So I took my oldest daughter to the doctor the other day for her check up. The verdict?
Puberty has begun.
I kind of figured that already… really, it’s pretty easy to tell when the child has a complete meltdown over such tortorous things as being required to do her homework before watching the newest episode of Hannah Montanah (“I HATE MY LIFE!!! NOBODY LOVES ME!!!”). I’ve also noticed the fact that she cannot do even the most minor of physical activities without immediately beginning to smell like a farm animal.
Yuck- the use of deodorant is one rite of passage that I had no problem allowing her to participate in.
Additionally, it seems she is very much aware that things are changing. She knows she’s growing up, and has decided she’s ready to start doing some stuff she was previously too young to care about. Most recently she’s been bugging me about wanting to start shaving her legs. Absolutely not!
She’s only 9!
If she was only 9 and a gorilla woman, I’d consider it. As it is, I’ve never noticed any hair on her legs, and told her so. Little miniscule amounts of peach-fuzz does not count. She pulls me down to the level of her legs and says, “I DO have hair! See?!?!”
Umm… nope. Still nothing. Well, maybe there is a li’l something… if I use a high-powered telescope, capable of viewing microscopic things like germs.
So off she goes, pouting. She tells me, “We’ll just see what the doctor has to say about this! I know SHE’LL tell you I’m ready!” I told her fine by me. Ask away!!
She says, “Really? I can ask the doctor about it?” to which I reply, “Of course- you can ask the doctor anything you want”. Now my daughter’s suspicious… “So, what if she says I’m ready… does that mean you’ll let me start shaving?”
Nope! I sure won’t!
She’s not happy, of course, but off we go to the doctor’s. After the doctor has finished checking my daughter from head to toe, she looks and me and says, “Do you have any questions?” I told her no, at which point my daughter says, “I do! Can you please tell my mom that I’m ready to start shaving?”
The doctor says, “But you’re nowhere near ready to shave!”
I didn’t want to laugh… I mean, she’s my little girl, and she’s sad right now. My daughter, crest-fallen, continues putting her clothes back on, getting ready to leave.
Then her doctor says it.
As she’s about to leave the room, the doc turns to me, and almost as an afterthought asks, “Have you considered giving your daughter the HPV vaccination?”
This is the vaccination to prevent genital warts and Cervical Cancer. HPV can only be passed via sexual activity- most commonly intercourse. Did I mention my daughter is only 9?
How is it that she is “nowhere near ready to shave”, according to her doctor… and yet I have to consider whether to give her a shot to prevent a disease that can only be spread through sexual activity? This is the appropriate time for this? According to the doctor, yes. The vaccine is recommended for all girls, beginning at age 9. Wow. Sobering thought.
Just that quickly, puberty, and what it means for my daughter, isn’t so cute anymore.