Thursday, August 6, 2009

Don't Touch Your Icky Bits

Last night I went to pick up my daughter from daycare. She was playing outside when I got there, and her diaper was wet, so I went inside to change it before we left, because we weren't going straight home. She has recently discovered her genitalia, and figured out how to remove her diaper (ah, the joys of toddlerhood), and is interested in touching herself. I have a strict policy of not making a big deal about this, as long as there's no pee or poop involved. So before I put the new diaper on she asked for powder, and after I put powder on her she rubbed it around a little bit. Just then one of the daycare workers, T, walked into the room from outside and loudly said "don't touch your icky bits, honey!" I ignored T, looked right at my daughter, and said "that's your vulva, but you don't have any icky parts."

This morning when I dropped her off, T made a huge deal about asking me, in an exaggeratedly sweet and condescending way, if we were allowing her to remove her diaper and "play with herself" since that's usually against their policy. I responded, in an equally sweet and condescending way, that no, we don't usually let her run around with no diaper on, for hygienic purposes, but that we don't want her to internalize any shame about her body, feel like it's not OK to explore it, or use silly and negative euphemisms for her body parts. T dismissively arched her brows at me but verbally agreed. I'm not sure if I won this one or not...


  1. voiceofreason8/07/2009

    Ugh. I'm not sure you can win with that type.

  2. Anonymous8/09/2009

    youor icky bits?!?!?!

    Not "your private bits", which would at least be in line with what she implied to you later, but her icky bits!?!?!?!

  3. Anonymous8/09/2009

    I'd say definitely not a win - 'T' sounds like a case of "a woman convinced against her will/ is of her own opinion still".

    Which is very sad, because I think your policy is absolutely right.

  4. Anonymous8/10/2009

    Talk to T's boss about this, pronto. And thanks for the voice of reason.

  5. i'm similarly appalled that this person said "icky bits."

    and children should never be ashamed of their bodies. they're just curious.

    you may not have won with T, but your response was very appropriate--perhaps it made T stop and think about the words that come out of her mouth in the future...