"He showed us his willy."
Two pairs of tanned limbs point in Sproglet's direction as their deep northern voices chorus in unison. I look to Sproglet, waiting for him to deny the charge.
"They told me to!" He shouts indignantly. I look back to his accusers. They shrug their princess shoulders and hide under their eyes under their long fringes, twirling their curls as they cluck the inside of their mouths. I look to their mother and she looks back. I have no idea what to say, to them, to their Mum, to my son the flasher.
I should explain. We are in York, at my Aunt's and Sproglet has buddied up with two girls next door. They are 4 and 5, called Thea and Grace, have long hair tumbling down their backs, big brown eyes, rosy cheeks and shining white smiles. They never stop asking questions: 'do you live in another country?' 'Where is his Daddy?' 'Does Sproglet's Daddy get the train to work, in Australia?' Sproglet met them on Friday about two whole minutes after we arrived as they bounced over and then cajoled him into playing on the their trampoline and then insisted he 'stay for tea.' Every morning he rises and his first question is 'when can I see the girls.' He has called them 'the girls' so often I am unsure he even knows their names. They look like twins, dashing around in a sea of glitter and pink and stripes. One has a Spanish dancers costume in flouncy satin with swirly tassles that she shakes with every step. Sproglet is transfixed - as are they with him. They fight for his attention over dinner and follow him around the garden. He holds court, playing to his adoring audience. So when they asked to see the contents of his pants he felt obliged to do so. Apparently it was only a fleeting show and tell, thank god, but I had to have the 'respecting your body' chat. The girls don't appear to be scarred by the experience - as the younger one asked if Sproglet could stay over 'and sleep in my bed.' Sproglet seemed keen but I pointed out to him it would be a bit of a squish. Unisex sleepovers are at least 12 years away I hope... I note that Sproglet had no interest in seeing their feminine bits - and they didn't offer to show theirs. A raw deal for Sproglet, I feel. However, I am relieved that my son didn't ask as these things wouldn't occur to him. This episode has highlighted to me that girls do indeed mature faster than boys and are definitely interested in bodies (and how they work) first.
Suffice it is to say that when the little one (aged 4) invited Sproglet for a shared bath time, we felt she had learnt enough about the male anatomy for one day and politely declined. Best to leave your audience always wanting more.