I knew the day was coming, thought I was prepared, thought I had prepared Mary well enough. Still, in the back of my mind did I ever think I would be helping my 10 year old through her first period? No. That's right, Mary got her period, and she is only 10. Her doctor informed us long ago that developmentally delayed children go through puberty earlier. Why, I have no idea, but believe me I am trying my hardest to understand. I have even come to a few of my own conclusions. So far, Mary seems to be doing well enough with it all, probably better than I am. I know she is a little scared, a little confused and afraid of it hurting. It seems that no matter how I try to explain to her that she is not a teenager, her body keeps telling her otherwise! It is getting to a point where I have to remind myself that she is only 10, small comfort to me that she will be 11 in 3 months. At her last Dr. appointment, she measured in at 5 ft. tall, she now wears a bra without being told, and she is completely boy crazy. These things may have happened with my two other girls (only a bit older), but for them it seemed like a natural course of events. Not to mention, I never had as much "hands on" experience with either of them.
So, now I have to go back to keeping a monthly calendar, and try to teach her how to properly care for herself. I know it is not going to be easy, because naturally my first instinct is to just do it myself. I know I can't do that, but don't think I have not tossed and turned with thoughts of keeping her home from school on those days, or just hanging out at school with her. My husband, who thinks I just look for things to stress out about, is right there with me on this one. Believe me, I know what I have to do if I want to maintain even the slightest bit of sanity. Like everything else, we will get through this. Thank God it only comes once a month!
One of my theories on why this has to happen at such a young age is really quite simple. Isn't it better to have all these raging hormones and developmental milestones happening now while I can still control it? If I can reign it in, and drill it all into her now, then I won't have an out of control teenager on my hands years from now. Right? It's a theory, but for now it gives me some comfort. Or it may be that I have never been able to accept the fact that things are the way they are and sometimes there just is no explanation.