Prostitutes and Whores

That got your attention, didn't it? 

Apparently those words got my youngest's attention as well. 

Listening to Les Mis, not three beats after the words, "prostitute attacked me," Alia, age 3 at the time, piped up from the back seat of the van, "Mama, what's a prostitute?" 

My mind reeled for a moment. Ummm... errr.... prostitute you say? Prostitute. Prostitute? How do I explain ... how the heck did she even pick that out so fast? Explain a prostitute to a 3 year old - really???!!!??? I'm trapped in the van with a three year old asking for a definition of prostitute. Why aren't we prepared for such things before having kids?

"Well, a prostitute is a person who gives up control of her body to another person for a short time in exchange for money." 

"That sounds scary. I wouldn't like that."

"It is scary, and the women who feel they have to do it probably don't like it either. It isn't a happy thing to be. It's good for us to always have control over our own bodies."

Whew. Got through that one. 

Fast forward 6 months. We're watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

Alia, newly four years old, "Mama, I know what a whore is! It's like a prostitute!"

"Yes, Alia, yes it is." 

I start thinking I need to rethink what I allow my youngest to listen to and watch. What kind of mother am I that my four-year-old knows about prostitutes and whores?

And then...

"Remember that time Pastor said about the one who worked in the vineyard and the one who didn't and when we read it it said God forgived the prostitutes and money takers [tax collectors]?"


"Well, I was thinking..."


"That means God loves prostitutes and whores and scallywags and horse thieves and pirates and liars and brothers who don't treat you nicely. And it means he forgives them."

"Yes it does."

"Ok. Thanks for clearing that up."

"Happy to be of service."

First of all, if I wasn't there when she was born, I wouldn't be so sure she's only four years old. Secondly, I'm glad that the word yes and a pause is so helpful to the child. And lastly, I've given up on the concept of monitoring what that child sees or hears - she has everything under control, and perhaps thinks about things as deeply as many of us should. 


  1. :) Love your definition! And that Alia is a sharp one...


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