Addendum To Vulva (Or, ‘Once You Start Talking About It, You Just Can’t Stop’)

October 28, 2007

We’re still reading The Book at storytime. Wonderbaby asks for it, and in any case, it’s become something of a personal challenge to find ways of discussing, with her, the vulva-like flower and the abbreviated erotic haiku that accompanies its image without explicitly discussing, you know, gynecology and cultural interpretations thereof, while at the same time affording ourselves ample opportunity for dirty giggles.

Why flower hot Mommy?

- Because the flower’s on fire, honey.

Why flower got fire Mommy?

- Because sometimes, sweetie, when flowers are really, really happy, they burst into flame.

I’d like to thank* the ever-thoughtful Kittenpie for pointing out that Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red Canna does kinda look like it’s on fire – which, really, makes the whole erotic subtext of the board-book page in question all the less subtextual, to my mind, but still. And, too, I’d like to thank dear Bubandpie for consulting her own experts on this particular text and reminding me that the story continues on the very next page:

Fire truck. You know, to put out the flames on the vulvic lily on the preceding page.

A well-equipped fire truck, too, obviously. Note the numbers.

Nothing eases the heat of a flaming vulvic lily than Number 69.

I think that we’ve all learned something important about the pedagogy of sexuality, haven’t we folks? I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but I feel, strongly, that it’s important.


*Thanks, too, to the ever-scorching OTJ, who nicely underscored my point about the inherent lameness of using botanical imagery in depictions of female genitalia by e-mailing me a link to a page with more colourful descriptions. It is, of course, much more, um, vivid to use wildlife imagery than imagery involving flowers and jewels. Although now we have to put away Goodnight Gorilla. (You won’t get that joke unless you follow this link. But I warn you, the language that you are about to encounter is not for the fainthearted or excessively prudish. Consider yourself warned.)

*Non-Sexual Miscellany:

1) Sicky preggos out there – I’ve discovered something that sorta helps the nausea, which at this stage, for me, is a discovery of epic proportions: decaffeinated Lady Earl Grey tea, with honey and lemon. TRY IT.

2) Karen MEG – you’ve won the draw for some cool Crayola stuff. E-mail me!

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    slouching mom October 28, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Seriously? 69? WTF?

    motherbumper October 28, 2007 at 10:51 am

    The more I did, the more adult humour I find in the baby stuff. Dora is filled to the brim with sexual innuendo – I kid you not. At first I thought it was my dirty mind but nope, it’s the creators trying to stay awake at creative meetings and censor boards.

    Karen MEG October 28, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Okay, now I’ve got to get that boardbook for ME.
    And hey, that’s great about the crayola stuff – can’t wait – thanks to you and wonderbaby!

    crazymumma October 28, 2007 at 11:19 am

    In my minds eye, I see some seriously stoned dudes and dudettes sitting around putting this book toigether. And between hits on the bong saying ” yeah yeah man, put #69 on the truck maaan, wonder if anyone will ever, like notice…..”

    Kyla October 28, 2007 at 11:33 am

    I was thinking exactly what crazymumma said.

    That really is quite hilarious.

    Beck October 28, 2007 at 1:26 pm


    bubandpie October 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Hehe. Now my day is complete. :)

    b*babbler October 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Nothing says a beautiful Sunday afternoon and story time with your kids quite like fiery vulva flowers and the number 69 (on a firetruck no less – important when you consider the firefighters who may be putting out the flames of those burning vulvas. Ah, yes.)

    Really, who needs the spiritual enlightenment of organized religion when you’ve got that, right? :)

    Julie Pippert October 28, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Oh BWAHAHAHAHAHA how deliberate versus how subconscious? I often appreciate/despite adult-oriented humor in kid-themed things, but most of it is obvious and deliberate. That? I wonder. LOL

    And I’m going to follow that link, fan of O’Keefe that I am. ;)

    Using My Words

    Mouse October 28, 2007 at 7:14 pm


    I too am wondering about the coincidence vs. subversion possibilities.

    kittenpie October 28, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Oh god. It gets worse. Okay, now I KNOW the people responsible are in fits of giggles that they managed to get that past everybody.

    Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) October 28, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    This just makes me want to buy the book to search for more on the pages.

    In related Baby Einstein shocking news… has anyone noticed on the video about water (Baby Neptune, I think) that when the little girl says, “Ocean!” it TOTALLY sounds like she’s saying “Oh Shit!”

    Or is it just me?

    Shannon October 28, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    This is a riot. I’m wheezing in the office (where I’m supposed to be working) because I’m smothering myself trying not to laugh too loud and wake the kids. Heaven forbid I should have to explain why! We did not go with the full names yet, btw. I read an OTJ post to my husband and he said, “That’s it – we’ll go with ‘gina and we’ll just add the va later when they’re older.” Works for me.

    Liz October 28, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    I’m coming out now and saying that I love you for the tea suggestion.
    (I’m puking my brains out. Bah!)

    Love that the fire engine is #69. Not so subtle!

    painted maypole October 28, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    you know those crazy people at baby einstein were just giggling away as they put the book together. That could not possibly an accident

    ~JJ! October 29, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Damn, I love Goodnight Gorilla too…

    I’ll never see it the same way again…

    I have to get that book you are talking about though…I’ve never seen it…and I want to meet the creative director of THAT project.

    Anonymous October 29, 2007 at 11:00 am

    hey catherine the hunky fireman riding in the hot cherry red truck can quell my flaming red-hot lilly er vulva via 69…hahahahhhh there is no way that stuff in that baby einstein book is not deliberate.LAVANDULA

    Lady M October 29, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the Earl Grey tip. Candied ginger (packaged like dried fruit) at Trader Joe’s is saving my life right now.

    -The Shiny Happy Mama- October 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    “Why are you laughing so loud mommy?” says Lilah. Hilarious!! Now I have to buy that book.

    LD October 29, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    hilarious–I’ve gotta get a copy of that book, if only to pretend to not notice someday when my grown son points it out. 69 in a kids book– that’s just too funny.

    sam October 29, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Where the hell did you buy this book HBM? WTF?

    Now I have to scour every single book of Carter’s to see what naughty stuff is lurking in there.

    BOSSY October 29, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    See Bossy die. From laughing.

    Mama Luxe October 29, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Okay, now, that HAS to be intentional. Who did they hire to write this one? At least it is amusing for you and (hopefully) goes over her head.

    Oh, The Joys October 29, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Brings whole new meaning to the phrase, “Gorillas in the Mist.”

    …and now for a post on the finer points of lube?

    Her Bad Mother October 29, 2007 at 5:45 pm
    mothergoosemouse October 29, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    #69 fire truck to put out the flaming vulvic lily…I think I just peed myself.

    Christine October 29, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    ooooh–how NAUGHTY.

    Janet October 29, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    One day a much older Wonderbaby is going to have an epiphany, smack herself in the forehead and say, “Flower imagery? Fire truck # 69? Dear God, my mother was reading me erotica!”

    Depending on her age at the time of the epiphany, she will either be horrified or think you are the coolest mother evah.

    My Keyboard Voice October 31, 2007 at 9:16 am

    No WAY! What’s on the next page!? A purple tower? I hope there’s a little lesson on protection in there. Maybe some faceless hands rolling a carry bag onto a folded playpen. LOL

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