Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Ok, I guess only other parents who are sick of reading Sandra Boynton books to their toddlers will "get" the title I've given the following vignette. Actually, its pretty much verbatim what I heard on the playground yesterday.


Personae: Girl, Boy1 ad Boy2, ages 7-9

Setting: Playground monkey bars, afternoon, a first sunny day of spring.

Girl (Swinging on monkey bars, head launched back in glee, legs flailing).

Boy1: "I see your belly button!!!!!!! AGHHHHHH!"

Boy2: "Its ok. Everyone has a belly button. No listen! Its ok! We all have belly buttons!"

Girl (Jumps down from monkey bars, stretches shirt to fit down to her knees. Scuffs dirt sheepishly)

Boy1: "Yeah but everyone knows, DUH! Boys have a kind of belly button. Girls have a different kind of belly button. Its different."

Boy2: "I don't know about that. But I do know we all have them. That's what I do know."

Girl: (regaining confidence, deflecting? Wanting to chime in...) "And gay people have a different belly button. Girls and boys and gay people all have different belly buttons."

Boy1: "Yeah! You're not supposed to look at them"

Boy2: "Girls sit down to pee. Did you know that?"

Boy 1: " Yeah! I knew that!"

Girl: "Me too!"

Hmmmm. Who the heck is teaching these children? Or should I say...who is NOT teaching them? At this age, I feel a kid should have some clear ideas about what forms sexuality, what parts are private parts, and how essentially, girls and boys and "gay people" are all the same=humans. In teaching we call this a "teachable moment". As in, you overhear some kids talking, perhaps needing or wanting to talk about some things that are confusing them...perhaps an incident has occured. Instead of brushing it aside, you take the opportunity to make it a lesson of sorts. "Really? Are belly buttons different on different people? Actually everyone has a unique belly button! Do you know what makes a belly button?" Etc.

I wanted to...I REALLY wanted to. But, I didn't want to get bitch-slapped on the playground in front of my toddler. Yeah...you-parents over there ignoring your kids while you text! Your kids need you! And they need the un-prejudiced version of you, if you please. Thank you.

1 comment:

Stacy Kaye said...

OH!!! My blogger buddy is back! I was waiting for this. GOOD ONE! Yeah, seriously...those kids sound VERY confused!