Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Are You There God? My Kid is Learning About Puberty!

It's 11:45 on a Tuesday night and I'm still awake.  If you know me well enough you know that's not normal for me.  My hubby works overnight shifts once a week, and I don't sleep well when he's gone.  This is something I would not normally put out there in the blogosphere, but for those of you creepos who are thinking of sneaking up and robbing me in the middle of the night when hubby is at work earning our money, keep in mind that I have a dog who loves us and I'm a good shot with a shotgun.

Another reason I'm still awake is my OCD tendencies.  I should never play computer games.  I have this obsessive thing with them.  I don't play them that much, but I have a few on my iPad that call to me.  Words with Friends, and Drawing with Friends are fun, I play them.  But they don't obsess me.  I have a problem with Solitaire.  I don't play it often, but when I do, I can't stop until I win a round.  I just won a round, and it took me a long time.  So it's late, and I also watched two episodes of Parenthood on the computer.  I am currently in mad love with that show.  It so depicts all the ups and downs of parenting, as well as growing toward middle age, relationships with siblings, and the tangled relationships we have as adults with our parents.  I.  Love.  It.

So here I am, after a touch of wine, feeling my body shut down and get ready to sleep.

I had my WW meeting today.  I lost .6 pounds, so I am at a whopping total of 9.4 pounds.  It's pretty awesome how that scale keeps inching down, slowly but surely.  Not without a hiccup, but still.  Progress is progress.

I was thrilled to see another mom friend today at my meeting.  Sweetie, you know who you are, and don't think I was kidding about stalking you with Words with Friends once you get that shiny new iPhone.  It was great to see her pretty face there and sit next to her, with the added instant bond of trying to shed some extra baggage.  Her kid and my kid are in the same grade, at the same school, and are buddies.  He was actually one of the first kids my A actually considered a "friend", so he (and his wonderful mom who is raising him) will always hold a place in my heart.  For those of you who are new to my little blog, you can read about my A here.

We have two days left of this school year.  And today was a pretty exciting day.  J got to go to the Science Museum for an all-day field trip, and A had his "puberty video".

Yup.  The Puberty Video.

If you have a second, check out this awesome old sex ed video.

I remember when I was in fifth grade, I had the Menstruation Video.  A is in fourth grade, but I guess that seems appropriate, since things are happening faster these days with the young whippersnappers.

Seriously. Check this out.

Holy Cow this is the
actual booklet I had!
My menstruation video was super awesome.  It was ancient, even in the 80's.  It was a filmstrip.  Parents were invited to attend, and horror of horrors, my mother actually did.  Sheesh.  We learned that we would be entering that beautiful time soon, when our bodies would start to grow and turn into woman bodies instead of girl bodies.  We would grow breasts, and have that beautiful, wonderful thing called menstruation.  Where we would wear a super comfy plastic belt with hooks on it that would be attached to a giant maxi pad to collect all of whatever it was that would happen during this "menstruation", and that yes, we could swim during our "period"!  And participate in gym class!  And it would be beautiful and natural, and we would feel so great about it.

I had read "Dear God, It's Me, Margaret", by Judy Blume.  And all the rest of the Judy Blume books.  They were a much better education for me about all that junk that the stupid film strip.  However, unlike Margaret, I was NOT looking forward to getting my period, and my girlfriends and I did NOT sit around wishing for it and doing exercises to make our boobs grow.  (Not that I didn't try in the privacy of my own room, mind you.)  I did not get info from my mom.  I think she was avoiding that subject very carefully and just hoping that the school would give me the information I needed, and she just put a box of pads in the bathroom closet for me to find if I needed them.  Great.  I had inspected them and discovered that they did not have that belt (the filmstrip was made in the 60's, for God's sake), and that I could probably figure it out when I needed to.

That was the sum total of my sex ed.  I then discovered on my own that "menstruation" is a giant pain in the ass.  It is not beautiful, and I did not feel like a lady.  I felt grossed out by my own body, and to this day I resent that I have to get it, and can't wait to get an ablasion so I don't have to have it anymore.  The ONLY time I have been happy about it is a few times during college, and a few times after we had J.  Ahem.

And although I learned in fifth grade that I would be growing boobs, I was not fortunate enough to see them until after 9th grade.  I was flat as a board at the end of junior high, and magically blossomed during the summer to enter high school with a relatively good rack.  Sweet.  They were late, but I was happy with them.

This morning at the bus stop (yes, we have a lot of our important family discussions out there), A told me he was going to watch his "Puberty Video!" today.  So matter of fact.  I love that kid.  J asked what puberty was, and I told him that it was the time in your life when your body decides to take you from being a little kid to being a teenager, and that it takes a couple years.  I told them that they'd be starting to grow some hair in some new places eventually, like in their armpits and their privates, and once they started getting fuzzy faces they'd have to start shaving.  And that all sorts of new things start happening with their bodies, but that it's all normal, everybody goes through it, and we're here if they want to ask us anything.  I said that my body is different from theirs, so they can ask their dad if they're more comfortable, but I'll help them as much as I can if they want me to.  And they can certainly ask me about the whole girl side of things.

So A says, "we don't get to watch the girl video because they get to see how boobs grow.  But I wish I could watch that one too."  Again, refreshing honesty.

All I know is that I hope I can maintain an open line of communication through all this.  I grew up with parents who did NOT know how to talk about all this with us.  It was a generation thing, I know, but I hope I can start a new tradition of open dialog.  It's going to be tricky because of how far it is out of my comfort zone, but I think I'm doing all right so far.  I just hope I can keep my composure when the trickier questions start coming my way.

I have heard from buddies that this video introduces topics like masturbation.  Deep breath.  I can handle that, right???  Sure I can.  It's all good.

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