I am a wuss, and it’s odd, because I am also quite ballsy.

I love language, love rolling words around in my mouth, love experimenting with the musicality in different pairings. I have favorite words and words that I aspire to be able to use without sounding affected. I also have a small library of words that make my skin crawl. Some I do not like for the sound they make coming out of a person’s mouth, moist, being a great example. Others I hate for having been embarassed by them growing up, case in point, horny. Just typing it makes my skin crawl.

We decided fairly early on that the girls would learn the proper terms for their bodies. Vagina is really the only word we’ve had to deal with so far. We introduced penis so they’d know that their friend Mason does not, in fact have a vagina. We also explained about my breasts and feeding Avery, and Briar before her. Nipples and testacles have never come up, perhaps because for whatever reason they are words that I struggle to say without blushing.

The other night I was putting Briar to bed. She was rubbing my back, her head nestled in the curve between my shoulder and my neck. Touching the center of my back she traced a small mole.

She looked at my face and said:

Hey mama, you got a nipple, right here you got a nipple.

And then she laid her head back down. My cheeks were flaming and then the laughter came so hard and so fast that she sprang up and let loose giggles of her own. We collapsed on her bed, hysterical tears still springing from my eyes well into the third bedtime story.