Guest blogger Tori: I would be mortified if I didn't find it so funny. Yes, my 7-year-old has named his penis. The other night, while my kids and I were sitting on the couch reading a book together, I looked over and noticed that my son had his hand down his pants and was playing with himself. Not wanting to give him a complex, I stopped reading and said, "Son, it's OK to touch yourself, but now is not the time. That's something you do in private."
My daughter started laughing, and then my son. Was I missing something? "But Mom," she said, "he likes his penis. He gave it a name." How does she know about this and not me? I thought.
"You named your penis?" I asked, trying to cover my surprise.
"Yeah," my son answered.
"Well, what did you name it?" I asked.
"'Peep,'" he said -- and then he burst out laughing. My mouth kind of hung open for a few seconds. What was I supposed to say? I have to admit, my first impulse was to tell him it was wrong, but because I didn't want him to feel shameful about his body, I simply left it by asking him to keep "Peep" in his pants so we could get back to reading. Which we did -- for all of ten seconds. But then I had to stop and try to regain my composure because I was laughing. I mean laughing so hard that sound wasn't coming out. I lost it, totally.
"Look, she's crying! She's laughing so hard she's crying!" my daughter yelled. It seems they were as surprised as I. As I was trying to catch my breath, I was thinking about how to remedy the situation. Here I was, cracking up because my kid named his penis, and what message was that sending to him? For a 7-year-old, I feared it was a green light to tell the world about "Peep" -- his classmates, his teachers or, God forbid, his grandmother.
I explained to my son that all things related to his privates needed to stay at home. Not only was he not to talk about it, or his naming of it, but he had to realize that private parts were called "private" for a reason. I have heard no more mention of "Peep," and I hope no one outside this house has, either (except, of course, for all the thousands of you reading this post).
I Googled the whole "penis-naming" thing to see if I could find any hits. But aside from the practice of calling our sex organs by terms other than their correct anatomical names (as in "bunky" instead of "vagina" or "wee wee" instead of "penis"), I found nothing. I didn't scroll through everything, but the preliminary results definitely pointed to no.
Please tell me I'm not alone here. Certainly this isn't completely abnormal behavior for a kid, is it? IS IT?!