Baby’s First Sex Toy
Bath time is an exciting time for our now two-year-old twins. Part of their bath time ritual is getting to brush their own teeth with their beloved Sesame Street toothbrushes. A couple of months ago while brushing her teeth, one of the girls–I’ll use her nickname Roomba–started using the toothbrush on other parts of her body. She combed her hair with it. She scrubbed her nose. She scrubbed her chest, her arms, etc. All the while I made “ewww noises as she did it. It was a way of encouraging her silliness, and a gentle way of letting her know that the toothbrush should be used in her mouth. Her sister Scooba, meanwhile, was quite happily chewing on her Elmo toothbrush.
I’m sure you can see where this is heading.
Roomba put her toothbrush down between her legs, pushed it up against herself, and looked directly at me. She waited for her father to make his funny scrunchy face.
I’m pretty liberal if not radical in my sexual beliefs. However, that moment made me freeze up. I knew their sexual education would be coming, and that it would take place over years, but I didn’t expect to have to deal with masturbation at 22 months of age.
After a few uncomfortable moments, I finally settled on, “Your toothbrush doesn’t go there, in that kinda sing-song giggly voice used on children the world over¦”yet, I added mentally to the end of that sentence. I didn’t want to discourage her from touching herself, and exploring her own body, but at the same time, I did want her to use her toothbrush to, you know, brush her teeth. I think it came across in the right way because she put it back in her mouth without blinking or protest. I stifled the “ewww that time.
Our sexual education is a lifetime class. It looks like I’m starting the “how to encourage your child as a sexual being while maintaining your own boundaries module sooner rather than later.