June 1st, 2012
When your daughter asks you about it.
She has one of those American Girl books about the body, and I thought it was a good purchase to get her to understand some of the changes her body is undergoing. She couldn’t understand why I started insisting on daily showers or what was going on with her underarm odor. And she’s started to get pretty annoyed with having hair on her legs, although we have not commenced shaving. I mean, it’s not like she’s a gorilla. But her dad is like a hairy wolf, I’m pretty hairy for a woman, so….it was bound to happen.
Today she comes to me and says, “Mommy, what’s a period?”
The minute it came out of her mouth I knew exactly what she was talking about, but I needed to stall for time as I processed this so I said, “What?”
“I was reading in my American Girl book and they said something about a period. What is that?”
I sighed. I mean, you have kids, you know they are going to grow up but let me tell you, this stuff just…kills me. Every little piece of information, every growth spurt, feels like a push away from me. I know we need to have this conversation – one that was never had with me, I might add – but…I don’t want her to know what a period is. I don’t want her to have a period.
I don’t want her to grow up. And I know that’s ridiculous and I am not going to allow that unrealistic desire to make me hold her back from information and experiences she needs to have. I can compartmentalize with the best of them. But still.
“I’ll tell you soon, I promise, because I know you have lots of questions and many of them are related so it might be best to talk about it all at once when we really have some time to sit down and make sense of it and I can answer all of your questions,” I answered.
“Okay,” she said, and she ran away.
But this is not over.
“Mommy, I know how I’m related to you cuz I was in your tummy but how am I related to Daddy?”
“Mommy, what do you use these things for?” (as she holds up a menstrual pad)
“Mommy, how did I get in your tummy?”
“Mommy, how did I get out of your tummy? Did you poop me out?”
Yeah, it’s that time.
BIG FAT SIGH. Can’t they just stay small forever?