I have a 10-year-old. Technically she's a tween, I guess. So, I'm not sure why I was so shocked when her pediatrician well visit revolved around puberty talk. The doctor, who is pretty amazing, but also very candid and matter-of-fact, asked Julie questions that made me blush. Julie just giggled. I looked at the wall and quietly wished for the conversation to be over.
I'm terrible at this. I'm not even sure my kids know the actual words for their private parts. When they were little they just referred to them as "front hiney" and "back hiney." I didn't correct them.
I know. I'm awful.
I just can't bring myself to broach the subject...especially now that Julie's 10. My parents never had a conversation with me. Ever. I have no idea what age I was, but I once stumbled upon a book about sexual education. My dad was a teacher, and I guess at some point, he used the cartoon-illustrated book to teach the lessons. I remember thinking, at the time, that the book was gross, but also a bit funny.
Not sure how much I learned from that book, but that was my only lesson at home, until the subject came up at school.
I don't really want to leave Julie in the dark like that. I do want to talk to her and let her know she can talk to me, but I feel sick every time I think about the topic. I just can't believe it's that time. How did this happen? Like I really have to talk about all this now? Already? It doesn't seem possible or fair that my little girl who is still very much a naive little girl has to grow up. I don't even think she wants to.
The doctor suggested I buy Julie the American Girl book "Taking Care of You." It's all about health and your body and changes that might occur. Unfortunately I accidentally bought the second version for older girls which includes way too much information. I was planning on buying the younger version and saving that one for later. But the other night I found Julie reading the book--which she quickly shoved in her desk as I walked into the room.
"You don't have to be embarrassed," I told her. "We can read the book together, but I have to get you the first version before you read this one."
Maybe that was the beginning of our conversation?? I'm so not looking forward to explaining all of this, but it has to happen, and I figure if we can talk about all this now, maybe she'll be open and honest later on. Wish me luck!