I don’t have any daughters so I didnt get to experience this…
“Mom, did you know that Sally’s wearing a training bra?”
My daughter asks this as we make the trip to see their dad. “Yes,” I answer, hoping my voice carries to the back of the mini. “Her mom told me they’d gotten her a bra.”
“What a bra?” the middle child asks.
“It holds your breasts,” the eldest one informs her, helpfully. “You don’t have any breasts yet.”
You don’t either, sister, I think, but I keep my mouth shut. “Do you know when you’ll get breasts?” I ask instead.
“Soon?” my eldest asks with an inordinate amount of hope.
“You’ll get breasts when you go through puberty,” I announce to the mini in general. Can’t hurt to get everyone educated all at once. “Do you know what else happens when you go through puberty?”
Silence. Has the moment passed, I wonder, glancing back at them in the mirror. “Honey, do you know what else happens when you go through puberty?”
“Mom! I don’t want to talk about this!” Yep, the moment has passed.
But I decide to press on anyway. “During puberty, girls grow breasts, and you’ll start to grow hair in your armpits, and…”
I pause and look back. It’s a lost cause. The eldest has her hands over her ears and is intoning “la-la-la-la-la,” loudly enough to drown out everything else.
But the middle child is still trying to listen. “Mommy!” she shouts over the “la-”ing from the mini’s way-back. “Mommy! We grow hair!”
“Yes honey, when you hit puberty, you’ll grow hair in your armpits and…”
But she’s uninterested in any further details of this magical thing called puberty. She’s made up her mind about what happens, and not even her sister’s noise will dissuade her celebration of new knowledge.
As the “la-”ing rises in volume, the middle child shares that knowledge with her siblings. “Mommy says!” she yells. “Mommy says we have poo-bery! We grow hair! And armpits!”
I’m momentarily stunned. “No baby. You’ll grow hair in your armpits!”
“Right!” she yells. “We grow hair and armpits!”
We’ve arrived at their father’s house, so I concentrate on herding small people out of the mini. Perhaps their dad can help them sort out the intricacies of puberty, if perchance they ask about where all the extra hair and armpits will be growing.