My nine-year-old daughter brought forth the following question while we drove home from Hogwart’s Camp the other evening: why does boys call “them” “nuts”.

I had to stop from driving into a ditch because the “them” meant “nuts” and the “nuts” meant “nuts” and I was about to go some special kind of other “nuts” – something like an aneurysm – just thinking about all the potential ways I didn’t want to discuss this topic with the intelligent, funny, athletic and gorgeous nine-year-old in the backseat.

She’s still my little girl, after all (no matter how 50’s paternalistic that sounds).

And while I have no trouble imagining her as a respected lawyer or a talented heart surgeon, I have an incredibly hard time with her using the term “nuts” and then laughing like the child she still is. It just doesn’t jibe with what I know about her and what I’ve experienced about her personality over the past nine years.

(Her ENTIRE life!)

No one tells you these things when you become a parent.

“Oh, Seth, that first time your pre-teen daughter asks you about not-so-clever nicknames for boys’ genitals (nads, junk, twig & berries, balls), it’ll just be a hoot!”


They just lob sexist crap like “you’ll have to beat the boys away with a stick” or “you’ll have to lock her up” or “you’ll have to buy a shotgun“.

You get the gist.

I’m not sure the truth is any better than the trite lies. The real truth is that now I have to explain that boys use all kinds of words to describe themselves (and her). Don’t envy me.

In short: I was/am woefully underprepared for her tweenagedom and I’d like it to stop post hast, please and thank you very much.

That said, I want to inform her.
I don’t want to hide sex or sexuality from her.
I want her to be knowledgeable and comfortable and prepared in every way, shape, and form she can be.

I just didn’t realize I’d be the Urban Dictionary for genital slang to a kid who isn’t yet in double digits.

The actual definition conversation hasn’t taken place yet, but I’m actively using any forum I can think of to solicit feedback. I’d love to hear from folks about which “dirty word” or piece of filthy sex slang you learned first, whom you learned it from and when your parents had any form of “the talk” with you.

You know, for research.

I definitely dodged a bullet though, since we were pulling into the driveway when she brought up the topic (while my in-laws were visiting), so I punted saying I “didn’t want to get into it now” or some such parental excuse.

I can feel the “next time” coming soon though.
Sooner than I would have imagined or liked, but I don’t have to imagine or like her being uninformed – I can do something about that.

Which may be this: never trust your kid at a Hogwart’s Camp at a church. It’s unnatural the kinds of things (witchcraft, monotheism, “nuts”) they’ll pick up there.

Until next time, gentle reader, watch your nuts.

3 thoughts on “Nuts!

  1. Jessica Weiss says:

    I had to ask my mom what balls were once, and if I recall correctly she just told me “that means testicles” and maybe had to describe the bits she was talking about since I didn’t have brothers, but I got the gist and went away satisfied.

    I do distinctly remember having to ask my mom what a hooker was due to Three’s Company. Chrissy is upset because someone assumed she was a hooker, and since I didn’t know what one was I didn’t understand why she was upset. So I asked mom, who was totally straight with me – “It’s a woman who has sex with men for money.” It still didn’t make sense to me why that would upset her, so then Mom told me it was illegal, which made NO sense to me since if the woman wanted to do that and the man wanted to pay for it why would that be illegal? (I still think it’s dumb.)

    My stepmother was asked a similar question by my half-sister several decades later. The word “whore” was used in a movie, and when Grace asked “what’s a whore?” her mother told her “it’s a woman who kisses men she doesn’t love.”

    Based on my experience, I have to say that I appreciate my mother’s direct and unflinching approach to the awkward questions I had as a child. There was a LOT of stuff she wasn’t great at, but she did tell me what things meant without ambiguity so I wouldn’t be walking around poorly-informed. As awkward as it can be to have to explain things clearly, it can be even MORE awkward later if you’ve left things open to interpretation, since the interpretation may end up even further away from the truth.

  2. My “plan” (such as it is) is to be truthful & try not to make too big a deal out of it (likely a bit too late). This has been the strategy we’ve always employed as parents, but the questions & issues don’t seem to be getting any easier with the passage of time. I was just more surprised that she’s nine, but that’s my issue, not hers. She deserves a candid, forthright response.

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