How to talk to a girl about her period

My daughter brought home a book on periods the other day. She read it cover to cover in one sitting,

I remember my Mum buying me a book by Clare Rayner back in the day. I can’t remember reading it far too interested in Mallory Towers no doubt. I have always had a habit of avoiding the more troublesome aspects of life like periods and boys. Mum used to do her best sending me for her “nappies” out of the drawer even when I was very little. She was aware she was an older mum and so tried to be modern about matters like sex even suggesting I should go to the GP for the contraceptive pill on my 16th birthday. I remember being horrified at the idea and telling her so. I had no intention of having sex ever – if a knight turned up on a white horse, fair enough but otherwise no deal!

I am working my way through the book on periods. Chatting to my husband, it turns out her knows far more about the mechanics of it all that I do. I remember being intrigued as to the state of my hymen when I was little. I seem to remember reading dire warnings that tree climbing could break it. I might not have wanted sex but I was quite the little tree-climber.

How to do I feel as my little girl grows up?

I can see her excitement at the idea of getting her period. I remember those days well and the conversations at school. “Have you started yet?” and all that.

I was 13 when the milestone came along and for some reason I kept it secret even from my Mum initially. She sussed it and asked me outright. She then sent Dad off to get a cake “because your daughter has become a woman”. I have always been quite impressed by how she recognised it as a milestone to celebrate. After she died, I found out from my Auntie that Mum had telephoned all the family to let them know. My Auntie said she did it in a way “as if you were the only girl who had ever had a period”

Like most girls I suppose, I started using sanitary pads and then moved onto tampons. My daughter has already whisked me off to the supermarket to buy sanitary pads so she is prepared. She even got a free tin to carry them in. Now that is progress!

I know it is weird but I don’t like the idea of her using tampons. I remember Mum being the same with me.

There is also that worry that growing up means getting hurt and me not being able to protect her from that. I don’t want to see my daughter in physical pain from periods. Worse, I don’t want her to have her heart broken by some idiot boy.

Whatever I may think or feel, my daughter is growing up. Yesterday, a boy walked with us all the way home so he could stay with her chatting away. She was flirting telling him a pack of half-truths that made me and my son giggle. Anyone who knows me will know that it is most unlikely that my daughter would be a netball champion but out this line trotted yesterday to impress the boy.

Ah well, at least when she starts there will be cake!