When Leroy was old enough to speak clearly, we were in a store checkout line when I heard this pass his lips:
" Mom! So when can I cut off my penis?"
The checkout lady was shocked as all hell and when we got to the car, I explained to Leroy that we really can't speak about our private parts (or cutting them off for that matter) in a public place. Those conversations were for home. Bubby and I explained to Leroy that if he really wasn't happy with his boy parts as an adult, he could certainly get a surgery done so that he could have female body parts. It was brief and matter-of-fact, but we explained that children couldn't make those kind of decisions until they were adults.
Leroy then went through a phase until about the age of five where he dressed in his sister's clothing and was quite fascinated with dressing like a girl. Leroy loved ruby slippers and wore out his sisters pair. For Halloween when Leroy was four, he dressed up as a blue PowerPuff girl. He wore dresses and girly shoes at home and I explained that he could dress up like a girl when he was home, but when we left the house, it was appropriate to put on pants because society was unkind to people that dressed differently.
After starting Kindergarten, the girl phase was over. Leroy never talked about wanting to be a girl again. He is quite masculine and "rough and tough". Leroy likes to play with bionicles and swords. He loves to wrestle and hates Polly Pockets and Barbies. I thought that the girl thing was just a phase.
This week at the dinner table, we played the game "Table Topics". I chose the adult version because I think the questions are a great opportunity to to expand the children's vocabulary and to discuss topics more important than their favorite Disney character. Bubby had to work late so it was just the five of us.
Tori chose the card and read it aloud: "Do you feel that the woman's form of the body is more beautiful or the man's?
I then explained to the children that if they were looking at two large statues both naked, which would they find more beautiful in shape. I said men's bodies were more muscular and lean. Women's bodies tend to be more rounded and plump.
After the giggling stopped.........
Izzy said, "I like male bodies. I like MY body best."(he then promptly starting playing with his penis)
I said, "I like female bodies. I love the roundness of their breasts and buttocks.
Tori said, "I GUESS I like the man's better but I don't know why."
Christian said, "I like the woman's body better..um...for the reasons that Mom said."
Leroy said, "I like the woman's body better. Oh, and Mom? When did you say I could cut off my penis?"
I guess it's not so much of a phase now is it?