Wow, I didn't mean to procrastinate this long. I apologize!
*alert! If frank talk about the female body and it's functions makes you feel squicky, skip this!*
On Thursdays, Zoe brings home fliers and such from school in a folder called "Thursday Folder". This is where I find completed assignments from the classroom, notes telling me when class field trips and parties will take place and other such information.
This last Thursday, I found a permission slip in her Thursday Folder so that she may attend the "Maturation and Hygiene Program" being held for the fourth grade girls soon. I remember the program we had when I was in sixth grade that took place over two days. All the girls went with three female teachers, we watched a film about menstruation and fertilization. Then we had a lesson in how the various protection methods worked. We got to see an old style pad and belt and were then shown how much easier the pads with the stick-um on the back were to use. We were able to write down questions we were too embarrassed to ask out loud. I came away with a lot of information and some more questions for my mom, who was very good about answering my queries frankly and without embarrassing me anymore than I already was just asking her anything about THAT.
I'm imagining that Zoe's program will be similar. It's not like the information is different, the body works in the same way and protection technology hasn't really changed either. The teachers MAY discuss cloth and sea sponges, but will probably stick with what can be bought on the shelf.
I was a little surprised that this program is given in fourth grade, as I was in sixth. I have to remember that her hormones have started to move around already, her body is changing in ways her dad and I can see plainly. I also have to remember that Zoe is the youngest in her class. She started Kindergarten here because she had already attended Kindergarten in California. Normally, I would have been told to wait until after she turned six, based on her birth date at the end of August. There are girls in her class who are ten. And elementary school here goes through grade five. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade are taught at middle school.
By the time she gets to middle school, the older girls will be getting their periods. It makes sense to give the info a little early than too late.
I'm going to have to really try and not grill her about what she learned, does she have any questions, I'm your mom! Let me help you through this confusing time!
Not long ago, I told her if anything was going on with her body that she was worried about, she could always come and talk to me. She looked up at me and said "What?!?!?!". I told her to never mind.
One thing I will tell her, when she's ready to talk about it, is that all women menstruate and there is nothing to be ashamed about. There's no reason why women shouldn't talk about it, because it's a part of our lives. It will seem like a very big deal for a while, then it will just be part her everyday existence and it won't cause her to miss a beat. Especially since the women in our family don't suffer from cramps or clots or any other unpleasantness with our monthlies.
It is alarming when I reach these milestones where I remember that this child is going to grow up. I may go put some protection in her bathroom so she can check them out in private. Privacy is essential when a girl is growing up. I'm going to prepare myself to give her lots in the coming years.
Pray for me.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: If your skin gets greasy during your period, use oil absorbing sheets, found at any drug or grocery store for very little money to blot the oil off your skin. You'll be grossed out the first time you see how translucent the papers become after you blot your face.