Undoubtedly the hardest part about being a parent, that I hadn't ever really thought through when I decided to become a mom, was how to talk to my kids about big things. I mean, I figured I'd just do it as I needed to and I'd be awesome and calm and not freak out.
Except that's basically what I'm not doing. Well, I'm freaking out.
Rightfully, it might be for nothing. I might be totally freaking out over nothing, I know this. And I'll be honest, I kind of cried a little before bed last night because it felt like this was such a huge turning point for not only me as a parent, but also for Olivia.
You see, for months now Olivia will randomly complain of headaches. Honestly, I thought it was just a lack of water and so I've made sure she's been hydrated. Then shortly after that she started having a random zip pop up here and there. No big deal, so we talked about maybe being a little more diligent with the face washing. For Christmas Santa got her a "spa set" that had body wash and one of those face cleaner things that spin? Well she loves it. Totally feels like a big kid, and has been doing really well.
Then I mentioned a few weeks ago how she complained about her armpits itching and sure enough, she's got hair starting to grow there. Which, I can understand how that's scary for a little girl not to mention annoying.
Yesterday, after school, Olivia said her stomach hurt. I didn't think anything of it. But then she's laying on the couch, holding her stomach. I take notice of that and she tells me her belly button hurts, it feels like she has rope and it's being twisted around. At first I thought, weird. Then it hit me.
Holy shit. These could be the start of menstrual cramps.
She could be getting her period.
We haven't had The Talk.
Which means I have to have The Talk. I have no idea how to have The Talk. How much of The Talk do I give? How do I make a period not sound scary? "Oh, it's just this little thing where once a month what looks like a lot of blood comes out of you, it's sometimes painful, it'll last about a week and you'll get this every month for the rest of your life."
Because that's not terrifying at ALL.
Today she isn't complaining. I feel like hopefully I can wait until this weekend? Like maybe I'll send Matt and Jackson off to do manly things, and then her and I will do a girly at home spa day and I'll explain it? Maybe I'll get lucky and this isn't an immediate thing. Maybe it was just a freak stomach ache and we're years away from a period.
But maybe we aren't.
I remember when I was 12, it was almost the end of the school year and I remember feeling awful all day. Shortly before leaving school, I saw brown stuff in my underwear. I absolutely panicked, but didn't want to go to the nurse because what was I going to say? I think I maybe peed brown in my pants? Except nothing is really wet like pee? So I got on the bus to go home.
When I got home, I immediately changed clothes and hid my underwear like any 12 would do.
But within an hour, I realized it was happening again. Not sure what to do, I hid a second pair of underwear. After the third pair of underwear had what clearly looked like blood in it, I freaked out and cried in the bathroom. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, not sure if I was going to get into trouble, but I knew if anyone would know what to do it would be my mom.
I remember she was doing dishes in the kitchen, it wasn't long before bed time, and my dad and brother were watching TV. I very quietly told her I had brown stuff in my underwear, but that I was bleeding and I wasn't sure where to put a band aid. And bless my mother, who could have burst into laughter, did not. She was as calm as can be, walked me to the bathroom, handed me a pad and asked if I needed her to show me what to do with it. I said no because I didn't want to sound dumb, but when she left I read the packaging and figured it out. When I left the bathroom, my mom was in my room and just told me if I had questions, I could always ask, but that I had gotten my period. That it happens to every girl, it'll happen every month and if it hurts I need to tell her.
And that was pretty much it. I remember crying in bed because it just felt awful. Like my life was ruined. I also didn't know, do you tell your friends? Did they know about this horrible thing that happens to you? Are kids at school going to know I'm wearing a pad to school? Oh god, what do I do when it's gym and I have to change?
Fortunately, I figured my way through life with a period rather quickly. I also realized all of my friends started getting theirs not long after me and that was kind of nice because it was like a dirty secret and at least you weren't alone.
But Olivia is only NINE. I was twelve, so she should technically have three more years until this is a thing. Nine. That's just so young. She just informed me yesterday she was too big girl for Barbies and now I have to talk about periods?