The symptoms are starting.
This morning, she slept until noon. Very unusual considering she’s an early riser.
She complains about her tummy hurting even though she’s not hungry.
She saw a large amount of cloudy, creamy glob of vaginal goo in her underwear in school.
And her boobs are the size of drink coasters.
These may not be the pubescent signs for every 11 year old girl, but I’m going to assume my baby is about to meet her Aunt Flo very soon.
It’s hard to imagine considering she has not adapted to the idea of puberty very well. I remember going to Walmart to shop for her training bras and she refused them. I told her since she has boobies now, she’s going to have to keep them covered properly so they don’t poke out through her shirts like headlights. She was so turned off by it, she Googled methods to saw off a woman’s boobs when we got home.
Like, seriously. She ain’t feeling this puberty shit. And I don’t think I am either.
The 11 year old I know wears sweatshirts and baggy jeans. Her hair is full of long, thick dreadlocks but when it comes to elaborate styling, she runs for the border. And getting her to wear earrings, skirts, and dresses? I feel like Hades will freeze over before she remotely considers wearing anything that celebrates femininity.
So, knowing her little body is blossoming into that of a young lady who will soon be complaining how much her pads are slipping and sliding in her panties and how much yelling I’ll be doing to convince her of the dangers of tampons, I figured out some ways that will help me better prepare for my daughter’s Coming of Age.
Stop Putting Puberty In A Box
What I experienced when I was going through puberty and what she is experiencing (or any other little girl) is not the same. Some girls won’t never have any of the symptoms my daughter has. Furthermore, some girls will let the wind carry them into womanhood effortless and some girls will fight that shit tooth and nail!
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to a girl’s puberty. The symptoms my daughter experience could be nothing. But some symptoms, like the huge boobs, are hard to avoid, making her Aunt Flo’s arrival all the more imminent. Explaining the importance of not wanting looking snotty boys staring at her perky pecks made the transition to training bras pretty easy.
But pushing her to wear small panty liners to catch her vaginal gooey goo? Puberty is going to happen but some things I will introduce at her time and pace.
Or until Aunt Flo kicks down her vaginal door and we have no choice but to address that shit head on.
Will her scarlet streams of womanhood be light? Or will she have the menstrual version of the Great Flood in her bedsheets?
I have no idea how my daughter’s period will operate so, as her support system and concerned mom, the best I can do is stock up on a little bit of everything.
Panty liners for the simple brownish discharge days and the huge pamper-like maxis with wings that soak up an entire river on heavy days.
I also plan to stock up on extra pairs of underwear, perfume, detergent, Midol, or anything else she will need to ease those crampy, cruddy days when she’s hormonal because she soiled the hell out of her favorite Brazilian-cut panties.
Don’t Be Overdramatic
There’s nothing to freak out about.
Just like there’s nothing to over-prepare for.
Nearly every girl will have a menstrual cycle and regardless of how well intentioned and supportive you try to be, the best way to deal with your daughter’s puberty is to probably, well, deal with it.
Because puberty is not as always as predictable as parents wish it would be, it’s hard to be 100% prepared for it. And because one little girl will adapt to puberty completely different than another little girl, it’s impossible to have your feminine product arsenal ready. I’ll probably end up looking and feeling like a stupid mad chicken trying to set everything up for the perfect initial ovulation experience for my daughter.
So, perhaps the best way to prepare for a little girl’s Coming of Age is to just let it happen, be supportive, and walk her through each and everything soiled panty, messed up bedsheet, and wicked cramp she’ll experience for the next several decades.
Monica is a devoted single mom of two and freelance writer from Virginia. She’s been featured in places The Washington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Yahoo, and USA Today. You can also find her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/moleftwich or on her website, http://www.monicaleftwich.com