Conversations with a 6 year old boy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I really enjoy working for a husband/wife team of medical doctors who are from New Orleans. Their parenting style is a little bit more liberal in terms of body parts and explaining things (especially with regards to sex), because they are accustomed to bodies being just that -- bodies. They don't use cutesy words or nicknames for body parts. They know they have penises, and testicles, and that their little sister has a vagina (or "bagina" -- but still), and these body parts aren't any different from having ears, noses, feet, hands, hair, etc. It is not weird, silly, gross, or taboo. I completely agree with this parenting technique.

At the boys' school, they are urged to wear pink T-shirts tomorrow in honor of breast cancer awareness. Their parents made the trip to Walmart to pick up two pink T-shirts that they'll never wear again, and were immediately bombarded with questions about breast cancer. What's cancer? What's a breast? Do I have breasts? What are breasts used for? They're private parts? Can my penis get cancer? Can my butt get cancer? Why don't I have breasts?

I'm hoping he poses these questions to his ultra-conservative, hoity-toity teachers tomorrow. I hope that he speaks up confidently, asking the hard-hitting questions every 6-year-old will be wondering tomorrow. I have complete faith in him, because he is naturally curious, smart, and mature. As far as he knows, breasts are a natural part of a woman, that a baby eats from, that he wants to touch because he doesn't have any. While I have explained to him that it's inappropriate to touch someone's breasts (just as it would be inappropriate to touch someone's butt or penis), I don't mind his curiosity, because it's innocent and non-sexualized.

That's why this morning, after I found out that his ultra-conservative, hoity-toity school won't allow the kids to dress up on Halloween, I let him know that I would be in full costume that day, with blue hair and cupcake boobs.

He then let me know that he was going to try and eat my boobs.

So that I don't get cancer.