we've talked about this here before, but i'm bringing it up again. i saw on the tv news taht there is a new study out by the american academy of pediatrics that encourages parents to pay attention to the menses of their daughters. when it starts, what regularity it has, how long it lasts, etc. it also claims that contrary to popular belief, menarche is not occurring in american girls younger and younger... i don't know about this. i tried to read the article at the AAP web site, but you need a subscription to read it so i can't.
when i started my menses, it was at school. i came home, soaked my underpants in the slop sink in teh laundry room, my mom came up behind me, patted me on the back and walked away. that was it for my menarche celebration. i was raised in a house where menstruation was believed to be a pain in the ass at best, and a curse most of the time. i didn't have the heart to admit that i enjoyed it.
now, i have an eight year old daughter. she started developing a stink in her pits recently, which seems early to me. it got my attention, alerted me to the possibility that menarche may occur in her earlier than i expected it to. i've already gotten her the american girl book, "the care and keeping of YOU, a girl's guide which is good, but very general. it touches on positive body image, expecting your romantic relationships to be equitable, skin care, hair care, and two pages on periods and their care. it's a good book, like all the american girl non fiction books. i recommend them.
but i want to do something more than give her a book. she gets a positive message about menstruation from me and my experience, but i really really dig the idea of a special celebration. i've read stories on line about mothers who threw menstruation parties for their girls, fancy dinners out, taking their girls for a massage at a spa, that sort of thing. there are gifts being marketed for menarche. beads upon which you count the days of your cycle, special jewelrey with moons and red beads moon calendars... i'd love to do something like this. i love the idea of getting a group of women together to congratulate and welcome my daughter. here's teh sticker: my mom and sisters hate their periods. they hate being women, there's no way i could get them together to celebrate with my dd. another sticking point with me, is that i don't want to get overly sentimental or spiritual about it. i don't want it associated with god in any way, wicca or any new agey shit. it's just great to be female, you know? we're lucky.
so, what am i left with? i don't want to just get her a nice book, or take her out alone just the two of us.
it may seem like i'm getting way ahead of myself when she's only eight right now, but i really want to do something special. i want to take my time to think about it and what i will do. i want to make sure i honor her passage, and show her respect at this time. she doesn't need the hygiene information, she knows most of that already. and she told me in no uncertain terms yesterday taht when it comes to periods, she would prefer to get her information from books than from me.
so, ideas? what did your mothers do, what do you wish your mothers did? dh would totally participate in a celebration with us for this, but would you want your dad there?
i think i'll get her a kit like this one from Glad Rags. (i use glad rags, btw, love love love. no, they do not get hot and uncomfortable, yes they breathe, yes it's way more comfy than disposable pads, no they do not leak.)
i don't see a 12 year old (or younger) girls using a diva cup, do you?