Monday, December 31, 2007

It Suddenly Occured to Me

We were all sitting at the table the other night, having a "normal" dinner together. Me, my hus, E and T were there. As you may know, E is my nine year old daughter and T is my 4 year old son. Well, we were enjoying our usual dinner conversation, everyone competing to be the loudest and most obnoxious, I mean, interesting one. My hus made a comment on how he thought E had a crush on a boy named, I'll call him "D", and I said I thought she had a crush on J not D. We laughed, at her expense, and I said "Well, E, you are too young to have a boyfriend anyw......" and I couldn't finish my sentence because it suddenly occurred to me, I had a boyfriend in fourth grade, which was when I was nine!!!!!

Wait, this can't be right, I thought to myself, when I remember being much older in fourth grade. Wait, that doesn't make any sense. I always thought I was good at remembering what it was like being young, which I think is helpful when trying to understand my children, so how could I forget such an important thing? Denial? Wishful Thinking? My daughter is not too young to have a boyfriend, at least not the same kind of boyfriend I had when I was nine.

His first name was Alex and I don't remember his last name. We were both in 4Th grade and we were considered boyfriend and girlfriend for maybe a couple of months. I know it was 4Th grade because I also remember my sweeties from 5Th, 6Th and 7Th grade. My memory after 7Th starts to become a little fuzzy as that is when I started to smoke cigarettes, drink beer and smoke pot. I remember Alex would call me on the phone and we would talk. I have no idea what we talked about, but that and the occasional hand holding, was the extent of our relationship.

E still insists she doesn't have a crush on any boy, and only girls call her on the phone. But I guess I should be prepared for when the boys start calling.

E is also at the age where I am supposed to be talking to her about her body and the dreaded Period! I didn't think of that either until a girlfriend of mine told me that she got her period when she was nine. Uh Oh, I thought I would have a couple more years, but sadly, no. I'm a nurse so it is not hard for me to talk about bodily functions, but it is not easy for E to hear about stuff like that yet. She has always known about a Period, but never any specifics. So when I approached her, she was not immediately ready. I didn't force her to listen, I just told her that she can come to me with questions as she wishes.

Well, a few weeks after our initial talk, she did come to me. I told her what I could and as I did she got a horrified expression on her face and told me "That's all for now".

While I was shopping for Xmas gifts, I came across the book pictured below. It is a very easy to read, made for pre-pubescent girls, body book. It talks about all the body changes expected during puberty, not just periods. I read it and then gave it to E (not as an Xmas gift!) and told her she could read it if she wanted, then ask me questions.

She took the book and disappeared into her room for about 3 minutes, then came running out, slammed the book on the counter in front of me and yelled "THAT IS DISGUSTING, I WILL NEVER GET MY PERIOD!!!!" She hasn't mentioned it since, which is OK. At least she will not be shocked when she does get it. And have bitchy stuck up mean girls throw tampons on her in the girls locker room like I did, I mean Carrie did.

I have not even thought of how to approach the SEX talk. Since I was a virgin until marriage, I mean until I was 16, hopefully I have a few years to figure it out.


Shelly Overlook said...

Oh my god - you're giving me nightmares about my future.

Although, I do have to say I had a boyfriend in the 4th grade too. His name was Derek and one day when we went to the park to play, he asked me if I wanted to kiss. I was horrified, told him no, that was gross, he agreed, so we just hung out and did whatever. I don't think my horror at kissing lasted much longer though.

Happy New Year!

Family Adventure said...

Heidi, I totally get what you are saying about the BFs...I have boys, but one is in grade 5, and I'm starting to wonder, too. Would he tell me? Does he have a girlfriend already? Yikes. I'm not ready.

As far as the s.e.x. talk -- I'm a big wimp. I've left it to his dad, which I am sure is a bad decision. I'll have to man myself up and do it soon. Soon. SOON.

Happy New Year!


fold my laundry please said...

My first boyfriend was in the 3rd grade. His name was Todd Walker Todd's main claim on my heart? We would ride bikes together and go joyfully crashing through mud puddles. It was tres romantique!

Happy New Year

hellomelissa said...

i really dread the sex talk stuff.

h has had the same girlfriend since kindergarten. almost 4 years.

happy new year! and tell e that once she's done having babies she can have a nice hysterectomy like me and be free from periods once again. it rocks!

Alissa said...

Oh, my! I am always so glad that I have boys...but I imagine they'll have their challenges, too. At least they don't get their period!

I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 16 :-)

Gina said...

My mom did something similar in buying a book and leaving it out for me to read.

I wish you the Happiest of New Years!

MereCat said...

I had a boyfriend in kindergarten that lasted until some new girl came to my school in the third grade and SNAKED him! As far as a real boyfriend goes, let's just say that I missed "sweet sixteen and never been kissed" by the lesser part of one month. Ultimately, I was a bit of a late bloomer.

Anne said...

I think the next half dozen years will be the toughest ...the more the kids know the earlier the better in my opinion. I was constantly talking about everything to my kids (and stepchildren) and I am glad i did. Better you than their friends. Good luck. (My son is eighteen and I am retiring ..sort of).

Lainey-Paney said...

...boys are so much easier, I think.

Karen MEG said...

Amazing how quickly kids grow up, and how grown up we thought we were when we were their age! I didn't have a boyfriend until high school (late, late bloomer) but I remember kids "getting married" when I was in Grade 6. And having major crushes in Grad. 5. I guess 9 is about the time to talk about the period stuff... I remember reading Judy Blume's "Are you there God, it;s me Margaret" and hoping against hope that I would get my period quickly. And I was so angry when my younger sister got it before me, she didn't even know what it was, but she must have been terrified as she was only 10. (I got mine 2 weeks later, but quickly learned that it was a DRAG more than anything else!).
Good luck with it all... I'm not looking forward to it, I've got a few more years, thank goodnesss!
Hapy New Year, BTW!

Karen MEG said...

I've tagged you for a new year challenge, if you're in the mood!

Granny said...

I hope things are different where you live but I wouldn't wait too long to have that "talk".

Kids talk to each other and they're a wealth of misinformation.

alison said...

My girls are almost 8 and just 5. I know I'm going to have to face The Talk sooner or later. That book looks good. I'll pick one up and see if it's what I want to give to the oldest. In a year or two.

Kate The Great said...

I wonder what happened to Alex?

And...I'm going to go get that book for Samantha... thanks

Stephanie said...

I say get started now, you have to talk about it casually and not just have one talk. It is way easier that way, just bring up things casually and ask her a question about her body to see if she knows anything. Our kids are exposed to so much more stuff way earlier than when we were kids. She may already know some things and that's a good way to get the conversation going. If you do it this way she will be more apt to ask you questions and not her friends. Good luck, you'll do great.