The girl who cuts my hair, “AngG,” has twin daughters that are a year older than Lovey. (Lovey is almost three.) I was in a few days ago for a little cut and color and AngG told me some crazy story about her friend “Lucy.” Lucy had a boyfriend that sexually violated Lucy’s little girl.
My heart sank. I was sick.
But it got me wondering:
When is the right time to discuss with my girls who is and who is not welcome in their gynie area? (That is what we call it in our house. We call it a “gynie.“ Like it, hate it, I don’t care. That is what we call it). AngG told me that she started talking to her girls about it awhile ago.
Awhile ago? Your kids are three! Like how long ago? Am I late? Man, I can not catch a break when it comes to the gynie stuff. Just when I think I am caught up, I fall behind again.
So, that night, I got on it.
I had a nice little gynie talk with Sweet Pea. She just turned five it and she totally got it: Don’t let anyone touch your gynie. Don’t be waving it around either, Sweet Pea. No one is interested. Keep it to yourself. It’s your private area…yes, if mommy or daddy are with you and a doctor needs to get in there, you can let her in…no, we’re not going to the doctor…no, you don’t need a shot …oh no…don’t freak out…I swear you don’t need a shot…that is not where this conversation was supposed to go.
I then broached the subject with Lovey (the one who will be three in a month and a half).
Me: Lovey, I need to tell you who is allowed to touch your gynie.
Lovey: My gynie! Ok, I love my gynie!
Me: Great. Listen to mommy, honey. Only mommy and daddy are allowed to touch your gynie, OK? Nobody else. We have to clean it so it doesn‘t get gross. Gross me out the door.
Lovey: Gross me out the door. Gross me out the door!!
Me: Right. Do you understand though? Oh, wait…nana, grammy and puppa are also allowed to touch your gynie. But no one else. Are you with me?
Lovey: Yes, mommy.
Me: Who is allowed to touch your gynie?
Lovey: You and daddy and nana and grammy and puppa. And that’s it.
Me: Right. That’s it. You’re delicious.
Lovey: Don’t eat me, mommy.
And that was that. Mission accomplished. I was pretty proud of myself.
The next morning, while I was getting Lovey dressed, we went over everything again. She answered all of my prompts and I felt very good about her level of understanding with regard to who is and who is not allowed to touch her gynie. I didn’t go into explaining why no one was allowed in there–it doesn’t seem necessary right now because, developmentally, I don’t think she is quite ready for an explanation. At this point, it’s enough for me that she gets the basics, we’ll get to the “why” part later.
Fast forward to the next day…
It’s time for the girls to get their hair cut. (I don’t take them to my salon. I took them there for their first cuts because we needed to be fancy, but I’m over that. They have easy hair and they don’t have any money so the 10.00 places are where they live.)
So, we’re in their salon and all of the people working and getting their hair cut are going crazy over the girls. They were just doing their thing, being cute, when all of the sudden, out of nowhere, little Lovey throws her fist in the air and declares with all the righteous indignation that she could muster: “NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH MY GYNIE! ONLY MOMMY AND DADDY AND NANA AND GRAMMY AND PUPPA!”
I didn’t really know what to do. Who does that? So, I got down on her level, put my hands on her little shoulders and quietly said: “Lovey…honey…I’m pretty confident that no one here is lining up to touch your gynie.”
But she was unfazed and on a mission:
“NO ONE! I WILL SAY NO. I SAY NO!”
…And I hope she does.
Until she gets married.
Ok, fine she doesn’t have to be married, but she better use some discretion because otherwise…gross.
Gross me out the door.