This weekend we watched the new Pixar movie Turning Red. It was released in Disney+ and sounded like a good way to spend an evening. Pixar movies are always a win in our house. We were pretty pumped.
Now, if you haven’t watched yet, just a word of warning. They make reference to periods for about 5-10 minutes. They don’t say menstruation or period outright, but they other word plays to insinuate the great Aunt Flo. For most kids it would go over their heads if they didn’t already have some knowledge. Even if they did have some knowledge, it may go over their head anyway.
Not my kid. McKenna has always been serious. Back when I was pregnant with George, she asked how babies got out of their mommies. I answered the question honestly but age appropriately. The answer was satisfying at the time even if she’s had follow up questions since then.
I’ve always been honest with my kids. We call body parts by their real names.
No hoohah, dingdog, downstairs, front butts, dingaling, peepee, whatchamacallit, vajayjay, lady parts, gi-gi, weewee, willy, flower, cookie, winkie, gina…I could go on.
In this house it is vagina, vulva, penis, testicles, scrotums, breasts, and nipples.
I’m a mom. I think all moms know there is very little privacy. I haven’t announced my period but the couple of questions have been more technical based. That’s mommy’s panty liner. There wasn’t a lot of explanation because there weren’t mNy questions.
Until this weekend.
What IS it? Exactly?
Does it hurt?
How long does it last?
How many times does it happens?
Do I have to push it out like a poop?
Hold it like pee?
Does it come out of my butt?
How will I know if it happens to me?
Why does it happen?
So Meilin is old enough to have a baby?
How is that blood made?
Do YOU get a period?
How old are you?
What if I don’t want a period?
Does it mean I can drive a car?
Does it mean that I can go out on dates?
Does it happen to boys?
Then what happens to boys instead?
What do boys have instead of a uterus and ovaries?
I answered each one honestly. Well mostly. I told her that since boys don’t really have anything to replace a uterus they just have room for more stinky farts. I thought it was funny and needed to break up all the seriousness. Also, can you actually prove me wrong?
She told me she was scared about it since I first told her that ladies bleed each month when a baby isn’t growing. But she wasn’t scared anymore since she asked me a bazillion questions. She was also glad that she didn’t have to ask dad because “he doesn’t have a vagina and would probably just say there were pads under the sink.” I did tell her that dad probably knows more than she thinks but if she wants to talk to someone who knows a lot about these things but not me, find other grownups who have a uterus. She seemed content with that after making a list of people she knew with uteruses.
Only my child is currently compiling a list of people she knows who are uterus owners—current or former. .
So moral of the story is, if you aren’t ready to take the deep dive into these questions, I would steer clear of this movie. Also, I would assume that turning into a panda is code for the hormone craziness that happens during puberty or something similar. Maybe I’m looking to much into it, but it sure makes sense to me.
Some books I recommend about puberty:
- It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families
- It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health
- Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls
- The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition
- The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls
- Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys
- Growing Up Great!: The Ultimate Puberty Book for Boys
- Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect: Teach children about body ownership, respect, feelings, choices and recognizing bullying behaviors
- I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private
- My Body! What I Say Goes!: A book to empower and teach children about personal body safety, feelings, safe and unsafe touch, private parts, secrets and surprises, consent, and respectful relationships