about it, I hope that would contribute to a more healthy acceptance of themselves and thier bodies, as opposed to treating it as a taboo thing they should be ashamed to think about.

You know...eventually those men that run from the room will have wives and they could probably use the 'education' you are unwittingly giving them:)

I agree with you. Much better to be up front and use the real terms. And the boys should just get over themselves and deal with it. Once, we took a high school friend of mine (who was quite shy and reserved) to the store while we went to buy tampons and made him come to the aisle with us and explained the various differences. I hope his wife/girlfriend appreciates us breaking him in.
I totally agree with what you said. I grew up in a house where it wasn't necessarily to talk about things like that, it was just never brought up. I am pretty sure that my mom never even sat up down to give us the birds and the bees talk, maybe if she did our response was, "yeah mom, we know."

It has been so refreshing to be in conversations or situations where people are not afraid of voicing thought such as I think my ovaries are going ot explode. or man my boobs are sore today. Thanks Mary and to your mom for being so open! You rock!
Absolutely! My mom has always been very frank. I have a book from her that I plan to use with my own kids.

Thank you for your message yesterday! I was so bummed to miss your b-day bash. I hope it was a ton of fun.
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