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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One daughter is enough for me

Sometimes I feel a little bit sad for Annie that she doesn't have a sister. My two sisters mean so much to me. But selfishly, I am glad that I only have one daughter.

One daughter's worth of drama.
One daughter's worth of fashion crises.
One daughter's worth of puberty.

About two years ago, I handed Annie the book The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls. I told her to read it and then she and I could discuss it. A week or so later, I came to her room and suggested we talk about the book.

"Let's start here -- taking care of your hair and skin," I suggested.

"Well, ok," Annie said. "But I really want to know when I'm gonna need those pad things."

"Let's just start with washing your face," I practically pleaded.

We eventually got to the chapter that interested Annie. There was a diagram of the female reproductive system.

"Oh, I know what that is!" Annie said.

But she didn't have it quite right, so I gave her the 411 and began to explain the various parts of the system.

"These are the ovaries where the eggs are made," I explained.

"Eggs? I thought mammals didn't lay eggs," she asked. Ooh boy. How do I answer that? I was trying to get the point across about periods without having to go further.

I stumbled my way through that one. Then we went on to read about how the uterus prepares a nest for a potential baby.

"A nest?! First eggs and now a nest? What am I -- a bird?"

By this point, I was trying to keep a straight face. We continued to read on. The book gave a very veiled description of a menstrual period. I wanted to make sure Annie understood what a period is. Her response to my questions told me she didn't. So I tried to carefully explain what to expect.

Annie's eyes got round as quarters.

"You mean," she said incredulously, "that I am gonna have red gumballs comin' out of my hoohaa?"

To which I couldn't answer anything because I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face.

But all that preparation was worth it. When she actually "entered her womanhood" recently, she handled it with much more grace and knowledge than I did when it happened to me.

She and I went to Target to pick up some necessary supplies and some chocolate brownie mix to celebrate her new "status." Then on the way home, we swung through the Wendy's drive-thru. I ordered chili for me and a kid's hamburger meal for Annie, which drew some criticism from my only daughter.

"Um Mom," she said just after I ordered for her. "I'm wearing a maxi pad; I think I've outgrown kid's meals."

Thank you, God, for my daughter and for making sure that the next two entrance-into-puberty rituals will be Mike's to handle.

Note: I asked Annie's permission before I wrote this and read it to her for her approval. Her only request was that if you are the mother of a 6th grade boy, please don't say anything to your son.

6 comments:

Angie said...

Congratulations, I guess that's what I say. Annie is a wonderful YOUNG WOMAN now ..and you're a great mother for preparing her so well for what the future holds.
xooxo!

Mikemagan said...

I had not heard about the exchange at Wendy's -classic!

Annie has an advanced sense of humor. I was really struck by how matter-of-fact she was about the whole thing and she treated it as significant but no need to dial 9-1-1.

Micah and Emily said...

What a great experience for any mom. My mom was super duper prepared for my big event. She started preparing me at the age of 7 years old. I always looked forward to her talks and mom time and they were always followed with a big hamburger and shake!

Congrats!

E

Nate's Mom said...

WOW! What an amazing relationship, and thoughtful mom. As the mom of 4 boys, I'm clueless. I'm glad that's not a talk I have to worry about. I also love that Daddy takes them to the bathroom when we go out to eat :-) (I might have to blog about that, I'm thankful for little boys.)

Sheri in CA ~ Who is spending way to much time on the computer today.

Pam said...

LMAO!! Glad I'm not the only one who writes about this stuff. I had permission from Hunter to write about mine too.

Let's NOT get them together okay? ;)

Thanks for making me laugh.

Mrs4444 said...

This is totally awesome, and I can relate! I was very glad to have that book available for Kendall, too; isn't that series great?

The talks continue, too, don't they? ON a recent road trip, Kendall asked me questions that blew my mind to answer (was I really explaining these things?!) Wow. It's my own fault for encouraging such questioning, but wow.

Thanks for the link :)

AND I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new page!!