Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My four-year-old's 'Body Issues'

It's become a bit of a beloved tradition as of late. My Miss M will wander into my bathroom when I'm in the shower, plop herself on the (closed) toilet seat, and announce:
"Mom, let's talk."
We talk about all sorts of things, usually related to which cartoons we've been watching, what books we've been reading, what kinds of cool toys her friends have, or which new name she's assigned to any of her dolls (or herself). It always puts a smile on my face - she seeks me out for conversation; she wants us to know each other. I'm a lucky mama.

Today, though, she opened the conversation with a statement a bit beyond our usual topics.

"Mom, I really like one part of my body that's my favorite, but there's one part of my body I don't like."

Curious, and with a touch of trepidation, I ventured, "Oh really? What don't you like?"

"My bladder." 
Interesting choice.

"Oh? Why's that?"

"Because it's not tickly, so I decided I don't like that." 
Hmm, a surprising offense to hold against an internal organ, but reasonably logical, I suppose.

"I see. And which part of your body is your favorite?"

"My powerful, powerful brain." 
That's. My. Girl.

"What does your brain do?"

"Lots of stuff. Like, smell flowers, and moves the muscles so I can pick flowers; it does everything!"

A simple book about human anatomy, shared with my little one when her interest piqued (her trips to several doctor's offices, which often display posters of anatomical drawings - like the one of the eye in her Opthamologist's office, for example - probably helped to encourage this fascination) has defined, for now, what it means in her world to have body issues. How long can I make this last? Oh dear Lord, let it go on forever.

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