A Curious Conversation with My 4-Year-Old Cousin

Setting: On the family couch, helping her get into her pajamas. She pulls down her underwear to put on a fresh pull-up. The following dialogue takes place (transcribed verbatim to the best of my recollection):

Kennedy: *points to nether regions* Look, that’s my wiener!

Ashley: Excuse me? Little girl, you do not have a wiener. Let’s get this pull-up on.

Kennedy: Boys have wieners.

Ashley: What?! How would you know?

Kennedy: Because boys kiss! *cackling*

Ashley: They kiss?! What are you even–

Kennedy: Boys get married to girls.

Ashley: Maybe, but what does that have to do with you getting to bed?

Kennedy: I don’t kiss wieners.

Ashley: That’s good! Stop saying ‘wieners’, but yes, you shouldn’t kiss wieners.


There was more to this exchange. She went on to explain that boys use wieners to pee. I thanked her for enlightening me, and we continued on with her nighttime rituals. But it left me with some questions about what sort of chain of events is forming in her little mind…

According to Kennedy, kissing causes wieners? Or maybe she meant that wieners cause kissing? And girls marry boys because they have wieners? Hm. This babby’s understanding of causal and interpersonal relationships is a little strange right now (or maybe she’s dead-on), but that’s OK. She’s four. I’m glad that she’s aware of her body, but how does she know about wieners? Did I know about wieners at age four? If I did, I certainly didn’t know about their causes. I don’t even like the word ‘wiener’. I’m glad she’s not kissing them. Boys or wieners.

Curious. Very curious indeed.


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