“Mum, we’re learning sexuality education at school,” says Ethan, my seven year old son.
“Already? But you’re only in grade two.”
“What do you mean, mate?” asks my husband, Jason.
“I can name all of our toilet parts,” he says confidently, ” penis, scrot-chum, vagina…”
“Great, well done,” I say. Not exactly dinner conversation, is it? “So, what else happened today?”
“Well, I know that you have a viola, mum.”
I choke on my own saliva, “whaaaat did you say?”
Jason is sniggering in the background while my jaw bounces off the table.
“I said, I know that you have a viola, you know, down there.” Ethan points to his crotch, a gentle shade of pink creeping across his face. At least he has the good grace to blush.
“No Eth, I don’t have a viola, down there,” I reply. “Good lord Jason, what the hell are they teaching these kids?”
“Yes, you do.” His little chin sticks out with great indignance.
“Ethan, if there was a large violin in my girlie bits, don’t you think I’d know about it?”
“Oh, wait. No! It’s a Volvo. That’s it, you have a Volvo.”
Jason is now openly laughing.
“No, it’s not called a Volvo either,” I say.
“A vulture?” Now he’s just guessing.
Jason has graduated to hysterics, tears running down his cheeks as his face paralysed.
Ethan catches on that he has an audience and follows his father’s lead, even though he has no idea what he’s laughing at.
“No! It is certainly not called a vulture. A vulture is a bird that eats dead meat. Only an idiot would put his penis near that.”
“Stop, stop! …can’t breathe,” Jason gasps. What’s the next step from hysterics? Heart attack?
“Why would any man want to put his penis near a vulture?” Ethan asks innocently. The expression on his face tells me that the sexuality education hasn’t gone into details yet – thank god.
“He wouldn’t. It’s not called a vulture Ethan. It’s called a…”
“A Vulva! That’s it mum! You’ve got a Vulva.”
Great. My seven year old son knows the name and location of my Vulva. Excellent.
Jason has no hope of composing himself any time soon. Every time he looks at me he’s off again, thumbing the tears away from his eyes, his face the colour of a vine ripened tomato.
So there you go. Life as the only female in a house of five males can be tough. Sure, I am the Queen and Princess rolled into one, but I am also the odd one out. The minority. The lonely girl. The only one with a Vulva.