Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Having "the conversation" with Lucy

I never thought I'd be writing about this on the blog.
When I started this thing eight years ago, Lucy was only two years-old.
And this year she started 5th grade!  Next year she'll be in middle school!  I mean, she's basically almost married and having kids of her own.
It's like the old saying, the days are long; the years are short, isn't even true any more.
Everything is just short; and passing quickly.

(Kindergarten •  Fifth Grade) 

The conversations have changed from Why do we have STOP signs? to
Why did we have World War II?
Who should be President?
Why can't we teleport?
Which cereal has the most folic acid?

I love it all.
Well most of it all.  It really is fun to have more meaningful conversations and to see their minds expanding. 
But as you remember from 4th and 5th grade, we've also entered the uncomfortable conversation stage...or rather, the need for conversations about our changing bodies, puberty, periods, all that good stuff.
I know.
It feels funny to write about this here on my blog.
And I had been dreading, dreading "the conversation" with Lucy.
Maybe you've been in the same boat?
HelloFlo, First Period Kits asked me to share our experience with you. 

Because last year Lucy and I finally sat down and had a conversation.

And guess what?  It was no big deal.
Maybe because we didn't make it a big deal?  I don't know.  I'm definitely not an expert.
Before we talked I got opinions from a lot of friends---asking them how they talked to their children about puberty and sex and all that jazz.  I don't think you can gather too much information on this topic.

And then we just had a casual, to-the-point conversation.
I didn't want to make the discussion too big, or extravagant, like we were having a special night out to discuss something serious.  Because I want these topics to feel like something she can always talk to me about, no matter what is on her mind.  Time will only tell with that.
But I approached it somewhat scientific, talking about our bodies and why they change.  We spent a lot of time talking about hygiene and deodorant, bras, etc. before jumping into periods and basics of sex.
And that's something I really love about the HelloFlo First Period Kit (available exclusively at Target).  Not only is it full of essentials for a changing body, but the first thing you see when you open the box is a little guide booklet "for girls" and one "for parents". 

It immediately puts you at ease.   The cards have simple illustrations and give practical advice for having these very conversations, about puberty.  I really loved the tip about "avoiding eye contact" as you talk. Haah.
I had another friend mention that one as well. Of course it's fine to have eye contact with your child.   But she said that some of her best conversations are while she and her daughter drive in the car because neither of them feel pressured or uncomfortable to look at each other while they share.

Also in the kit are a box of U by Kotex pads, which has crazy fast absorption to help stop leaks (and the pads come individually wrapped in cute little packages--I'm a sucker for cute packaging)  Then there's some lotion and lip balm, a cute bracelet made by women in Costa Rica, some hairbands, tissues, and best of all....a little HelloFlo bag to hold the pads.  You'll also find other kits, with other products on their site

I had to laugh at the cute little bag...because I remembered this post back when Lucy was in Kindergarten.
She had had a few little accidents at school.   So I made her a bag to hold an extra pair of undies and shorts so she could more discreetly go the bathroom and change. 

When Lucy and I first started talking about periods, I thought it would be fun to make a similar bag to hold hygiene products.  But then the HelloFlo kit came one with one!  
And it's pretty cute. 

Definitely much smaller, and smarter than the huge "discrete" bag I made in kindergarten.  

When Lucy and I had our first conversation, I showed her what a pad looks like, and what a tampon looks like.  But opening this kit was great because it brought up the topic again.  And once her school had given their own health/hygiene talk last year in 4th grade, she and I discussed it again.  I think that's kind of the key-- to bring it up every now and then.  So it's not this big one-time discussion.  I asked her if the school covered the same things we had talked about.  She said yes.  And she said the students could ask questions.
So what was your question?
Well, I asked if you had to set your alarm to wake up in the middle of the night so you could change your pad?
Haha.  I love that Lucy.  I'm so glad she's open to talking about this. 
And I asked her permission to share these stories with you, and to take pics of her with the HelloFlo kit, and she said that would be fine.

These are definitely evolving topics over here.  But I'm glad we've broken the ice. 
If you're ready to take the plunge I say go for it.  Gather advice, pick up a HelloFlo kit, just start talking and being open about it.

It you'd like to try out a kit, today we're giving away....

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