Thursday, April 28, 2011

Human Growth and Underdevelopment

Emma came home this week in a state of despair. As if the world were ending she slapped a piece of paper on the counter. "Mom PLEASE check no."
"For what?"
"Stinkin' human growth and development. The PUBERTY class."
"Well, why don't you want to go?"
"I don't want to hear about boobs. I don't want to hear about being a woman. I DON'T want to be a WOMAN."
"Sorry honey, hate to tell you this, but it's only a matter of time and you'll be having hair pop up where hair should never be. It's coming for you."

Talking about sex with my kids is kind of like figuring out cell phone rules. We didn't have cell phones when I was a kid, and in my house my mom never talked about sex. Ever. I'm not mad about it because she had her reasons and I get it. I don't fault her at all. But it leaves me without any memories to rely on. You know--I'll NEVER approach it that way, or I definitely will approach it the same way.  So I am pretty much winging it. Trying to find the balance between not saddling them with too much information too early, and making sure we talk about it when we should. 

The biggest thing I want Emma to know is that she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do. When I taught middle school, I can't tell you how many girls would sob to me about how they did something because they thought they were supposed to, or their girlfriends/boyfriends pressured them into it, or they didn't know what they were getting into, or the boy said they'd break up with her and she just wanted to be loved.

Anyway. Given the fact that Emma is taking after me in the body development arena, she is quite possibly years away from worrying about BECOMING A WOMAN.  My little girl who still wears Little Pet Shop underwear and sneaks upstairs to play Barbies is not even near resembling anything developed. While other girls are already shaving their legs and wearing bras, Emma still makes the throw up sounds when we walk past the bra section at the store.  And as far as schedules, lets just say that although my cups may runneth over now, I was flat as a board until high school. Then one morning I woke up and BAM there they were. Okay, it may not have been that dramatic, but it was pretty close. I pretty much started wearing a bra in 8th grade because I was the only one not wearing one. So Emma probably will not have to worry for a while.

The best thing for me is that Emma feels comfortable talking to me about these things. That's great, because I did not have anyone to talk to except friends. So that's a start.

In other news, I have to go to bed now as we are insane enough to get up early and head to the shuttle launch with 500,000 other people. Emma has not seen it before, and really wants to, and I want her to, so we are going to go for it. I am expecting our normally 3 hour drive to be about 6. One way. At least. Thank goodness it's worth it.


  1. haha. All i know is I'm at least going to suggest to Story when she needs to shave her legs. My mom didn't talk to me about anything, the least she could do is tell me I need to shave my legs or that girls are supposed to shave their legs. I don't remember what grade I was in but I found out everyone was shaving their legs and I was like WHAT!? How come no one told me!? haha.

  2. oh dear!

    NOTHING of the sort was discussed in my home growing up. Which, I think is pretty common for people our age.

    I listen to a podcast called "Stuff Mom Never Told You."
    It's a part of the How Stuff Works series. It's pretty good. I've learned some random but interesting bits of knowledge.

    on another note, I hope you didn't drive all the way to Cape Canaveral only to find out that the shuttle wouldn't launch.

  3. I love the bra part, I was the same way, begging for one in seventh grade because I was the ONLY one who didn't have one. AND the boys used to "snap" the girls bra straps and it was REALLY embarrassing not to have one. But kids can't do things like that these days, right?

    I feel your pain... it's a hard discussion. But I think it's wise if it isn't a one time deal, rather talked about when needed. Sounds like you are on the right track!

    P.S. I used to forget to wear my un-needed bra, I'd be sitting on the bus and think, "Crap I forgot that think again!"

  4. Totally Jamie. I definitely want her to be able to talk to me whenever. And yeah, the one day I forgot my unnecessary bra, we had a scoliosis check that day. Big embarrassing bummer.

  5. Hearing you and Jamie makes me glad I only have a five year old right now. I am not ready! Why don't you write down what you've said, that way I will have a script. You're a good mom!

  6. Charlene, I DID in fact drive all the way to the launch, find a great spot where I could even see Air Force One land, and settle in, to find in about 30 seconds that it was scrubbed. Oh well. That's the chance you take. At least we didn't pay forty dollars for parking like some poor suckers.


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