The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: precocious puberty

My Baby is Sprouting Boobies, Part 2

As I was saying, the past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. The very prospect of my 8 year old daughter beginning to blossom into a young woman has me on the verge of a nervous breakdown. If you are just joining us, you can read all about this budding development and my myriad inappropriate responses here.  When you’re all caught up, come on back. We’ll wait for you.

So then… Babies with Boobies, part 2. Right…

First of all, in my defense, my husband would like me to tell you that Mini-Me and Bucket Head have been doing an awful lot of sliding down the stairs on their bellies lately for fun. (More proof that an 8 year old girl has no business growing boobies.)  He truly believes that she has probably just bruised her pectoral muscles and that the sore lumps she’s experiencing are nothing more than deep tissue carpet burns from the stairs.

He’s certainly entitled to his opinion and I truly appreciate the potential scapegoat. But listen people: I am not making mountains out of mole hills here. And by mole hills, I mean breast buds. And by breast buds, I mean itty-bitty-titties. Those ain’t no carpet burns. Thar’s gold in them there hills.

My breast didn’t start to develop until I was 11. And no, that’s not a typo. I said breast… as in one. My left breast started to bud a full year before the one on the right decided to join the party in my Benetton sweater. And I’ll never forget it, because my friend Kevin’s big sister Kelly told EVERYONE on my block about my lone ranger. Bitch. She totally had it coming when Kevin put that Nair in her shampoo.

And I only mention this traumatic memory because aren’t daughters supposed to follow the same growth patterns as their mothers? I certainly did. But no… not Mini-Me… that girl just lives to burn my biscuits and do everything her own damn way. Always has, always will.

But back to the main issue. Why oh why is my 8 year old daughter starting to develop now?

Unsure where else to turn, I sat down with my computer last night and googled my way into the wee hours of the morning. And let me tell you, the Internet is no place for a panicking mother. Everywhere I turned I was seeing phrases like “hormones in food,” “pesticides in produce,” “over exposure to phthalates in plastics and cosmetics,” “stimulating effects of sexually suggestive television shows,” and even “attachment issues” as possible reasons for “precocious puberty.” Oh my gravy. Precocious? Really? Couldn’t anyone come up with a more comforting term than that?! I am suddenly having terrifying visions of her stealing my new MAC Hellraiser lipstick and sneaking off to a Rainbow Party.

And if that weren’t enough, phrases like “increased risk of breast cancer” (due to a longer life-time exposure to estrogen) and “unwanted sexual attention” just about had me ready to hit the crack pipe.

I even found one story about a rare case of extremely early puberty way back in 1834 in Butler County, Kentucky, where a baby girl’s hips and breasts began to grow soon after she was born. By the age of 1, she was menstruating and at age 10, she gave birth to a 7-pound baby.

Great. Well that makes me feel a whole lot better. Something to look forward to…

On a positive note, I did find that 8 years old is not out of the realm of normal these days. In fact, the average age of breast budding in the United States is between 8 and 13. So there’s that. But come on… of all the places to be ahead of the class? Really? This is what I get? She couldn’t be the fastest at the timed addition tests or winner of the tri-county spelling bee? Just my luck. Winner of the boobie-prize.

I’m still not sure why she is developing a full three years earlier than I did.

She’s not overweight, which is a factor often associated with precocious puberty. She eats a very healthy well-rounded diet. It’s not like I’ve been feeding her a steady stream of McNuggets and cherry flavored Little Hugs. She drinks organic milk from non-rBGH treated cows. She loves fruits and vegetables. She plays outside every day and takes a high energy dance class once a week. In fact, she’s the only person in my home who can do a chin up.

So, it’s a mystery. I still don’t know why it is happening, and I don’t think I can do anything to stop it. I bought Mini-Me a sweet little potted pink rose bush for in her room and made her a card that had words like “blossom” and “budding” and “beautiful” in it. It was on her desk when she got home from school today and it made her smile. That’s about all I can do at this point.

But I can tell you this… the next thing I’m going to buy for her is the ugliest training bra ever made. I’m talking about the industrial kind from the 1950s with straps as wide as her wrists. And maybe I’ll even throw in a matching pair of granny panties with built-in hooks for the loaf-of-bread-sized-maxi-pads the ladies used to wear back in the day. Perhaps that will keep her away from those Rainbow Parties. But I’m going to hide all my lipsticks just in case.

Upliftingly yours,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Organized Minutiae, Precocious Puberty, and Mommy Tears

So while I’ve been stringently organizing the minutiae of my life like DS cartridges and Legos, my little girl has been growing up behind my back.

Which brings us to another frightening installment of:

Real Conversations, Really Bad Parenting.

Girl Child: “Mommy, my nipples hurt when I press on them.”

Bad Mommy: “Well don’t press on them.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Two days later, she complained once more about sore nipples, to which I again suggested the obvious, and most likely with the “duh” sound tacked onto the end for effect.

Then yesterday during dinner, she said, “Mom. My boobies still hurt. Are you sure I’m not going through puberty?”

To which I dismissively clucked, “Don’t be ridiculous. You’re only 8 years old.”

Which spurred Nature Boy, her 11 year old brother and official validator, to chime in: “Yeah, sometimes my man-boobs hurt. It could be puberty, Mom.”

Then we all just cackled like hyenas about Nature Boy’s “man-boobs” and someone asked someone else to pass the peas and that was the end of that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cue my daughter’s guardian angel who whispered in my ear later that evening “Pay attention… she needs you.”

And so at bedtime that night, Mini-Me and I sat down on her bed for a heart to heart. She lifted her pink cowgirl nightie, took my hand and placed it on her chest, and said, “See? Do you feel that?” And sure enough… there was a little bump under each nipple. I suddenly remembered her bursting into tears for no reason on two separate occasions the week before, and then all the pieces of the puberty puzzle magically came together, and…

Oh.

My.

God.

How can this be?

She’s only 8 years old.

She still enjoys playing with Fisher Price Little People and Legos. All she wanted for Christmas was a Penguin Pillow Pet and snow. She’s too young for breasts. And I’m totally not ready for this.

It reminds me of a comedienne I once heard who said “People used to tell me, ‘Don’t blink, or your kids will be grown before you know it.’ And so I’d go home and blink, and blink, and BLINK!” I sooooo get that. I blink A LOT around here. And organize Legos. And drink wine from a box.

But I thought I had more time.

You see, every time I look at her, all I see is this:

 

and this:

 

 

and this:

 

Dear God, is it too much to ask to keep her just like this a little while longer? I promise I’ll stop with the Lego sorting, if you’ll just give me another chance.

Well I’m off to google things like “puberty” and “normal breast growth” and “does watching iCarly lead to hormonal abnormalities?” Wish me luck. And please tune in tomorrow to see if I’ve invented a legal way to stunt my daughter’s growth.

Oh, and if you happen to hear the sound a grown woman weeping to the tune of Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time, it’s probably coming from my house. Sorry about that.

Dazed and confused,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

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