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Dear friends, please come to my Period Party- or not.

I couldn’t believe when Emma told me that there are things called Period Parties. So I Googled it, and yes- there are Period Parties.

WTF?

I guess they’re called Menarche Parties. Menarche is the first period of a girl according to ancient Greece- or Wikipedia, whatever.

First there were potty parties for potty training, now there’s period parties. Oy vey. Why not? The Jewish throw parties for the foreskin and women throw parties for their boob jobs too. You can throw a party for anything really, and lately parents have been doing just this. (But let’s not okay?)

I’m not the only one to blog about this, I know. But my readers are a little bit like me, and if you’ve been living under a rock, you’re going to want to know what to do for your daughter that crosses that threshold to womanhood.

Here’s my advice- don’t waste your money on Tampon Basketball as a game if you’re going to throw one of these parties. This was a game suggested on one of the parenting websites for fun activities to do during a Period Party. Another item of advice they included, “probably don’t invite boys- this could be embarrassing.”  Well, no shit, Sherlock.

Back to Tampon Basketball- I’m sorry, but Tampax doesn’t come cheap and providing several boxes for half a dozen 12 and 13 year olds to toss in a can or bucket and see who gets the most in, isn’t my idea of how I want to spend my money.

I won’t be ordering a red velvet cake either with frosting inscribed to read, ‘Happy Menarche Emma” (Menarche- pronounced like Malarkey)

Hmm, what else? I won’t be sending out invitations to her intimate group of girl friends. Honestly, they are nice girls, but how am I going to be guaranteed that they won’t laugh in my daughter’s face when Emma hands them the red embossed envelope that reads, “From Girlhood, to Womanhood, Come to My Period Party.”

We won’t spend the afternoon making crafts with red paint and sequins, or drinking raspberry leaf tea with fancy tampon tea bags. Edward Cullen anyone?

If people want to throw these crimson tide parties for their daughter- yay. Good for you. If your daughter WANTS this.

Mine however, does not. She doesn’t want to macrame tampon strings. She won’t play pin the ovaries on the fallopian tubes.

What I will be doing for her instead-

  • Bringing her some ibuprofen
  • Heating up the rice pack in the microwave
  • Buying her favorite Ben & Jerry’s
  • Letting her watch countless episodes of Glee or Castle
  • Making sure she has plenty of black leggings and dark jeans to wear (this is probably the most important lesson of all!)
  • Having a proper supply of the appropriate hygiene items
  • A bottle of wine for myself

 

What you should be doing for your daughter with or without a Menarche party-

Letting  her feel comfortable to come to you with any question regarding her privates.

Help her to feel that menses, despite it being a bitch (I’m sorry, I refuse to celebrate what a fucking pain it is), it’s something all of us females have to go through and there’s no shame in it.

It’s a mother fucker, but it’s part of life and there’s no shame, no shame at all.

Happy period sweetie.

 

 

 

Let’s hop on the puberty roller coaster and go for a ride!

Grab your helmets and strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Emma is almost 13. I will be blogging about this frequently. So just get used to it.

When your child is a toddler you deal with emotional outbursts, jags of fatigue and desperation. Fits of borderline psychotic attempts at expressing one’s individuality through yelling and door slamming.

Well, ten years later- you get to go through it. All. Over. Again.

The sulking. The pouting. The ‘don’t talk to me!’. The “why don’t you understand?”. The “you’re the worst mom ever!”.

Isn’t parenting fun?

I realize my child did not ask to be brought into this world. My husband and I had this fabulous notion of making people and looking forward to how much it would fulfill and enrich our lives. And it has. I wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD. The sun rises and sets on my sweet children. However, it does not change the fact that there are times when I want to drop-kick my daughter into next week when she gets all up in my craw.

The other night I had to practice tremendous restraint. It was her brother’s Cub Scout banquet and we arrived early to help set up. Apparently, this is one of the worst things you can ask your almost 13 year old to help out with. They will give you that look like you’ve grown a horn from the center of your forehead and have asked them to drink the blood of a baby llama.

She forgot her iPod and Kindle. So this meant, she was without Instagram or SnapChat and had to – get this- interact with people actually in the room with her. Oh the horror.

I didn’t realize that she was extremely hungry when we got there. So this contributed to her grumpyness. I know I’m no fun when my blood sugar is plummeting. But folks- it was a banquet. We were 10 minutes from a spaghetti buffet with all the fixins’. She wasn’t going to starve.

Thank GOD the food helped. For about two hours she was pleasant to folks, helped take pictures and only made her brother cry once.

She almost made me cry twice, but hey. I’m tough. When it was over and we were helping clean up, again, we were – THE WORST parents ever. Making her stand around like that, helping to fold and stack chairs… ugh. It’s like coal mining. Such hard work.

I pretty much steered clear from her as best as I could. I think even bed time was tense and there seemed to be a lot of heavy exasperated sighs and drawer slamming. I gave her a short lecture on her stinky behavior and how she was a royal pain in the ass and not at all gracious to us.

While tucking in Owen he asked me why she was being such a butt. Well, he didn’t say that, but let’s just cut to the chase. I told him it’s part of girls growing up. They get moody and emotional and it’s best we stay out of her way.

The next morning, which was Sunday, I had an epiphany. I decided instead of pestering Emma to clean her room and continue to fight with her, I caught her off guard first thing when she woke up. “Hey, guess what?” I announced, “you and I are going to do a little shopping and go see a movie.”

Talk about 180 degree mood switch. Her face lit up. Her mood improved. She was mine again and it felt nice.

Yes, there was one or two instances during our day of where my annoying ‘momness’ seeped through and she needed to make me aware. But on the whole, we had a great time. We laughed, shopped, sang, and at times, almost peed our pants (from the laughing).

As much as I want to force her to comply and make her feel miserable for the way she treats us sometimes, I realize that I probably make the people miserable around me once a month. And I know that one of my favorite things to do is shop for makeup and go see a movie.

For some, maybe it’s go for a bike ride. Maybe it’s get out on the field and run or kick a ball. That’s great. I know that with my girl, usually some sushi and lip gloss helps set her straight.

Am I rewarding her rotten behavior? Not necessarily. I’m keeping her from putting her walls up around herself so high that I might never scale them again. Usually her mood swings come and go. But if I beat a dead horse and only nag her of all the things she’s doing wrong, or all the things she’s NOT doing (i.e. clean her room), I worry that she will shut me out and only want to keep company with her peers.

I also have to remember not to take her behavior personally. She’s not acting against me. She’s struggling within her own feelings.

I’ve always made it clear that I’m her mom first and foremost. But life’s too short to dwell in the low valleys of hormones. I think I kind of found a break-through. If I keep from harping on her, call her on her shit but don’t beat a dead horse with it, but find the stuff we have in common; I think we’ll all survive.

I’ll let you know.

 

 
Buy my book!

Self love. Yes, THAT kind.

Please be advised this is no pervy, whack-off post. Any of you who found this by Google or other key words, just go elsewhere. This is about parenting. If you’re looking for anything otherwise, move along.

Masturbation.

Yep. That word. It’s a doozy. What comes to mind when I hear that? That character on Family Guy, was it Master Bates from the Morning Wood Academy?  Ha ha. Insert frat humor here.

Okay. Have you had THAT talk with your kids? I’ve had that talk with my kids. But I’m talking about this talk. The other talk. You know, where you tell them that if they touch themselves they will go blind. Or their hand will shrivel up and fall off. I’m kidding! I just said that small puppies will die. Okay, seriously.

I have NOT had this talk with my kids. We’ve talked about sex and how a baby is made. Emma is pretty clear on most things between a man and a woman. I mean, you know, the basics. She’s had family life in school, she knows about STDs and drugs and alcohol. She’s got it covered.

Okay, well maybe I did have THIS talk about Master Bates with Emma. But it was not on purpose.

My children have always been, uhm, you know, precocious. They are big farters and announcers about their farts. They talk about their privates. ALL. THE. TIME. We’re pretty comfortable talking about pretty much anything.

And then, the other day, Owen asks me if it’s true that when you rub your nuts your penis gets hard. Well, I said, I don’t have that equipment so I can’t say from experience. (Yeah, I know, easy way out.) But that if at any time you want to touch your privates, it’s totally fine to do as long as you are by yourself and privately at home. And then I asked him where he heard this bit of information. And he said a kid at school said that rubbing your junk makes it hard. Lovely.
AWKWARD. So I just casually said that if he had any questions he should probably ask his father. And that if he ever feels like touching himself, it’s totally not a big deal and again, reiterate that it is to be done in seclusion. And to please not talk about it with anyone outside our family, like at school or the playground.  It’s best to just come to me or dad with questions.

I think I handled that pretty well.

Moving on to a different day and Emma makes a joke about rubbing the cats balls while she was petting his belly. Technically he doesn’t have any balls, since he is neutered, which is also more fodder for discussion and jokes in this house. We like to talk in funny cat voices and talk about his missing balls. It’s a whole ‘nother story.  I said to please not molest the cat, it invades his privacy. One should only rub their own privates not anyone else’s or any animal’s for that matter. (Seriously, I need to have these conversations? WTF?) So she says, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to rub their privates?!”

Uhm. Well. Uhm. No reason.

Is what I should have said.

But instead, I start to pontificate on the benefits of self pleasure. Well, not exactly. But I said that masturbation is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. It is perfectly common for when you start to reach adulthood and sexual maturity to want to touch yourself only with the means of making it ‘feel good’.

Insert big shocked face from Emma here.

“Oh my gosh!! There is NO WAY that I’m just going to stick my hand down to my vagina because I WANT to! Do I just start flapping around my labias and clitoris for fun? NO!” (okay, this girl knows her parts and it kinda freaks me out every time she uses them in context!)

Me- “Well, your brother was discussing that boys at school talked about rubbing their privates and it felt good, so I was just making sure you were clear on the whole parameters on that kind of thing.”

Her- “DISGUSTING! So dad rubbed his junk when he was a teenager? Like I want to think about that!! EWWW!!! No thank you!”

Me- (Totally not trying to crack up and make her think I think this is a joke. She makes Taylor Lautner pectoral jokes all the time, now she goes all prude on me?) “Hey, that’s fine sweetie, whatever you are comfortable with. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.” (please, please, please, don’t have any questions.)

Her- “Okay, well thank you for that mom. I’ll just go to bed now and try not to have nightmares about this sort of thing.”

Drama queen much?

So there you go. If you ever need any advice on how to talk to your kids about anything sexual, feel free to ask me. No, actually, I’m kidding. You’re on your own.

But I have said this- as much as we parents squirm and dance around this stuff- if your kids can come to YOU about it, Elle Woods finger snaps to you.

Because parenting is about being there. And then blogging about it after they walk away.

Are you there Judy Blume? It’s me, Rebecca.

Do you remember Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume? I read it in 3rd grade. Which seems a little young now that I think about it. It’s about this girl, Margaret who can’t wait to get her period. Every girl in school read it. Judy Blume always knows exactly how to capture adolescence and all the poignancy of the years up to adulthood. She’s like the John Hughes of authors. She’s a genius.

Well, I would like to rewrite that book if I could. It would be called- “Dear Eve, You Fucked Up and Periods Are A Bitch”.

God cursed us for Eve’s mistake and gave us labor pains and the monthlies. That’s what Judy Blume should have written about.

I know why we wanted to be Margaret in that book. We wanted to grow up. Every girl dreams of when they’re a grown woman. We put on mommy’s lipstick, her high heels, pretended to be secretaries or something with our purses and ‘checkbooks’ in them when we are 4 years old. I loved it when my mom would give me an old book of checks or a spare check register from the bank.  I felt so grown up! Or maybe she would give me her old library card or something that I could pretend was a credit card. That was like Christmas!

After my visit to the doctor last week, ( Sometimes It Sucks Being a Woman…)  to this week’s ultrasound that my doctor had me do, I felt like this whole ‘time of the month’ business is bullshit. No news here, I know.

No wonder they call it ‘the curse’, ‘being on the rag’. ‘Aunt Flo’ is putting it nicely for gosh sakes!

There’s a blogger, The Bearded Iris, who wrote- If Pollyanna Had a Period. If that doesn’t just crack me up!

Please no more commercials about making us happy about our periods. It’s as bad as Charmin commercials with bears telling us to ‘enjoy the go’.

So thank you ladies and gentlemen for enduring my post on periods. My husband is rolling his eyes and wondering when his next business trip might be so he can get the hell out of the house.

And by the way- the plumbing checked out clean on the ultrasound. The good news- no tumors or polyps in my hoo hoo that I need to worry about. The bad news- no tumors or polyps in my hoo hoo that weigh five pounds and can be removed for any instant weight loss. I was certain that the extra poof in my pooch was something horrible that needed to be removed surgically. Alas, I just need to do more Pilates.

Also, this means that solving my problems will go down in the books as ‘hormone therapy’. This is translation for, ‘we have no idea what the fuck is making you miserable, so try a combination of motrin and exercise and call us next month.’

Be sure to pay the parking attendant on your way out.

This is exactly the book cover I remember from 1982.

No the fuck I won't, thank you very much!