After I wrote Wednesday's post I came to two conclusions.
The first one is there aren't any easy answers or great programs (that I know of) on how to coach your child through early onset puberty. Open and honest communication are a necessity. But even if those lines are wide open there's no fail safe to make sure your daughter isn't teased or the recipient of unwanted attention.
Maybe the best approach is to remember that girls, whether they have breasts or not, are still girls. Talk to them about what the changes mean and then go out and turn cartwheels with them.
In other words, accept the reality of the changes but refuse to let early onset puberty define your daughter's childhood. Instead, make a point to celebrate every facet of who she is and where she is headed.
I know this conclusion doesn't contain a lot of research or wisdom but sometimes the best solutions can't fix the problem. Instead they just attempt to cope with the situation at hand.
The second realization I had based on Wednesday's post is that men are NOT comfortable leaving comments on the subject of early onset puberty.
Which is okay. I understand their general squeamishness. Men don't develop breasts or have periods so I can see how this might be a tricky subject to comment about. However, the complete lack of comments by men on a blog post that, otherwise, got a crazy amount of hits reminded me of a summer long ago in the swimming pool with Child #2.
Our class was led by a darling teenage girl who, on the morning in question, displayed an extreme lack of inhibition when she arrived on the pool deck and announced to the moms and dads (already assembled in the pool) that she had just that very moment gotten her period and would be joining us in the water as soon as one of her friends brought back some tampons from the local grocery store.
This announcement was accompanied by a helpful demonstration that included pointing at the general area where a tampon is inserted each time she uttered the word....which was often. In fact, the announcement was repeated several times for the benefit of the few dads who straggled in late (with accompanying hand gestures for anyone still unclear about where a tampon goes).
The dads in the class retreated to the far end of the pool and uncomfortably bounced their babies. Even when our teacher was suited up and ready to lead us in rounds of bubble blowing they could only be coaxed back to the edge of the circle.
The point of this story, aside from making me giggle at the memory, is my way of saying guys please come back to this end of the pool. From here on out I promise to limit my use of the words tampons, breasts, puberty and menstruation.
And besides, next week I'm kicking off my fun new theme for May. April's been fun. We've done a lot of growing but May will be even better.