Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mommy, what are those for?

Today, we braved the slushy, slippery roads and headed out into the world to accomplish errands. Grocery store, Christmas present returns, fuel in case another freak storm leaves us stranded, dry cleaning. All very brave and courageous endeavors in this weather that the greater Seattle transportation authorities were TOTALLY unprepared for (I'm not holding a grudge, I swear).

In the mall restroom, my eight year old daughter pointed at the tampon machine and asked, loudly,

 "Mommy, what are those things with an upside down cross on them for? What are they doing in the candy machine?" 

I heard some woman outright guffaw in her stall.

"Um, well.... you know......Well, I guess you don't really know....Ah, let's have a talk when we get home." 

She shrugged her shoulders, raised her eyebrows and said,

"OK, mom." 

When we arrived home, we found that we could not, in fact, make it up the final steep hill leading to our home. Stuck in the snow, with a set of broken chains, we had no choice but to hoof it up with all our groceries. The exhaustion of the ordeal and a last minute sleep over led to Alex and I not having our much anticipated discussion about the female reproductive cycle.

Tomorrow's the day. So, I'm up for some advice from the blog world. I have no problem discussing periods. It's the part that leads in to discussing the purpose behind the menstrual cycle. Fertilization. Sex. She's been asking some other interesting questions lately about the birth of humans and hamsters. She's wondering if hamsters have babies out of their necks.

She's not going to settle for vague answers this time. She's smart like that. And, I really want to make the discussion meaningful. I'd like to bond with her and avoid having her be like totally grossed out...



  1. K asked me all about how babies were made 2 years ago. I followed all the advice and just discussed it in vague terms and let her questions steer the conversation. Being very curious she ended up wanting to know all of the details. Including birth control, etc. I think being honest helps. She still comes to me with new questions from time to time. On a side note I have a friend who is also a minister's wife. Her daughter asked the same questions and then informed most of her 1st grade class of all the details. Since I knew this I explained to K that any questions or comments come through her dad or me and that she is not to inform her peers that is their parent's job!

  2. One of the things I always told my daughters was if they ever had any further questions after "the talk" to come to me because I would always tell them the truth. I always nicely said that their friends might not have all of the information needed to come up with an accurate answer. Good luck!

  3. Jodie, I totally thought, based on the title, that this was going to be post about Caleb!

    Anyway, here is a link to some books you might find helpful in having these types of discussions with both Alex and Caleb (when the time is right).

  4. I also forgot to mention. The American Girl book called The Care and Keeping of You (the Body Book for Girls) is a great book. All about periods, body development and self esteem. We got our copy at Barnes and Noble.

  5. Well you are blessed to be the one to introduce that topic; my daughter unfortunately heard about it from kids at school first!
    It really did not take away from our Q&A session(s) though... that's kinda how I kept it until she was "old enough" to get into detail - Q&A sessions!

  6. I'd let her questions guide the conversation as well. Answer with the info to answer the question, but without all the details. Those can be added as she asks questions or when she comes back in a couple days with more questions!

    I'm going to recommend another great book "It's perfectly normal." which goes through the differences of boys/girls and then reproduction and then into deeper topics like STD's and lifestyle choices. Totally written for the tween set.

    You'll do great.

  7. Just have her call Tracy! just kidding..... Good luck!

  8. I agree with the American Girl Book !! It Rocks!! Good luck!

  9. i have no words for advice (run for the hills!?) but am looking forward to hearing how it goes...


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