By Leslie Lindsay
Just the other night, as I was tucking my little redhead in bed, I commented on the color and texture of her hair, “It looks like your hair is getting a little darker and wavier as you get older.” (A whole 7.6 years, mind you). She shrugged a bit and said, very matter-of-factly, “Is that because of my period?”
“Your what?!” I choked out.
“My period,” her blue eyes stared back at my own. She was dead serious.
“No, no, no…you don’t have a period, silly. You’re way too young. And your hair really has nothing to do with it.”
If you recall, earlier this summer, I was shocked to find my daughters–who live a very normal, unprecocious life–putting their Barbies in compromising positions, saying they were “making sex.” Again, I about coughed up my dinner.
And promptly ordered THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU (American Girl books, Pleasant Company Publishing). We began reading and discussing this very G-rated book as a family before bedtime. Things like how to stay clean, what to eat, how to exercise…and yes, how your body will begin to change.
The word ‘puberty’ has come up. So has ‘your period.’ In all honesty, I’m thankful she’s hearing it all for the first time in her soft pink-and-green-stuffed-animal-filled bedroom with mom, dad, and big sister sitting nearby, sometimes the aforementioned basset hound.
Could she have gotten the words ‘puberty’ and ‘period’ switched? Sure. Does puberty affect hair? You bet. But, we’re so not there. Seven, remember?
Reading this book now has been a good move, parent-wise because the way I’ve always heard it, “the talk” should come in bits and pieces, not all at once. It also shouldn’t come on the very day of say, that first period. A little heads-up won’t hurt, right?
Just to illustrate further, my writing critique partner helped her daughter shave under her arms recently. It was a battle. A ticklish one, at that. Her response afterwards, “Gee, I really should have talked with her about these things sooner.”
Okay, so I’m not a freak for reading a body book to my 7-year old and her big sister. Well, the jury is still out.
She is also aware of how different kids develop at different rates. One just has to look at the population of middle school to understand that. Our response, “Everyone has a unique body, and it develops at different rates. There is no race or competition; we all get there in the end.”
Solid advice for life, right?
And then I came across this video that I find absolutely hilarious. In fact, we just may do a little something like this when the time comes. Wink, wink.
That’s it…class dismissed! Till next time.
[image source from inside THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU retrieved from www.americangirlpublishing.com on 6.28.14]