To call my little Noah precocious would be like calling me blunt.
He’s not yet 2 years old, yet he remembers everything and recalls it at his whim. When he helps me clean and vacuum around the house we sometimes run into tangled balls of hair, my long hair from my head. Noah picks these hairballs up and growls before saying in Dutch, “etsje vuilbak!”
This means “yucky garbage can!” and Noah then proceeds to throw the hairball away in the nearest garbage can.
Two days ago I had an appointment with my gynecologist Dr. Martens, whom I love enough to have blogged about once, and I prepared accordingly to the unwritten but stressed rules. I did not have my period, I did not fornicate the night before or morning of my appointment, and I made my vagina gorgeous and lovely. To me, gorgeous and lovely means sparkling clean and waxed or shaved and very trim.
I actually got one answer to the question, thanks to a credible someone, as to whether or not gynecologists care about the gorgeousness or loveliness of patients’ vaginas. No.
But I welcome more surveys!
It’s not like I go all-bare down there because I’ve tried that before and never liked it. I prefer to leave some pubic hair in the right spot proportionate to everything else. Why am I sharing this besides the fact that I share too much as it is already?
Because two days ago I came home from my gynecologist’s appointment all checked-out in good vaginal health. That evening Noah was brushing his teeth before bed time, and he pointed to the bathtub telling me he wanted to take a shower. Specifically a shower. Noah only takes showers with papa. He’s never taken a shower with me. It’s not a rule or anything but more practical. I always just give Noah his baths. I don’t often get in the bathtub with him, and when I do I don’t take photos. My focus is his safety and fun. I get out first and towel-dry off while he continues to play. In the past I’ve been naked once or mostly naked other times but not really naked naked. Most times it was out of convenience so I could dry off quickly with less clothes to have to throw back on.
Two days ago I was in a bikini. It was bed time and I had things of my own to do but I decided a bath with Noah would be fun! After we brushed our teeth we got in the bath.
For fun I took a photo of us in the bathtub together and I later uploaded it on social media. Social media is just fancy talk here. It really just means Facebook and Twitter to me.
I uploaded the photo asking if any other mommies wore bikinis in the bathtub with their kids. I should have been more specific and detailed or written a blog instead. I should have rewound 30 minutes before the picture was taken to explain a few things, but that’s all shoulda coulda woulda when it comes to social media.
But this is what happened…
I’d undressed Noah while running the tub with water. I got down to my bra and panties and took those off too when I heard growling. I looked down at Noah who was growling and pointing at my groomed spot of pubic hair, and he said “Etsje!”
He called my pubes yucky! He growled at me! He thought I had a gross hairball stuck to me!
I gently told Noah that it was not yucky and that it was okay. I smiled and said it’s okay, it’s mama’s hair, about a dozen times. He didn’t seem convinced. It’s not like he’d never seen me naked before and it’s probably not the last time Noah will see me naked but he’d never associated vacuuming dirty hair into the garbage can, with my nudity, before.
But as precocious as he is, I didn’t believe Noah was ready for any kind of body parts talk yet. He’s not even two! He just needed to know that there was nothing yucky going on. So I threw on the bikini and we played in the bathtub. There’s plenty of time for talk later, just not at 21 months of age.
My mother was always naked with me in the bath. My father never. I never knew any other way to bathe until I was old enough to bathe alone. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Being naked with my mother and her naked body taught me so much about my own body later growing up, and now.
I never thought I’d wear a bikini in the bathtub with my son until it happened. If I had a daughter I probably wouldn’t wear one. But who knows?!
With Noah, it was a conscious choice on the spot but only after I laughed at myself. Here I’d thought I’d trimmed enough to make my vagina gorgeous for Dr. Martens yet Noah still found it yucky. You can prepare and read-up all you want on what your toddler might or might not do, but there’s nothing like the real thing. You have to laugh. You have to trust your gut whether or not you’re right or wrong, and learn from your mistakes and triumphs too, it’s one of the toughest parts of parenting. The uncertainty yet obligation to make split-second decisions.
Just because I blog about sex and I’m open about sex and my sexual history and the fact that I was sexually abused as a child, doesn’t mean I wear my vagina hanging out in public. It doesn’t mean I won’t wear a bikini in the bathtub with my child if I think it’s the right thing to do in the moment. I’m all for nudity when it works and improvising when necessary. I’ve never been a mom before so I’m the teacher and student at the same time every day.
When I uploaded the photo and asked what other mommies did, it was neither an invitation for judgement nor any indication of judgment on my part. I don’t need reminders that Noah came from inside me because even if he hadn’t and I’d adopted him, I still would have put that bikini on two days ago.
It was just a question not to be taken so seriously!
Or was it?