Welcome to my world - The world of Tish

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Pre-sex education FOR MOMMIES ONLY

I stand at the top of the slippery slope we all know as sex education.
Yesterday, I took the first steps down the steep hill as my daughter asked me about periods and why women bleed. Instead of burying my head in the sand and changing the subject, I showed her the difference in a tampon and a pad (sorry guys, this isn't your kind of blog today), how it happens once a month and waited for the next question.
"You mean you stick it up inside of your girl-girl?" (Our secret name for vagina, that's another story.) She examined the wrapped tampon with genuine interest. "I definitely won't be using this."
In the early 80s, when Toxic Shock Syndrome was all the rage, my mother forbade me from ever using a tampon. Even when I snuck out of her watchful gaze and purchased them, she found my stash and tossed them into the garbage. Think of it, ladies: you are a new girl in a small town, invited to a swim party to meet all of your future classmates BUT since your mother won't let you use a tampon, you have to sit on the bleachers and tell them you have an ear infection?? Yea, they really believed that.
Now with my own daughter, I cringe at the thought of discussing sex with a 7 year old, but if I don't, who will? I don't want one of her buddies telling her you can get pregnant from a toilet seat or worse, that you can't get pregnant or get AIDS on the first time or that it's alright to have sex whenever you want.
For now, she is satisfied with being special, being a girl, and being on TV with her brother in their home movies. Maybe we'll stay that way for a while, I hope.

4 Comments:

  • Well Tish- your daughter is getting an early start on asking questions. When do you expect the next round? I don't even think I knew or cared anything about sex or the female anatomy at age 7! It's amazing how fast kids grow up these days. I guess I'd better get ready for it. Well - good luck with your blog and your daughter! Enjoyed the reading.
    Julie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:18 PM  

  • Horrid memories plague my mind from my childhood days of "ear infections." My brothers made it hard, cramps made it harder, and my mother had constantly reminded me that I had to be a bitch each time the cycle renewed itself, never taking me seriously during those weeks. Even when my points and emotions were valid, she'd chalk them off to over-reacting due to p.m.s. and go about her business, ingorning what I'd felt. As a result, by age 13, I was wishing with all my might that something would happen so I'd never have to deal with that "disgusting process" anymore. Little did I know how often wishes do come true. I had my three children, then developed cervical cancer. For two years I fought, having surgery every three months to tame the beast. Finally, at age 25, I was granted the hysterectomy and haven't had an "ear infection" since.

    When my daughter started asking me questions, I answered them with honor. Never wanting her to feel shame or disgust over being a woman, I told her how fortunate she is to be able to go through womanly processes because without them, we could never become mommies. At age ten, she got her first cycle. She was showered with gifts - a journal, flowers, a special calendar - and then asked if she'd tell me each time her "friend" came. The word friend was important to me because I thought it might instill in her a more positive outlook on the process. It worked - she never has a problem communicating with me, never feels ashamed of herself, and she loves being female.

    Back when I was young (thinks flinstones, but is only 32), girls didn't get their cycles until the ages of 13-15 on all counts. But to date, every youngster I know relates having started by age ten.

    Questions may come early, but I find it best to answer them with love, respect, and integrity. Everything seems to happen earlier now than it did when we were kids.

    Congrats on the milestone!

    By Blogger Wendi Friend, at 11:33 AM  

  • I was browsing blogs randomly (love that 'Next Blog' button!) and I found yours by chance.

    Sounds like you're doing a fabulous job of educating your daughter!

    I remember my mom giving me 'the Talk'. She explained everything about the periods (and embarrassed me to no end by making me carry pads in my bag everywhere that I went, just in case...LOL), but she wasn't all that hot about the sex part. She explained the stages of cellular division/foetus development in great details, with pictures to boot (I kid you not... I was the only 7 yo to know about morula, blastula and all that), but I had no idea of how the sperm actually got there to fertilize the egg in the first place... LOL :) I'm sure you're daughter will thank you later on for being so open!

    By Blogger muse, at 3:21 PM  

  • Wow 7! I'm sooo dreading the days! I only hope I can be as calm and collected!!!!

    By Blogger Melissa, at 12:43 AM  

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