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April 06, 2009

When Is It Time for "The Talk?"

"The Talk" is staring me in the face.  Yes, I am referring to the one all parents dread -- the birds and the bees.  The facts of life.  Things that are going to be "changing" in my daughter's life.

I have been happily in denial, thinking that I don't have to worry about it with my nine-year-old daughter anytime soon.  Except that my stepdaughter is EXTREMELY pregnant and due in a month.  PunditGirl has been asking all the questions that should have given me a clue, like "Will it hurt when the baby comes out?"

I've been percolating the responses in my head and struggling with when is the right time. And how.  And with what words.

In the meantime, I've been filling out health forms for an outdoor summer camp, jotting down the usual immunization and emergency contact info, and came to this entry:

"For Female Campers: Has this camper menstruated?  If not, has she been told about it?"

Yikes.

I didn't learn about that until I was in 5th grade (and then it was a grade school movie and the Kotex pamphlet.  Not a lot of detail there).  I know I need to give this some thought about how to end the innocent part of her life where she doesn't have to think about her period or tampons or whether it's an OK time of the month to wear white pants.

I know there's a new book out that talks about all this in more personal ways called My Little Red Book But I need something less nuanced and more elementary school friendly.  And soon.

PunditGirl had a sleepover with my pregnant stepdaughter and her husband a few weeks ago.  She raised the issue of whether they should answer third-grade PunditGirl's questions that came up on this topic or whether they should punt.  Another mom at my daughter's school recently asked me whether I had figured this out, because she knew she needed to have the same chat with her daughter soon, too.

In my heart, my daughter is still my baby.  A little girl who sleeps with her blankie and a night light.  A child who won't let me give away the glider chair we used to rock her to sleep years ago because she still wants to have that 'remember when I was a baby' snuggle time.  Once I have "the talk" with her, we are headed down a road that I am not yet ready for and I know a door will be closed on a time of her life -- our life -- I'm not ready for.

Of course I realize that I have to let that go and step up to "the talk" before she starts hearing the info from other girls. But I'm not happy about it.

Wish me luck.

While Joanne is coming to grips with the fact that her little girl isn't so little anymore, you can also find her writing about all things political at her place, PunditMom, as well as at BlogHer, where she is a Contributing Editor for Politics & News.

Original DC Metro Moms post.

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