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I’d like to talk about vaginas.

Right, now that I’ve got your attention, let me explain.

Frog doesn’t have a vagina. Well, I suppose she does, but we don’t call it that. She’s a girl and everything, without a willy (as her friend, Arthur, likes to point out over and over again) but, until recently her “girl’s parts” didn’t have a name.

We dabbled with “flower” but it didn’t fit. “Mini” enjoyed a short stay in our house too, but was eventually sent packing. For a while it was just, “that bit” or “you know…” until a better way of referring to it came along.

It didn’t really matter before. Not when Frog wasn’t speaking or busy taking off her nappy and examining her entire body in meticulous fashion, often in search of a good new colouring canvas for her crayons.

But, the other day, the childminder asked – in passing – what we call her “bits”. Frog had been desperately pointing to herself “down there” apparently trying to articulate what lurked inside her nappy.

It’s the word she has learned from me. The word I finally found myself using. The word I learned from my mother, which she learned from her mother, ad infinitim etc etc.

The word?

Tuppence. Or “tuppy” for short.

This is what my sister and I had, when we were little girls. So it seems only fitting for my own daughter to have one too.

To my ears, it sounds dainty, cute and a little bit funny. Exactly fitting for a toddler.

So, if my daughter happens to tug at your sleeve, pointing at her trousers while shouting “tuppy”, don’t be alarmed. She just wants to tell you of her new discovery.

Now, own up, what’s a tuppy called in your house?


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