As the mother of teen sons and daughters, I feel that it’s my responsibility to provide them with certain clinical information about their changing bodies and the facts of life.
In many ways, big mistake. Talk about embarrassing. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
I came from an immigrant-mentality family, where beyond the basics, these kind of things were not really discussed. My mother did give me a small booklet explaining a few female things when I was growing up, and hey, I was thankful for that. But times had changed, and although I was of the opinion that my children would not start dating until they had reached oh, say, 35 or 40 years of age, had their Ph.D. under their belt, and could afford to buy a home, they still needed info.
So I took them aside for separate boys-only and girls-only sessions.
Boys, you ask? Let’s put it this way, if I waited for my husband to tackle the issue, it wouldn’t happen. He believed in the Dark Ages and loved the Dark Ages. End of story.
“Nyet, Mama,” the girls assured me during one of our discussions that I was wrong, while I knew that they probably had lots of orphanage info that was probably not only wrong, but misinformed and dangerous.
“A girl at our Internat was going to have a baby, and she didn’t have a boyfriend,” they insisted.
“She doesn’t need to have a real boyfriend to become pregnant,” I agreed. “But a baby can only be made with a boy and girl, or man and woman involved. There’s no other way.”
Their eyes widened as though they realized that the wool had been pulled over their eyes for far too long. At that point, I was still an unreliable newcomer in their lives, yet they understood that I was trying to help inform them about the hidden mysteries of the birds and the bees. In Russia, they had heard that babies came from the kapusta (cabbage) patch.
So we discussed personal hygiene and so much more during those early days. The girls had many accidents and issues over those years, but I felt that we were making progress. Until we were in Israel recently and for some reason, Sashenka removed her sweater, revealing her short-sleeved t-shirt underneath.
Generally, in conservative settings, I do not let the girls wear short sleeves or no sleeves. The length has to be around their elbows in order to fit in with the population around them. So, there she was, in a lapse of judgment, wearing a t-shirt for all of two minutes, and stretching with her arms raised high.
And that’s when I saw the unthinkable: there, nestled in her underpits, were huge, hairy creatures of her own creation-!
I nearly passed out, eyes widening in horror, as I told her under my breath to put her sweater back on.
Now, I’ve traveled the world and seen my fair share of hairy female underarms. But on my own blond daughter, whom I’ve coached so carefully on these delicate matters? Did I need to institute daily inspections?
I think I was scarred for life by the sight. And yes, this time, her father had a talk with her. About her underpits.
————–Tags: adoptive parenting blog and personal hygiene, armpit hair, daughter with unshaved underarms, is underarm hair okay on girls?, kids and their changing bodies, teaching kids the facts of life