Sunday, April 10, 2011

I like my "Toy Story" Journal...

...yup, I do.  I even made an entry today. 
I digress...let me back up and share (TMI).
I am a nudist.  Wait.  A home nudist.  Well, maybe nudist is the wrong term...maybe shameless is more fitting.  I am not shy in front of my kids or my partner...poor them....but they are use to it.  You would then assume that this level of shamelessness would be passed on?  Well, yes...and no.  (As we speak one exited the bathroom after a shower, all pink and clean, not caring that our front door was wide was only a few steps to her bedroom, but she is shameless as well.)  All this lack-of-shame should then make talking about the normal "female-uncomfortable-sex-period-life-body-blah blah blah" stuff a piece of cake as well, yes?  Well, yes.  And no again.  Is it ever that easy?!  My older daughter is, and always has been, quite mature.  With her is has always been no big deal...not embarrassing, not a bit awkward...straight up facts and discussions. 
So imagine my surprise a of couple years ago when my (almost) 10 year old doesn't want to even discuss her eventual period!  Wait a minute.  This is the same child that wore a robe to say good-night to guests, then cartwheeled away w/o any underwear underneath?!  Now she's turning red at the mention of arm-pit hair?  How could one of MY children be shy about talking about boobs?! 
As any good mother would do, I forced her to sit and listen to me babble on until at least her cheeks didn't match my red hair anymore, and she even asked a few questions. 
How would I be able to have an open relationship about her changing body, her growing curiosity, MY SANITY AT MY BABY GROWING UP?
The day came (a few months ago) where I found some "interesting" visited web-sites...and since I know my partner doesn't need to visit Wikipedia to learn about the male penis and its function, or having sex (yes, she did fess up completely about hearing kids talk at school and being curious), I knew I needed a new approach.  I took the scholarly approach and brought it up at dinner and drinks with some girlfriends who have daughters...and, as always, this was a Eureka moment!  The Toy Story Journal!!  (Ok, so it really has nothing to do w/ Toy Story at all...but it was a give-away at a friend's son's birthday so it was fair game.)  The Journal part came from one of the girlfriends, who happens to have two daughters also (and who happens to be a teacher).  She started a private journal between her and one of her daughters to discuss things that were difficult or embarrassing to verbalize.  What an awesome idea (...totally wish I could take all the credit)!  They have special places that they leave it for each other so it stays private, but can be passed back and forth.
OMG, this means I actually get to read a journal that has juicy info!  And its OK!  (Although, if you know my girls, you know that they are so non-typical that they don't journal to them self, and wouldn't know a juicy thought if it hit them in the backside...but I like it like that.) 
So, today I journaled to my Belle, telling her it was for all the things that she was embarrassed to say or didn't want to verbalize, but had thoughts or questions about.  I gave it to her and didn't say a word (thus, avoiding the pink cheek moment).  She took it and read it on her bed, then set it by her pillow and continued to play with her sister.  This made me smile because one, she read it and didn't look embarrassed (oh yeah, I spied), and two, that it didn't end up being dropped in a lost-to-the-world crap bin that she seems to shove everything else into.  I rated being put next to the pillow...saved for later. 

So hats off to girlfriends who have great ideas, Toy Story Journal party favors, open communication w/ the offspring...and cupcakes.  (Just pretend that wasn't random)


Amanda said...

I love the idea of a journal...I wish my mom had done that but I would have been totally embarrased to share things with her since things like that tended to embarrase her as well. I'm very suprised that the history on your computer was very revealing and that your intelligent daughter didn't think to erase it!! That is something that my students would do. I also find it interesting that she didn't just come and talk to you. By the way, do the girls know you are blogging about them? If so, how do they feel about it?? Hat's off to you, Mom, as you have always been great with your girls and will continue to be!!!!!

Mel said...

Thanks Amanda!

Ya know, they will pretty much talk to me about anything/everything...(not sure if its my age or because I'm easy going about most things) but I'm not sure what the deal is about Belle and sex/puberty. She'll talk a little about her period but doesn't want to get into detail about it too often. (As for the computer search, she said she wasn't trying to be sneaky, she just was embarrassed to ask.)
And NO, they don't know I'm blogging about them, but they do know I post photos of all their stuff on FB and they don't care at all. I figure, if anyone is made a fool of on here, it will be me. :-D

Amanda said...

You are a crazy lady and know I wasn't going in the direction of anyone "being made a fool of" on your blog! I totally knew that Belle wasn't trying to be fact, I love that you look at the history of your computer searches and I wish more parents took that kind of active parenting seriously!!! I would see a lot less kids regarding facebook bullying if parents had their kids passwords or better yet told them that facebook wasn't a good place for them to be. Remind me when I see you next time that there is a story that goes with that particular issue!!

grass fed momma said...

super idea. and oh yes, those crazy questions can be hard to answer! xoxoo