Let's talk about sex, baby...
OK, not really.
But we are going to talk about puberty. Because we're on the cusp, y'all. And I never say "y'all" lightly, you know.
I guess it was about 6 months or so ago that I was talking to my sister and mentioned that I guess it was time to have "the talk" with Olivia. She was just shocked I hadn't done it sooner. The child is almost 9, and my sister and I were both really early bloomers. I believe I was in the 4th grade, so only a year or so older than Olivia is now. But you know, Olivia is just not all that mature, I don't feel. Isabelle and she seem to be about the same maturity-wise and I don't think Isabelle is overly mature for her age. So I just hadn't thought to do it yet. Plus, it's not on my list of exciting things I can't wait to do with my kids.
So I tried. We looked at kidshealth.org together. I tried to explain what a period is and that she will one day have one. She looked at me like I was insane and asked if she could go play. Well done, Jennifer.
Then, earlier this summer, we saw Olivia's BFF. My jaw dropped. She's already turned 9. And is already in need of a bra. Oh. my. word. Big wake up call.
So I hit snooze.
I'm sorry, I know that it's silly. I'm just not ready for this crap. Hormones and periods and shaving armpits... I have enough on my plate dealing with my own PMS roller coaster, thank you very much.
But this past weekend, Olivia had on a tshirt and I was all like "are those breast buds?!?" No, it can't be. Then I went to help her in the tub and I just couldn't deny it any longer. She's my broomstick child. Super thin. It's not like she's just chunking up in preparation for a growth spell. It was obvious.
So. Someone suggested I get the book The Care and Keeping Of You. I requested it from the library and picked it up today. I didn't want to buy it without looking it over to make sure it was actually going to be helpful. It looks really good.... it goes over far more than periods. It's about, well, just taking care of yourself in general. Which Olivia needs. She hates any sort of personal hygiene. Unfortunately, it doesn't explain the whole "how a baby is made" aspect. I really need to just get it all out of the way at once, you know. Not that I want to explain sex, but they need to know that they did not just always live in my tummy until I wished for one of them to come out. Which is what they think. (And they're convinced a little boy still lives in me, which I can only assume means that I still have far to go on my weight loss journey)
I gave the book to her and told her if she wanted to talk about anything she saw in there, to just ask me. She looked it over for a while. She got really mad at me when I walked in the room while she was reading. Then she put it down and announced she would no longer look at the book, she did NOT want to read it. I really think it just embarrasses her. And she wants her body to change about as much as I want her body to change. Meaning, not at all.
Isabelle picked it up, and of course, turned straight to the page talking about inserting tampons. She doesn't read as well as Olivia, so I didn't intend for her to look at the book yet. She pronounced it disgusting and walked off.
This is going spectacularly.
Later, as we were eating dinner at Newk's, they asked, "Mom, how did you get us?" Ah, the "where do babies come from?" I told them we would have to talk about that when we weren't in public. I can only imagine how much the guy in the booth behind me would have enjoyed that dinner conversation. "See girls, when a man and a woman love each other very much...." Nope, not happening over dinner.
Another friend has given me two more books to introduce to my amazingly productive birds-and-bees repertoire.
It's Not the Stork!, which explains where babies come from obviously. I haven't seen it yet, but it is supposed to be very age appropriate, even for Zoe. It's really going to be impossible for me to just do this with Olivia. Isabelle's plenty old enough to know about it all, too. And while Zoe is only 5, she is old enough for the basics.
Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts is the other book. Again, geared towards the younger kids and pretty self explanatory.
I'm going to pick them both up at the library tomorrow. This should be fun. "Come here girls, let's read a book!"
So, that's how the birds and bees are flying around here. Needless to say, we're all a little uncomfortable. Bill is just absolutely thrilled about it all, I must say. Poor guy. He may need to talk to my Dad about how to cope with being the only male amongst 4 females. My Dad survived somehow, I'm sure Bill will, too.