Master 4 is somewhat curious about boys and girls at the moment. No. I need to be clear. He’s obsessed with penises and vaginas. We have had many discussions about genitalia and I have tried to explain the differences in an age-appropriate way. That is to say that I use the anatomically correct names but I try not to go into the scientific details of sexual reproduction. At four years old I think that would be way too much information and would only serve to complicate matters unnecessarily at this stage.
So, since I possess the lone vagina in our household I have embarked on educating him about the finer points of what it means to treat others (particularly women) with respect and dignity. We have talked about gender roles in society and how boys and girls can do the same jobs and work to make their dreams come true.
The evolution of the planet, fossils and volcanoes are also big topics. He knows that lava is red and orange and is really, really hot and will melt you. He knows he lives on the Blue Planet because the other planets are too hot or too cold. He knows that things that died a long time ago got covered with dirt and after a very long time became rocks that we call fossils.
I don’t know how well I’ve gone with my explanations. Judging by today’s conversation I may have overplayed the benefits of a vagina/being female.
Today’s conversation went like this:
Mum, you’re hot like lava.
Oh, really, what does that mean?
I’m a girl.
No. You’re a boy. Remember boys have penises and grow up to be men and girls have vaginas and grow up to be women.
I wish I had a vagina.
Why do you wish that?
Well boys have a penis and girls have vaginas.