Muffin is closely approaching 9. Somewhere between 8 and 9, my little girl has turned into a young lady. Honestly, I looked at her one way day and thought, "When the heck did you grow up!?" It was overnight. She's much taller, her face has matured, she makes the craziest grown up comments, and I daresay she is 'budding'.
Discovery of this came after I had purchased her a new, heavy knit cotton shirt that sort of hung off her. We were at a hockey tournament out of town, and we were in a community room when I noticed her out of the corner of my eye.
I did a double take with my jaw on the floor.
I wanted to believe it was just the shirt, or perhaps she had just gained weight... so I mentioned to a couple of the other Moms in private later on. Sure enough, when Muffin had re-entered the room... they agreed quite adamantly that yes, my little girl was developing. 8! She is 8! I'm pretty sure I was at least 10 before this happened. I know, I do have to remember that 50% of her genes do not come from me. But still, 8!
After picking my jaw up off the floor, I collected myself and pulled up my 'Mom' panties. I knew I was going to need 1 thing to help me get through this. 'The book'. I didn't know what the book was though. My shopping advisor (aka Tracy) recommended a book. The Care and Keeping of You - The Body Book for Girls - Valorie Lee Schaefer. I did my due diligence. Checked the reviews, and was able to find it here in town so I could look through it first.
Book in hand... I wasn't quite sure what my next step would be. The funny thing is that I am a very open person! I don't have a tough time talking about stuff like this... but this is my baby girl for crying out loud! It just doesn't seem right. Luckily, I had an amazing book to guide me through the process.
I picked her up from School and told her that I had bought her a special book that would explain to her what to expect as she gets older. I told her we would read it together. She was super stoked and excited. So as I made dinner that night, she started to read the short chapters to me and we discussed as needed. The fantastic thing about this book is that it does all the work for you. It very gently guides you through everything there is to know about the female body as it goes through puberty, head to toe.
It starts off slowly with the basics of the importance of taking care of your body. From there, it discusses proper care of your hair, ears, eyes, mouth (teeth) etc... everything on your head. No details are overlooked either. From dandruff, to braces and acne... even how to get gum out of your hair!
From the Heads Up chapter, we move to the Reach chapter where hands, underarms, and *gulp - breasts are discussed. As Muffin read through this... with absolutely no embarrassment at all, I watched her closely, wondering what she might say... and then she blurted out, "Mom! This is what is happening to me!... look!", as she reefs up her shirt to show me her newly discovered growth.
That evening, her and I took a trip to Walmart to find a camisole or something, as I refuse to buy a 'bra' at this point. Baby steps. This is similar to what we found... and we call it a 'sports top'. I bought her a pack of two... and I don't think she has been without one since!
This discovery, book, and 'top' has purchased her a ticket to the 'grown up' world... and you'd swear she has just won the lottery! She gives me daily updates on her growth and asks a million questions. Mostly about my experience. She's very interested in what I went through - how old was I when I got my first bra, err - 'sports top'? Did it look like hers? Did I wear it all the time?... etc.
The book now sits on the shelf. She has not read anymore, and we have an agreement that she would only read it with me so we can discuss it and I can answer her questions. The truth is, I don't want her to speed forward to the chapter of 'how to insert a tampon'... Baby steps, and we still have a lot of time.
As far as the book goes, I would highly recommend it. It is strictly about what girls can expect as they get older, changes with thier bodies and their feelings. It covers no content about sex or even boys for that matter. This is a book that is appropriate for young girls entering the first stages of puberty. From bed wetting, foot fungus, to eating a balanced diet, it really leaves no stones un-turned.
I guess I have a couple years before I need the 'boy book'... but if you have any recommendations, I would gladly take them! ;)
Here is a very interesting article on early puberty.