“Oh darling, don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up, just stay this little, …it could stay this simple….and even though you want to, just try to never grow up.”
Peanut is at the age where I am having more periods of wishing I had a couple gallons of vodka, I mean when I have bittersweet moments with her. I thought I had time to prepare for these moments. I just brought her home yesterday!!!
So this traumatizing moment? I taught her how to shave.
Near the end of school we had a period of August-like temperatures. She wore long pants every day. We didn’t think anything of it, just thought it was her thing to be different, or being 11, or just her mood. Then one day she said if she wore shorts everyone would laugh at her because her ARMS AND LEGS ARE SO HAIRY AND DISGUSTING SHE LOOKS LIKE BIGFOOT!!!! Now, even though she has dark hair, I didn’t think it was as noticeable as Bigfoot, but of course I know nothing.
Then she informed me that ALL of her friends are shaving!!!!!! But she couldn’t tell me who or when they started or how they felt about it because that is too personal for them to talk about. You see, when you have a conversation with a preteen, you will need to forget that there’s no proof or validation to what they’re saying and pretty much just be happy that they’re even talking to you in the first place!
So finally after a few weeks of her crying when she got dressed, I taught her how to shave because I felt bad that she was so self-conscious about it, even though her perception was much worse than it really was.
So I gave her the razor with the cover on, and showed her how to gently slide the razor over her leg, and suggested that she always shave while she was sitting, and to keep her leg wet so it wouldn’t drag and would shave better, and she needed to take her time so she wouldn’t cut herself. Then I took the cover off and let her do it, though of course I wanted to do it for her.
As I watched her shave, tears came to my eyes, as they are now telling you. I was thrilled that I was teaching my daughter how to shave, that she had listened to me and did exactly what I had shown her without one word of argument, and that she had asked me to stay to watch to make sure she was doing it right. But at the same time I was sad because I was teaching my first baby how to shave, and knowing that this will be only the beginning of the things I need to teach her about being a woman, and that the time before this moment became necessary passed too fast.
But then I noticed that with one stroke she was smiling and saying, “This is soooo cool!” and the next when she rinsed her blade she was grimacing and saying, “This is soooo gross!”
Welcome to female world Peanut. Don’t forget to alert the newspapers that PA really didn’t have a Bigfoot sighting. I would but I’m getting a strong drink ready for the next bittersweet moment.