Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Growing pains

Abby and I rarely get a moment for just the two of us these days. Heck, all three kids struggle to find quality time with us these days. They all crave time for themselves with us alone, but with three kids and two jobs and well, life in general, it rarely happens. But today Ab and I found ourselves alone in the van on the way to Tulsa, bopping happily down I-44 to the soundtrack to High School Musical. Occasionally she would tell me a story about something that happened at school and more than once reiterated her case, pleading with me to allow her to take one of the black kittens to school for the Halloween party to complete her Goth costume. (Not only no, but heck no)

I decided that today was as good a day as any - I was going to have The Talk with her. The Period Talk. With the appearance of her new bewblets, (Ohmygosh she would just die a thousand deaths if she knew this was on the blog) I know that our time of only one female in the house going through monthly cycles of insanity is limited. Her doctor tells me that once the bewblets appear it's only about a year before The Period ensues. Of course, he also told me that because she is tall, thin and active that she'd be a late bloomer, so I'm not sure how much of his information I'm taking to heart.

The CD ended and the radio presets were all fuzzy and I took that as a sign from God that The Time Had Come. I turned down the fuzz on the radio and began. I told her that since we were having kind of a big girl day, just the two of us, we would have a talk. Immediately her face went into total "oh holy night" mode. It's never good when your mother corners you and says you're going to have a talk. I should've started out better, but while God gave me the opportunity, He failed to provide me with a segue, so I was on my own.

Awhile back, she had held up my newly-boughten box of panty liners and asked, "So, just what exactly are these things for, anyway?" while she turned the box over in her hands, checking out the whole package. I gave her my usual answer:"They're for grown-up ladies, I'll explain later", making sure that no eye contact was made and that it was said very non-chalantly while I snatched away my feminine products. Then she said matter-of-factly, "Suzy carries them in her purse." "Suzy" is a girl in her class and supposedly Suzy has carried pads in her purse since 2nd grade. Poor Suzy. So I used Suzy to start The Talk.

I asked her if Suzy had ever told the girls what pads were for. She looked at me blankly in the rearview mirror. I said,"Has Suzy ever mentioned her Period?" Again the blank look. Finally she said, "Yah. She puts one at the end of a sentence. Duh." Then she grinned. She wasn't being smart-allecky - she thought I was being a dork, something that obviously mothers do regularly. I said, "No, not that kind of period. (insert deep sigh here) So.....you've never heard anyone talk about their Period?" She leaned forward in her seat and said, "Mom. What in the world are you talking about." Yep, just like that. She was already so tired of her mother trying to talk about Suzy's punctuation skills.

I then explained to her that probably within the next year or so that she, too, would have a Period all her own. I explained the hows and whys and wherefores of Periods and Womanhood and with each sentence watched my not-quite-ten-year-old's face begin to resemble that of Bitter Beer Face or someone who is being given a liverwurst pedicure. I tried to explain things without overexplaining them, give her information about What Is To Come without freaking her out (something she is very prone to doing) and at the same time keep it light. Yeah. You try that. G'head. I'll wait................ No? You didn't have any luck with that either? Sucks huh.

So finally, having given my schpiel and having sufficiently armed my daughter with knowledge that I did not posess until late into 5th grade, I finished. She was leaning back in her seat, arm slung over the back, Bitter Beer Face still on and said, "Okay, so like, that is something that I SO do not want to do." Oh, if it were only that easy, my child - "Um yes....I will be opting out of this Period thingy you talked about. Yes, that's correct. Opting. Out. No, thank you." She sighed and said, "So....like, I'm going to have to carry pads around in MY purse? Mom! I have a MAN teacher this year!" I told her that, chances are, she won't start this year and that I was just preparing her for What Is To Come. (But Tammy, my friend, since your room is just down the hall....well, guess who gets Abby Got Her First Period At School duty? I SO love you. Really.)

Things were quiet for a few minutes and finally I asked her if she had any questions. She said no. Then she said, "Mom? Can I teach you something now?" I smiled and said yes, expecting her to teach me a song or tell me a new joke. We were sharing. Instead from the back seat I hear the most gut-wrenching, bun-rattling fart I've ever heard in my life, followed by hysterical giggles. I moved the rearview mirror down so that I could see my daughter with her straw tucked under her arm, blowing for all she was worth. I nearly wrecked the car when I saw her. She looked up proudly, caught my eye and said, "MaKayla taught me that! Awesome, huh? Now, would you turn the radio back up?"

She's still my baby girl.

7 comments:

MrsCoach2U said...

My sister decided 2 years ago at Christmas that me, her and Mom would give then 12 year old Chelsea "the talk". I counted cobwebs on the ceiling (yes we were at my house) and didn't make eye contact. About half-way through it she said "could Uncle Jason please do this, you 3 are stupid". Sooooo Uncle Jason gets out his Anatomy & Phys book and tells her about it. Wanna borrow "Uncle Jason"? Apparently he tells a much better story.....

Jerzeegrrl said...

I honestly cannot remember my mother having "the talk" with me. I do, however remember being totally mortified the first time I got my period. White shorts and all. I'm so glad I've got at least 8-10 solid years before I have to have this talk. So. Glad.

recklace said...

Do they not talk to the girls about this stuff at school anymore? I vividly remember the school nurse coming into 4th grade and having an endless horrifying lecture on "being a woman", and handing out multiple items of propaganda about how we shouldn't feel guilty about asking our fathers to buy tampons.
I think I'll carefully place those memories back into the "Repressed" folder.

Betty said...

When I was in grade school, they loaded us into a bus and took us to the Health Department, both boys and girls. They put us in separate (but equal) rooms, and gave us the lecture. It encompased everything from the onset of periods to how babies were born. Then we were taken back to school and turned loose for a verrrrrrrryyy interesting lunch hour.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I thank the Gummi Mary that I have BOYS!

M&Co. said...

I bought a book for my daughter, What's Happening to My Body. Here's the url on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/q53j2 It gives us a sort of jumping off point to talk about things.

Anonymous said...

I recently also had "The Talk" with my daughter and it was like I had just warned my daughter of a Tsunami coming right at us. After she regain her exposure, we had ice cream and the world was right again. Till she starts.....