Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Underwear on Parade (At Least We Wear Undies, Britney!)

"Wanna see my unner-wear?" my daughter innocently asked a tall stranger in line at Kohl"s department store today. "Pees looka' my unner-wear, mister!" she demanded loudly when he did not respond.


"Uh, eh, excuse me, 'lil miss?" the giant man choked with surprise. Not only was he strikingly tall, dark and handsome, but he was also impeccably color coordinated in his sharp, trendy olive green and hummus khaki neo-preppie-yet-still-punk ensemble. "You want me to look at wha', little girl?"

"My new unner-wear," Pigtail Sprite chuckled, widening her massive azure eyes, batting her jet black curled eyelashes I would kill for.

She jiggled her two-foot mini-person body like a bubbly cheerleader and rattled her prized pack of girly under things like a pom pom inches from the vast tree trunk legs belonging to the man taken aback behind us.

Mister Gigantic smiled back at her and cupped his glossy, Arsenio Hall length fingers over his green eyes, dramatically blocking the sight of Pigtail Sprite's glittery elastic waistbanded loot, as if teaching her a concise sign language lesson on modesty. "I won't look, okay? I promise," he said laughing quietly.

Now that I think of it, the whole exchange was kind of creepy.

Even though Pigtail Sprite isn't yet potty trained, I'm stocking up on her first "big girl' undies. Hopefully they'll put an end to to her sashaying and shan-taying around the house with her brother's Spiderman, Hulk and Bob the Builder underoo tighty whities stretched over her poofy diaper. You should see how much junk appears to be in her trunk when she does it. It's a hoot.

The concept of our baby girl wearing her big brothers' superhero boxers and briefs is getting a little weird, even for feminist me. At first it was cute. Even adorable. Apparently only to me. Her big brothers certainly don't appreciate their little sister's gender bending, underwear drawer foraging habits.

"You don't have what it takes to wear 'big boy' underwear," her macho, sporty biggest brother, 5 going on 30, weighed in.

"Yeah, you don't have a penis like us," her second biggest brother, Cheeks, 3 but seemingly suspended in the terrible twos, bellowed in his biggest "big man" voice. He pointed at his crotch to drive his point home.

Pigtail Sprite responded with a ten-minute drop to the floor tantrum. When she peeled herself from the wooden floorboards, she stormed her brothers' underwear drawers once again.

"Daddy doesn't wear girl underwear, right mommy?" Cheeks later asked me with a stoic look of seriousness and concern in his narrowed for emphasis brown eyes. I hope not. Cheeks should know since he so relishes wearing my high heels whenever he unearths them from the heap of mismatched shoes in my clutter hole of a closet.

Back at Kohl's today ... "Whoa. Unhand the underwear, little lady," I objected to my long from socially adept just yet, innocent and plenty curious 2-year-old. With a curt flick of my only free hand I wrested the three-pack of My Little Pony glitter speckled pastel underwear from Pigtail Sprite and bent down to her level to explain.

"Underwear is private," I clued her in with a hushed voice, close enough for her to get a whiff of my sour eggnog latte breath. "We don't show people our underwear." I stopped myself before adding the words "especially not strangers" to the end of the sentence, not quite ready to broach the topic of "stranger danger" with her. She's so young, so free to view the world with fresh eyes. Eyes of wonder. I wouldn't want to take that away from her. Not yet, anyway.

"Why, mommy?"

There's no way I could field Pigtail's question in a way that she would both fully grasp at such a young age and maintain her innocence about that tender, sensitive connotations surrounding big words like "underwear" and concepts like "down there." (I empower her with the real, technical name for her private parts, BTW. "Down there" seems so shameful. Why not call it what it really is?)

Polly Pocket! Where's that tiny, skinny, plastic bitch when I need her?! I fished around our disorganized stroller cart hybrid canvas on metal Kohl's cart contraption for an object of distraction. Polly Pocket would do. And she did.

That's the most excitement (and a touch of bashful embarrassment) I've had yet this season while waiting like a stooge in a cramped, torpid check-out line containing so many of frustrated, impatient last-minute Christmas shoppers like me and my not so shy Pigtail Sprite.

It could be worse. Pigtail Sprite could've exclaimed "fuck!" like her eldest brother did while we waited in a brisk wind in line at Home Depot to ring up our $23 Christmas tree. Can you say Ralphie from "A Christmas Story"?! I didn't have the nerve to give my mouthy offender the soap-gag treatment like Ralphie's mom did. In fact, I didn't punish mine at all.

Today I realized as I was folded over at the waist trying in vain to simply explain the privacy of delicate under things to my only daughter who likes to wear boy's underwear and who doesn't yet know the difference between boys and girls, that my own lace scalloped underwear peeked over the top of my pants accidentally in plain trashy view.

At least my accidental peep show at crowded Kohl's today wasn't purposeful. Hey, at least I wear underwear when I go out in public. I wish I could say the same for bald and baring it all Britney. Somebody please tell me she's not seriously a role model for our young daughters.

How do you explain the touchy concepts of "privacy" and "modesty" to a two-year-old girl?

Maybe you don't at all. I knew I shouldn't have opened my big mouth.


At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Estella said...


Oh my LORD. I hope the book writing doesn't get TOO MUCH in the way of the blogging. I don't know if I can handle long periods of time without your stories. Oh how they warm my heart. So on those nights when my little one helps me peel the potatoes, and mutters "SHIT" when the potato slips from his chubby little fingers, I can simply breathe and remember...I'M. NOT. ALONE.

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

I can't help you..Caity is naked most of the time....like to fart on people and sit on her dad!

We have bought her Dora underwear...she wears all three at the same time over her diaper.

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Two different friends of mine talk about it as private and recommend that their kids "touch themselves all they want" as long as their in their own rooms by themselves!

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

Sorry...I just wanted to add...I have been chuckling all day that your daughter is the pig-tailed sprite.

I love that name.

I could never use that name on my daughter...as cute and adorable as she is......we have said we regret not calling her Bertha (apologies to the berthas out there)because of the way she chucks her weight around.

At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just refer to it as "privates" although my daughter and I do sometimes say "hoochie Koockie" which drives my hubby insane!! LOL. Do you tell her it's her vagina? Or do you go into all the actual parts? I read another blogger who's 18 month old said that her Vulva hurt durring a diaper change since she had a rash. I think vagina is such an ugly word...penis isn't so bad, and i do use that word, and I don't even have any boys! Geesh. Maybe I'm backward.

At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot!

Polly Pocket! Where's that tiny, skinny, plastic bitch when I need her?!

that line killed me and I about woke up my sleeping baby!!

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Iris said...

As a nurse, I have taught my kids the proper names of their private parts. My Tuc, the 3 year old, totally drove my 75yr old mother crazy this summer. "I have a cute penis" was his mantra. "Mommy? Do you like my penis?" "Yes Tuc, I like your penis, after all, I grew it" My mother was mortified.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger ewe are here said...

Yes, underwear should be private!

I wish someone would explain that to all the thong-6-inches-over-the-top-of-the-jeans-wearing-girls. Pigtail Sprite should definitely learn that this is NOT an attractive look. Really!

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