Being a parent is sometimes difficult. I was talking to a friend this morning who told me her next door neighbor's seven year old daughter got her period this past weekend. My friend was in a complete tizzy about it.
Is it something in the water? Something in the air? Hormones in the food? What would cause a seven year old little girl to get her period? She has a three year old -- is this what she has to look forward to in just a few short years?
She asked me if Jessica had started hers yet. Jessie will be 11 in a few months... and to my knowledge, she hasn't gotten it yet. Nor, to my knowledge, have any of her girl friends.
A few months ago I tried having "The Talk" with Jessica. She covered her ears and ran away.
Honest to God -- covered her ears, and ran the other direction. It was as if I was confessing to her that I hadn't inherited 50 million dollars and she wasn't taking it nearly as well as Sarah and Zora.
I followed her and asked her what the deal was -- she told me "I know all about that stuff, I'm all set. You don't need to explain it to me."
"Who told you?" I asked.
"I am not telling you," she said, covering her ears and saying "la la la la la I can't hear you la la la la la."
"But I want to know what they told you so I can make sure they have their facts straight and that what you know is correct and right instead of retarded and stupid," I continued. I was answered with ...
"La la la la la I can't hear you la la la la..."
I'll try again some other time.
My daughter and I have always had a good, honest, open relationship, except when she lies to me and I catch her. I want to make sure that she knows what circumstances can lead to pregnancy or disease, as well as what to expect when she gets her period. I want her to be knowledgeable and prepared, not shitting her pants scared worried in the girls room at the middle school.
I want her not to have to go through what one of the girls in my sixth grade class went through when she got her period for the first time. The boys called her Red River for years after her classroom debut as a woman.
When I got my first period, I didn't quite know what to do so I went to my best friend's house. She lived three houses down from us, and she knew everything there was to know about everything. My mom had sat me down in the backyard in the folding chairs and explained everything to me one hot summer day, so I knew exactly what it was and not to panic. I just didn't have the requisite courage to ask my mom for feminine protection. So I asked Jenssie what to do.
She took out a box of pads and tampons and explained each to me. I settled on pads because tampons were just rather unappealing. She warned me to be vigilant and check the pad often to make sure it was catching everything. I had only one negative experience a few years later in band camp at the high school. I had gotten my period, it must have been my junior year, and we were doing field formations in the hot sun for hours... I realized that this much activity was having a detrimental impact on my protection situation, and told the band director that I desperately needed to hit the ladies room. I informed her that I'd sprung a leak, and she gave everyone a break to go get water and ... take care of business.
In the ladies room, I realized that I'd been a very lucky girl to get a break at that exact moment. My underpants were a total loss, but fortunately my shorts had not yet been affected.
Problem was, without underpants, how does one wear a pad? I realized at that exact moment I had no choice but to change teams from the pad fan to tampon user.
I had avoided using them because friends of mine had told me horror stories about getting the tampon stuck in their bodies, hung up on the hymen or some other part of their interior design.
I didn't want to face the same fate... What to do? What to do? I had no choice.
The majority of my friends, enemies, casual acquaintances and strange female co-schoolers left the bathroom, and I sat in the stall trying to figure out what to do. One girl was still in the bathroom, and I felt relatively safe and asked her to give me a hand. Kind soul that she was, she did.
She used a dime to buy me a tampon from the vending machine and gave me a water soaked paper towel to do a little self-cleaning with before returning to the field.
I had no real clear concept on how to use a tampon with an applicator, so she talked me through it while waiting on the other side of the door, and handing me dry paper towels to finish cleaning myself up. She brought the bathroom trash over to the stall door so I could pitch my underwear, and she pulled a years supply of paper products out of many dispensers to cover up the deposit.
Fortunately, band practice ended a couple hours later and I made it home in one piece. I figured out the whole how to use a tampon thing, and switched teams for good.
I didn't use pads again until I gave birth to Jessica several years later. And that was only out of necessity.
I want to make sure my daughter is well prepared without freaking her out. I want her to always have a spare ziplock bag buried somewhere in her backpack in case she or a friend ever has a need. I want to make sure she's the helpful one on the other side of the bathroom stall door, instead of the confused one sitting on the American Standard porcelain throne. I want her to know about the mechanics of sex, but not all the different positions that are out there waiting for her. I just want to make sure that she knows you can't catch AIDS from the swingset or doorknobs, that you can't get pregnant if a boy sticks his finger in your belly button, that oral sex IS sex and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Being chaste is a better thing than being experienced, and that for cryin' out loud to be careful out there.
So far she hasn't admitted to me any crushes. There is a boy who has been in her class every year they've been in school. They are close friends, but I don't think it's a love connection thing. He's incredibly brilliant, and the two of them sit together and make nerdy smart kid wisecracks in class and make each other laugh. I asked her if she like-liked him or if she just liked him as a friend, and she wasn't sure, "I've never actually thought about him that way."
Her best friend has a burning and all-consuming crush on a boy in their grade. She'll often beg Jessie to go over to the park with her during baseball season and sit on the swings with her so she can oogle the object of her desire.
My daughter is a loving and caring friend who goes with, and doesn't chant "Maddie and Jeff sittin' in a tree..." She plays along and makes it look like they're just a couple of girls sitting on the swings, instead of being an accomplice to a stalker. It's kind of sweet and cute. They don't have to go far to see him. He's a neighborhood boy. The ballfield is in close proximity to the house. She tells me what they're doing... and I like that.
I'm glad they have each other like I'm glad I had Jenssie in 8th grade. What are girls without girl friends?
Speaking of girl friends, Leigh had her surgery for her collapsed lung and is recovering.
Continue to pray for her strength and healing. She should be in hospital through Friday or Saturday.
I am staying home with Geoff today. As we were walking out the front door to go to school he hurled all over the kitchen. Great. The illness that has thus avoided our entire family aside from some minor sniffles and a week or so long cough for both kids may just be breaking through our defenses.
I do believe I'm responsible. I took him to Maine the other day. Baby Nathan had gotten very sick and ended up in the hospital (they have to come to Massachusetts to go to hospital, due to Wayne's insurance plan, even though they live in Maine...). So when Nathan was released from the hospital I gave him and Marcia a ride home, and we brought Geoff with us so he could play with Peteman.
So I'm sure he picked something up. There was a stomach virus that went through his school during school vacation week. Most of the teachers and students got it. Between school and the Hydes, I am sure Geoff's exposure has resulted in this fit of throwing. He's on the couch, slight fever, bucket at his side, watching Blues Clues. He's thrown up three times since 9am. I am wondering when I'm going to come down with it now...
Aaron has returned home to Northern Maine from his big adventures down where the water flows the wrong direction down the drain. He has many tales to regale us all with, and it was good to catch up with him by phone. I look forward to seeing him and Michelle in person some fine day in the not too distant future. We need to figure out how to have a campfire in the backyard so we can sit around it with some nice cold brews and listen to his intrepid adventure tales about the cold and God-forsaken continent of Antarctica, and the fun and beautiful nation of New Zealand.
I miss them, A&M. I wish we could hang out with them more.
I had a job interview yesterday. A headhunter had contacted me a year ago, and the job he had for me was too far away. I gave him my global coordinates and the distance I was willing to go in order to earn money. He told me he'd keep me in mind if something came up in my picky stretch of road. The job he was pitching to me was one town past what he called my "threshold of pain" for commuting to. He asked if I'd consider it. It is a webmaster position for a small networking company. It's flexible scheduling, okay pay (18 bucks an hour) and would be part to full time for a six month contract. I said... sure. If they're truly flexible, I'm there.
He told me that they're keen to having me telecommute once I get in there and get things all ironed out and designed. Sounded pretty cool to me. So I went in to meet with the headhunter, and it was a great interview. He should hopefully be calling me back today to let me know if I'll be interviewing with the company sometime soon.
They want someone to start MONDAY.
Whafuh? You call me on a Thursday, and you want me to possibly start Monday? What's the rush? I'm not even sure I can come in for an interview before Monday!So we'll see if that all works out. And the job I interviewed for the other day in my old office building called me back for a second interview. So I'm hoping to schedule that. Not sure how it'll all fit with a sick Geoff on the couch. As usual, I'll keep you posted