The story you are about to read takes place during the hot
summer months of 2008. Unfortunately everything you will read
is true. I'd really like to say this is a story about
chipmunks, ice cream and teddy bears, but it's not.
It's about parenting, and the fact that I just can't leave
well-enough alone. For better or worse you never when,
if, how, why or where the things you tell a child will
come back to haunt you, you just have to know that it
"It's gonna be a hot one today!" I couldn't tell if Cathy was
giving me a weather report, or in a simple roundabout way trying to
make me jealous of her air-conditioned workplace, because I
absolutely hate the heat! 82 degrees tops, with a breeze and no
humidity, that's my limit.
"Umph," was my reply. It only was 7am and the action of this
simple response caused me to sweat.
"Maybe you could go to the pool park today?" Cathy
suggested. Brilliant idea! It just so happens that we
live conveniently around the corner from a public pool and
sprinkler park. A perfect, no hassle oasis that has served us
well on hot days such as this…
Mid June, about 2 weeks prior….
Lucy had begun to "discover" certain new things about herself.
Things that eventually led to the heart-stopping public
declaration, "Daddy, I have a Jay-Jay!" This suddenly
shocking phrase was the direct result of a "mommy/daughter"
conversation that I was uninformed about. You see, I was
always told that and one that when discussing the so called
"private parts" of one's body you're supposed to use the correct
anatomical term. So in my current omniscient state I decided
to correct, the trend of funny names for serious parts
"Lucy. The correct term for your 'Jay-Jay' is a Vagina." That
was all I said, and quite frankly all too much for me to handle. I
thought, I honestly thought we'd be done with this topic for a very
Back to late June….
It was hot, really hot, hot like, is the sun actually gonna fall
on top of us hot. Lucy was slathered in SPF 180 and if it were even
the least bit aesthetically pleasing, I would have gladly adorned a
Speedo to the sprinkler park.
The one thing I've noticed since I've become a stay at home dad,
is that there are not a lot of stay at home dads in the
neighborhood and by not a lot, I mean none. This doesn't make me
feel weird; it just makes me obvious. I'm almost always completely
surrounded by gaggle of mothers and nannies. This means my social
conversation which is usually consists of sports, beer and farts
had to be altered slightly. Now it's all about diet, reality
television and napping habits. That's not to say you can't slip a
fart story in there, some mommies are crazy! Anyway my point is, we
get to the sprinkler park and as usual, it's packed with mommies
I release Lucy from her stroller, give a couple of friendly smiles
to a few of the faces I recognize, but for the most part, I just
stay back and smote the sun. It had only been about 15 minutes, but
the heat was just relentless. There is absolutely no shade on the
park and I started pick-up the faint smell rotisserie chicken.
Since there wasn't a restaurant or picnic within eye sight I
assumed that the "chicken" smell was my soul cooking from the
inside and that was all the excuse I needed.
"Lu, let's go, it's too hot." Now what I should have done
next was scooped up her greasy little heat soaked body and plunked
her into the stroller, but I didn't. She begged for a few more
minutes, and I gave in. Then without warning Lucy yells…"Daddy look
at that lady's vagina!"
I took me a second to actually process what she had just said.
After all there were a lot of screaming children around, and it was
entirely possible some lady just walked into the park with an
Iguana. Then she yelled it again, this time she definitely said the
word "vagina." I was shocked, scared and confused. At this
point, my sweat had actually begun to scream as it ran down my
face. The delicious chicken smell that was my soul is now making me
hungry and my daughter is fixated on some stranger's vagina. This
had to be a misunderstanding, a simple case of mistaken anatomy,
I'm 98% sure that she is using this word out of context, she had to
be. I mean this is gonna turn out to be a really funny story about
the time Lucy got confused and said the word vagina really loud at
the sprinkler park, right? Then she points at a lady who is bent
over playing with a little wet child. Crap! It's official. This
story is now about the 2% I wasn't sure about.
The "vagina" in question belonged to one of the Eastern Bloc
nannies that troll the neighborhood parks. If I had to guess she
was either a former gymnast or a professional shoe tier, 'cause she
was bent over in such a way, that I wasn't sure if she knew how to
use her knees. She appeared to be snapped in half at the waist, she
looked like a folding chair! Now the vagina itself was not blatant,
I mean it wasn't as though she was naked. She was wearing very,
very, very "short" shorts, that were also too big and very loose,
and what I can only say assume as a confirmation of the heat, she
wasn't wearing any underwear.
Regardless the reason, there it was, right down the barrel of
Lucy's finger less than 8ft away. We were unofficially in a staring
competition of the most uncomfortable variety.
"Doesn't she have a big vagina Daddy?" You know, there are at
least 25 other adults in the park, 24 of which are female, how is
it possible that this problem, this view has found me! Surely
somebody else has seen this and will politely walk over and tell
her that her vagina is hanging out of her shorts. This lady
is completely oblivious to the situation. She just keeps
going about her business. I mean… I can't say anything right?
I'm the last person who should confront her about her omission of
underwear. The next few seconds seem like a lifetime as Lucy
continues to yell the word vagina every 0.005 seconds. It's almost
as thought she knows this is making me uncomfortable. "Daddy, she's
got a big girl vagina. Remember daddy, I have a vagina? Girls have
vagina's and boys have a wee-wee, right?"
"Right, wee-wees. Whatever let's go!" Now she's just mocking me!
She's smirking; she knows what she's doing. She's saying this whole
problem would be much easier to handle if I were screaming the word
I try to grab her, but it's a lot like trying to pick up a 30lb
grease covered water balloon. Instead I slide her along the rubber
playground surface and ploop her into her scalding hot stroller,
she begins to sizzle. I walk at break-neck speed in order to get
home. I tell her it's not nice to point at someone's vagina. I had
no idea what I was talking about; I was trying to defuse the whole
situation by teaching a 2 year old how to appropriately use the
word vagina in public?!?! This is not a talk a daddy is supposed to
be having. I was completely mortified.
Later that night….
Cathy walks through the door and Lucy quickly runs into her arms.
She is dry and clean which makes it easy for her mommy to swoop her
up. Cathy gives her a squeeze then begins her post-work
"So how was your day? Did you go to the Pool park? Did you
"Yeah! We had fun. We got wet in the water at the pool park. We
played and played…. It was so much fun, AND we saw a big girl's
Jay-Jay, right daddy? Not a vagina, a Jay-Jay, right?"
Cathy looks at me; she seems concerned, "What in the world is she
I knew she would ask me this, and I knew no matter how hard I
tried to explain it, it was gonna sound weird. I took a great
big breath, a giant gulp of wine and shrugged my shoulders and this
is the best I could come up with.
"Yeah-yeah, we went to the park, played in the sprinklers and we
saw a Nanny with no panties."
"A Nanny with no panties?" Cathy repeated.
"Yup. A Nanny with NO panties."
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