And Bajingo Was Its Name-O

Song Lyric of the Day:

You want me to change, change, change / You want me to change

Churchill / “Change

Several months ago, Coraline started expressing interest in and naming body parts: “Mommy’s nose! Poppa’s eye! Coraline’s bell butt!” (In case you need a translation for that last one, “bell butt” is her way of saying belly button.) Her unrelenting interest in learning the names for various body parts led to an interesting discussion between Rich and I. We decided easily enough that her butt was to be called either — you guessed it — “butt” or “tush.” As for her girl parts, well, that was a different story.

Calling her girl parts “vagina” seemed awfully formal for such a small child. So me being me, I suggested “bajingo.” For you non-Scrubs fans, that’s the term the uptight female doctor, Elliot, used for lady parts.

Everything was hunky-dory for a long time. Then we started potty training and lo and behold, our preliminary research taught us that in addition to not giving your child a complex about bodily functions (no “Oh dear God, what just came out of you?! So gross!”), you’re supposed to use the proper (formal-sounding *cough*) terminology for private parts. This is where I should mention that Coraline pronounces “bajingo” as “bingo,” leading to my recurring nightmare in which I get a call from her daycare about Coraline grabbing her crotch when the class sang “B-I-N-G-O.” So, on a subconscious level, I guess I already knew that it was time to teach her the proper word.

Coraline now knows that the correct name for her bajingo is vagina, although she will occasionally use the wrong term for it. We gently correct her when she does. God help me, though, because last Wednesday when I was getting her dressed for the day, she placed her hands over her chest and said, “These are my boobs.” I won’t even get into how she thinks her nipples are boo-boos.

At least we never used the term “whizzy winkles” with regard to potty training.

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