Originally published on quora.com with the title, ‘What is one thing you caught your child doing that you wish you had never seen?’, I was astonished by this piece that I had to share with y’all. Check on it and sound off in the comments section, guys.
Oh man, I will never forget this (because it still happens).
My two year old daughter had an orgasm. Right in front of me. From grinding her little vagina on the corner of her toddler sized ottoman.
SO here’s the full story:
When my daughter was about four months old, I was giving her a bath in her baby bath, which came with a spa whirlpool attachment. One day, I put her in the bath, and the whirlpool was facing her feet (normally it was pointed at her head, but she was on the little elevated thing so it would just circulate around her). She started cooing happily. I figured – like a normal dad – she was just happy for her bath.
Cue next bath time: I put her in the correct way this time, and she realized she couldn’t feel the hot water jet on her vagina (I didn’t connect this for a while, and even then I just thought she liked how it felt on her feet). BABY. WAS. PISSED.
Fast forward a few months, and her grandmother bought her a toddler sized easy chair that came with an ottoman. Now she had always been a squirmy wormy; we just never figured out that she was trying to stimulate her vagina on things.
To this day, I still don’t know why she tried to hold herself up on the sides of it and hump the corner of it. I have no idea where she got that idea. I just remember watching her and wondering if she was itchy, or had a UTI, or some other scary thing that a dad who grew up with only brothers had never experienced. Then she did it. She let out this low guttural sound, ignored everyone around her, and then stood up fresh as a daisy.
If I could have bleached my brain, I would have. So my enlightened reaction was to make a doctor’s appointment, who informed me that this is a thing called Toddler Masturbation! WHAT?! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NONSENSE?! ARE YOU SERIOUS? WELL HOW DO I STOP IT?!
“DON’T stop it” was what I was told. “You’ll make her afraid of her body. As she gets older, you just have to tell her that this sort of thing happens in her bedroom only, in private.”
So here she is, at four. Still humping away, though now she’s way too big for that ottoman (it gets washed, lmfao). As a result, she has developed an absolute ridiculous upper body and core, she has a six-pack and her waist can still fit 6 month jeans.
Although we don’t actively encourage her to do it, we also don’t stop her. We let her know it’s normal to explore your body, (though we do actively discourage her from trying to put anything in there like fingers and stuff).
My son – thankfully – is more interested in trucks and trains.
For those wondering, yes, I followed up with a child behavioral psychologist, an endocrinologist, and everyone else under the sun to make sure it wasn’t Precocious Puberty.
People have asked me why we didn’t take her ottoman away. We did. She stole my wife’s step stool. Since she’s too big for the ottoman, we figured if we gave that to her, she’ll hit muscle failure sooner.
I’ve also been asked if she gets bored and that’s why she stands up. She’s been known to steal an iPad so she can watch Netflix while she does this. Clever scamp.
I have been asked about CPS (Child Protective Services). Yes, this did get me a visit from CPS. My daughter was having night-terrors from what we suspected was anxiety about becoming a big sister. We contacted a New Parent Support counselor, and explained what was happening. She came to the house, saw our daughter humping her ottoman, and contacted CPS. How did we find out? A 0700 visit on Veteran’s day, being questioned by what turned out to be a very nice lady. It helped that I had taken her to a medical doctor, psychologist, and endocrinologist. Our case was closed within 4 months, but it was fairly nerve wracking.
As a bonus, because I was in the military at the time, this also caused a CID (Criminal Investigation Department) case to be opened against me. I was never questioned, charged, or anything else though. I think everyone understood the counselor had jumped to conclusions.
Someone once pointed out to me that it was the clitoris she was stimulating, not the actual vagina. While that’s true, I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to write “my daughter” and “clitoris” in the same sentence.
Some of you have questioned whether I should have gone anonymous for this, citing my daughter’s privacy and future bullying. While I severely doubt that anyone is going to come on Quora in a few years, dig up my name, and then find this particular question to find this particular answer and bully her for it, I suppose anything is possible. However if this is the worst thing that happens to her, I’ll consider myself lucky. I’ll take her on here and show her all the positive that has come from telling her story. I thank you for your concerns though :).