And now … a note about puberty.
It came and went – twice – in my family. Two daughters down, one to go. No one has been that moody through it. Not even me. Not even as a the odd man out.
I can talk to my daughters about important things. I can tell them about a father who dies when you’re in your 30s or a cousin who dies when you’re 6. I can tell them about moving three time zones from the only home you’ve ever known, as a teenager.
But for some things … only a mother’s wisdom will do.
Jen from Driftwood Gardens blog recently wrote about impending puberty. In my family, talk about deodorant and changing bodies and feminine hygiene products is no big deal.
I think life conditions dads to fear it before we understand it. Maybe instead of understanding it. At Centennial Elementary School, they hoarded we boys one way, girls another. Then they taught us about our changing bodies. There was no overlap.
Only giggles, and stories our older siblings or cousins told us, or things we learned on cable TV.
Did you know this? Until I was a teenager – a late teenager – I didn’t know the difference between a pantiliner and a tampon. Anything that a girl had to use in her underwear, in my book, was a tampon. It was universal as Kleenex and Xerox to me.
There’s still much I don’t understand.
Maybe this is also supposed to be on a “need to know” basis. I have received texts at that time of month for my oldest that read:
“BRING ME SOMETHING GREASY HOME FOR LUNCH AND BRING IT NOW!”
with the follow up,
“MAKE THAT TWO – YOUR OTHER DAUGHTER’S GOT HER PERIOD TOO!”
I am a good soldier. Cheeseburgers, all around. When period synchronize, don’t ask questions. You comply, and you retreat. You go above and beyond, and bring home not shakes, but ingredients for root beer floats.
Tall, junked-up-with-chocolate-syrup root beer floats.
All this is reality. All this, also, plays into the stereotype of the woman swept aloft by a cocktail of hormones. Reality lays somewhere else. We men will blame any outburst on a woman’s time of month.
We joke – even Elise and me – about a female president of any nation, who will declare war once a month. Then she’ll rescind the attack two days later with a tearful “I’m sorry! Your country is SO PRETTY! CAN WE JUST BE FRIENDS??”
It’s best not to make a big deal of it.
many months pass and I don’t notice my daughters’ time of month. I don’t want them to feel embarrassed if they are hormonal. We men shouldn’t make this a “girl thing.”
Let’s just all get along. Know the difference, guys, between a maxipad and a pantiliner. The scented and unscented. That when you get a text for pantiliners during the day, after work is just fine timing.
When you get a text for tampons during the day, you’d better get them at lunch. And include a bag of M&Ms.
And it helps when I get a cheeseburger for myself, too.