Yesterday at school, my fourth grade daughter watched “the video.” You know the one. The one that all parents dread, that makes your innards cringe and your bowels pucker. The one that forces you to have a “talk” with your child months, maybe years before you are truly ready. About PUBERTY. For God sakes! My daughter is a delicate, naive, precious, halo-wearing cuddly affectionate nugget of innocence. She is loving and sweet, still plays with her stuffed animals and Barbie Dolls, is afraid of the dark and wouldn’t dare use the word “stupid,” because I told her she wasn’t allowed to back when she was 2 years old. She is a really good listener. And she is NOT ready for any kind of maturation movie. At all. We are not. I mean SHE. She is not.
There are not a whole lot of things that I find more uncomfortable than the prelude to the pivotal birds and bees conversation. And I am awkward. Still. Also, oddly enough, I am “Miss Mary Modesty,” which does not make a lick of sense, since I have an inappropriate sense of humor and a hard core aversion to normalcy. Nonetheless, for whatever unexplainable reason, with my children, I return to severe mom mode, and my usual liberal point of view suddenly becomes abnormally uber conservative. Like, for example, fairy kisses mixed with unicorn wishes on a young married person’s pillow (or 2 people who have taken place in a committed and loving civil union – because I do not hate or discriminate, holla!) are how babies are made. Sigh…I suppose it’s time for my angel to grow up, but only after I pass her her sippy cup to her through the baby gate.
Now, to my dismay, I am forced to tell my baby that she is going to be bleeding from the place where she goes tinkle, and that she will be growing hair in places that she still calls her “pee-pee.” Angry frowny face!
In the car with my daughter a couple days prior, just to ease my frantic mind, I managed to outline in my brain the 3 major body changes that I thought the video would cover: boobs, blood and hair. It was time for me to have a conversation. The time was now. Seize the moment. Carpe diem! Soup du jour! Okay, time was starting to run out. I was getting ready to turn on my street. Beyond my control or comprehension, I suddenly develop some tourette type symptoms, and started to urgently blurt out every variation of those words: “Boobies with bloody hair!” “Hairy bleeding boobies! “Bloody booby hair!” My poor child looks over at me with disgust. And I think she just secretly dialed DCF. She’s innocent, but a really good judge of character.
So, I watched the video. I’m one of those moms who came in for the preview. I did it. It was weird and scientific and extremely uncomfortable. I’m honestly such a movie critic that I found myself mostly focusing on my own scrutiny of the director’s casting choices. I do not know why they picked that chick for the lead role – she obviously did such a tragic job that they cut all of her lines out during the editing process. She couldn’t have had any prior movie cred. Her dad was probably the director. Gah! What kind of soundtrack is this? That is not an orchestra. This film’s score really sucks. Oh, that’s quite a dirty phrase for this movie. I hope that’s not in there. Squirrel!
I really don’t know how much I actually absorbed or if I’m better off for watching. But, I do know that I’m seriously skeered. I’m not prepared for the answers that will ensue. I do not want to have this conversation! I need to go reflect. I need to go find the perfect room in my house to be alone so I can have some zen time. I’m a huge endorser of Kama Sutra. Not Kama Sutra! Dang it. Feng Shui. Huge Feng Shui person. Anyhoo, I am also a “puberty conversation virgin.” I need liquor.
As it turns out, most of the “video” went over her head. She understood only a small percentage. The part she remembered, for some reason, was where the disenchanting lead actress and her friends go for an afternoon ‘dip’ in the pool, and this just happens to be during her ‘shark week,’ if you catch my drift. Here’s my daughter’s exact words: “Mommy, that video was HORRIFYING! I’m NEVER going swimming when I’m a teenager, because you get your period and you have to put this pink thing up your butt and then when you’re done, you pull it out with a string!”