One of my two daughters is what we call in the south “A Pistol”. She came out making noise and practically sparkling and she hasn’t changed much since.
When she was four she was standing on our stairs dressed for dance class in her little lavender leotard and tiny ballet slippers. I was convincing her that it was imperative to get in the car so we could get to her lesson on time.
She extended her arm, raised her index finger heavenward, and rotated her head and finger simultaneously as she said, “Nobody tells Pooty Knickerbocker what to do!” (Her name is not Pooty Knickerbocker.)
This kind of sums up what life is like with her. I’m exasperated at the same time I’m trying not to giggle.
Since my daughter has hit puberty, I’ve noticed a real jump in maturity. She’s taking better care of her hair and hygiene, if not her room. She’s fun to hang out with. She’s focused on her school work. She’s good company.
The only teeny weeny, itsy bitsy problem is that every month for two or three days, she’s a raging hormonal wildebeest. It’s like trying to parent a pimply, screaming rhino in mid-charge. A rhino who’s PANTS DON’T FIT, and who only has clothes that are STUPID AND UGLY.
Last week, my beautiful sweet girl yelled she didn’t want ICE CREAM FROM SWEET FROG. It needed to be ICE CREAM FROM McDONALD’S. Then there was some whimpering from the fetal position and no ice cream at all, Missy.
I pointed to my sides above my hipbones and asked if she felt funny right there. NO, OF COURSE NOT! Well, maybe.
I told her to take a bath and a nap before dinner. Later she came downstairs all smiles, Doctor Hyde transformed back to Miss Jekyl. “Hey, Mom, I just started my period. I’m really surprised!”
I was somewhat less surprised.
For me, part of parenting a young teen girl effectively is realizing when some bad behavior is due to an overwhelming wave of estrogen and what is just bad behavior. Of course, she needs to learn to deal with her PMS and manage her strong feelings. Part of handling this is being aware.
I think the thing that helped me know when I was heading into the Danger Zone was accurate tracking of my cycle. This week I told my daughter to download one of the many period-tracking apps available. She’s got one on her iPod.
Here’s hoping that in November that she’ll realize it’s time to go in the Red Tent and medicate herself with naps, baths and chocolate.
Again, getting through this time with everyone alive and liking each other comes down to communicating and having the right information. To prepare for the questions every young woman has about her changing body, visit Kotex site for tweens. It’s been a great reference for both of us.
There’s also a good Kotex site called Hello Period just for tweens and teens.
I’ve laid in a healthy supply of chocolate. Perhaps I’ll even share with her!
“I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”
Liz (@blueviolet) says
Chocolate does help in wondrous ways, doesn’t it? It took me years to be able to put the wildebeest feelings and PMS together. In fact, it might have finally connected in my mind just last year. 😉
Chocolate is magic. Hershey’s should have a monthly home delivery service.
Heather Stephens says
Loved this post, and as a mom of a 15 year old daughter and another daughter who is 11, just starting the hormonal roller coaster, I can totally relate. There is a monthly home delivery service for Chocolate and period supplies! I discovered it while doing research for a blog post recently. The site is called “le parcel” which delivers an assortment of period supplies including tampons, pads, panty-liners, chocolate and a surprise gift monthly. I ordered it for my daughter thinking it might make periods a little more fun. She has yet to receive her first package, but I’m excited about it and hope that it makes next month a bit happier around our household.
Amy Wombolt Hollinger says
I just had this exact conversation with my youngest daughter about controlling the wildebeest within… I just wish that she and my other teen daughter and I wouldn’t all become wildebeests at the same time.
We are not yet wildebeesting together. We are spaced out by two weeks…for now.
Amy Wombolt Hollinger says
Just you wait…
I could take a lesson from YOU, Missy.
I’m not so astute on figuring these things out.
Having my daughter track these things and NOTIFY ME of her findings might help.
Pink pad is a free app for such things. I’m sure there are others.
Pooty Knickerbocker is a high drama child. I like to keep track myself to limit the screaming. It has helped.
We call DD’s period tracker her headache tracker, or sometimes her journal, so DS won’t be nosy.
That’s a good idea! My boys are older and don’t want to know, so they’re not curious at all!
Tricia O. says
I so wish you had given my mom lessons on how to tame the Period Beast. And then I also think that I’m sometimes so glad to be the only girl in this house. The Red Tent is all mine. 🙂
I hate sharing my Red Tent and my chocolate. At least we are still taking turns.
O. M. Gosh. You’ve just described my week with my daughter. I’m glad I’m not alone! 😉 Here’s to the red tent and chocolate…and midol. 😉
Midol makes me sick, but I may see if it works for her. I just medicate with more chocolate.
Love this post 🙂 Just helps to know we’re not alone in this. I have one 15 yo, who I wouldn’t classify as a wildebeast but a weepy beast some months. Math makes her cry, if I look at her funny she cries, etc. Then I have a nearly 12 who has not started yet but boy can I track her already! She is a sniper, sarcasm oozes out of her every pore! Can’t wait for my 9.5 yo to join us all! :-0 Chocolate is my friend!
Three girls? Oh Dawn honey. I thought two qualified me for sainthood.
What’s above sainthood? ;-P
Linda @ it all started with paint says
I have my very own little tween bundle of hormones who is absolutely having some serious Jekyll/Hyde moments …
We haven’t hit the “red zone” yet but it has to be coming soon. I joke that while she’s hitting puberty I’m hitting reverse puberty so the men in the household may just want to take cover!
So happy to meet you at BBC Chicago this weekend! And I’m loving your blog!