Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Not a comma, but maybe a period?

Undoubtedly the hardest part about being a parent, that I hadn't ever really thought through when I decided to become a mom, was how to talk to my kids about big things. I mean, I figured I'd just do it as I needed to and I'd be awesome and calm and not freak out.

Except that's basically what I'm not doing. Well, I'm freaking out.

Rightfully, it might be for nothing. I might be totally freaking out over nothing, I know this. And I'll be honest, I kind of cried a little before bed last night because it felt like this was such a huge turning point for not only me as a parent, but also for Olivia.

You see, for months now Olivia will randomly complain of headaches. Honestly, I thought it was just a lack of water and so I've made sure she's been hydrated. Then shortly after that she started having a random zip pop up here and there. No big deal, so we talked about maybe being a little more diligent with the face washing. For Christmas Santa got her a "spa set" that had body wash and one of those face cleaner things that spin? Well she loves it. Totally feels like a big kid, and has been doing really well.

Then I mentioned a few weeks ago how she complained about her armpits itching and sure enough, she's got hair starting to grow there. Which, I can understand how that's scary for a little girl not to mention annoying.

But yesterday?

Yesterday, after school, Olivia said her stomach hurt. I didn't think anything of it. But then she's laying on the couch, holding her stomach. I take notice of that and she tells me her belly button hurts, it feels like she has rope and it's being twisted around. At first I thought, weird. Then it hit me.

Holy shit. These could be the start of menstrual cramps.

She could be getting her period.

Oh god.

We haven't had The Talk.

Which means I have to have The Talk. I have no idea how to have The Talk. How much of The Talk do I give? How do I make a period not sound scary? "Oh, it's just this little thing where once a month what looks like a lot of blood comes out of you, it's sometimes painful, it'll last about a week and you'll get this every month for the rest of your life."

Because that's not terrifying at ALL.

Poor kid.

Today she isn't complaining. I feel like hopefully I can wait until this weekend? Like maybe I'll send Matt and Jackson off to do manly things, and then her and I will do a girly at home spa day and I'll explain it? Maybe I'll get lucky and this isn't an immediate thing. Maybe it was just a freak stomach ache and we're years away from a period.

But maybe we aren't.

I remember when I was 12, it was almost the end of the school year and I remember feeling awful all day. Shortly before leaving school, I saw brown stuff in my underwear. I absolutely panicked, but didn't want to go to the nurse because what was I going to say? I think I maybe peed brown in my pants? Except nothing is really wet like pee? So I got on the bus to go home.

When I got home, I immediately changed clothes and hid my underwear like any 12 would do.

But within an hour, I realized it was happening again. Not sure what to do, I hid a second pair of underwear. After the third pair of underwear had what clearly looked like blood in it, I freaked out and cried in the bathroom. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, not sure if I was going to get into trouble, but I knew if anyone would know what to do it would be my mom.

I remember she was doing dishes in the kitchen, it wasn't long before bed time, and my dad and brother were watching TV. I very quietly told her I had brown stuff in my underwear, but that I was bleeding and I wasn't sure where to put a band aid. And bless my mother, who could have burst into laughter, did not. She was as calm as can be, walked me to the bathroom, handed me a pad and asked if I needed her to show me what to do with it. I said no because I didn't want to sound dumb, but when she left I read the packaging and figured it out. When I left the bathroom, my mom was in my room and just told me if I had questions, I could always ask, but that I had gotten my period. That it happens to every girl, it'll happen every month and if it hurts I need to tell her.

And that was pretty much it. I remember crying in bed because it just felt awful. Like my life was ruined. I also didn't know, do you tell your friends? Did they know about this horrible thing that happens to you? Are kids at school going to know I'm wearing a pad to school? Oh god, what do I do when it's gym and I have to change?

Fortunately, I figured my way through life with a period rather quickly. I also realized all of my friends started getting theirs not long after me and that was kind of nice because it was like a dirty secret and at least you weren't alone.

But Olivia is only NINE. I was twelve, so she should technically have three more years until this is a thing. Nine. That's just so young. She just informed me yesterday she was too big girl for Barbies and now I have to talk about periods?

Oy vey.


Unknown said...


Ruth said...

I was 10 when I started mine. When my daughter was younger, her doctor said as long is it isn't before age 9, she was fine.
You will do fine.

Claire said...

I'm sure kids are developing earlier and earlier these days, I think I was about 14. My Niece was 11 and she suffers terrible every month and she's too young to go on the pill which is what they would normally do for a girl with such terrible periods every month, she misses loads of school because of it, she just can't cope with the blood loss and the pain. The one med the Dr gave her does jack shit. Poor kid. Anyway good luck with 'the talk' I have no advice as I haven't had kids, but I do remember my talk being very much like yours from my mum. Maybe something a bit more than that would be good! x

thotlady said...

I got my first period when I was 10 years old. It does seem like the end of the world.

I am 50+ years old now and do not have my period any longer.

It really is amazing how quickly we adjust to the new norm. She will too, have no fear.

Sunshine said...

I was 10 when I got mine for the first time. My daughter is now 10. She isn't interested but I felt like I had to have the talk before someone beat me to it (my mil) or it happened. I explained it in a very spacial way. She didn't want a lot of details and I was happy not to give them. They've since had a chat at school with the guidance counselor because there are girls in her class who have started. She has come to me since then asking what the pads look like, where do they go, what does that feel like and I just try to show her without scaring her. Good luck.