Parenting Page: That Floppy Thing
This is a parenting page, about parenting Page. I am a child psychologist and a mother. So I specialize in children, yet I am human, thus I am full of knowledge and yet as full of emotions as any other parent. So I decided to write this Parenting Page since it might be informative and funny for others to take an insider look at a child specialist raising her child. I also wanted to create a way to show Page when she grows up, if she chooses to have children, a real-life view of the experience.
THAT FLOPPY THING
At six years old Page expressed a hilarious take on male versus female genitalia. One night as I put Page to bed and lay down with her, she asked me to play one of her games, asking, “What is something you would NOT want to be.” This particular night I was tired and said, “Mommy is too tired to think of something. Why don’t you tell me what you would not want to be.” And here’s where the conversation went:
Page: I would definitely not want to be a boy.
Tina: Why not?
Page: Well, what’s that floppy thing they have, you know, on the front of their body?
Tina: Do you mean the penis?
Page: Yea. I would definitely not want one of those! (Page expressed this quite empathically. I was curious why not… and trying not to laugh because she was serious but this was getting funny.)
Tina: Why wouldn’t you?
Page: (She described this with a very serious demeanor.) I mean, it just hangs there, floppin’ around. And it’s right on the front of their body! They have to get dressed with that thing there. That just looks like it would get in the way.
Tina: Oh, yea, you’re right, I can see that. It does kind of look like it could get in the way.
Waving her hand slowly over her lower body, Page finishes with: It’s much better to be a girl. Nice and smooth.
This is one of the funniest conversations we’ve had, and it was one of those where as a parent you have to stay serious because the child is serious, and too young to get the humor if you laughed. It can make me giggle at any moment just thinking about it: “That just looks like it would get in the way” … “Nice and smooth” … Hilarious.
And she does have a point. I have never had to adjust my vagina when putting on a pair of pants.
Dr. Tina Lepage is the owner of Lepage Associates Solution-Based Psychological & Psychiatric Services, a group practice in S. Durham/RTP. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. www.lepageassociates.com. You can find her on Twitter at @LepageAssoc or at Facebook.com/LepageAssociates.