The ‘P’ Word

“I know what The ‘P’ word is,” my eight year-old announced the other night

“Really? Which one?” I asked, an eyebrow arched.

“Can I say it?” He asked with an impish smile.

I am compelled to mention here that many in my son’s class are second and third children.

“Pussy.” He blushed and waited for a reaction.

“Pussy is slang for “vagina”. It’s also what we call a baby cat.” I answered as if he’d asked me the meaning of a polysyllabic word from a book.  During the next 10 or so minutes of our discussion I used the word — that vulgar word — a lot. More times than I’ve likely said it in years. Uttering it calmly each and every time.

My daughter came into the room at some point during our “pussy” chat, “Mom, why are you talking about pussies?” she asked with a roll of her eyes. Then hugged me and left.

“You know what it means – and you know that it’s inappropriate to use it.”

“Okay.” And with that, my eight year-old went off to get ready for bed.

I’ve long-believed in using the proper words for all body parts. A nose must be blown, a penis – and a pussy for that matter – must be washed.  A body part, is a body part is a body part. And each one of them must be cared for – and cherished. When we teach our children that they are the boss of each one (Thank you, Pattie FItzgerald) we arm them to respect themselves and each other.


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