This was the day that all fifth-graders dread: the day that the boys and the girls are split in health class and get to watch horrifying instructional videos about themselves and their bodies.
Oldest came home in something of a panic.
There were, shall we say, "party favors" passed out with the video lesson.
She was terrified. And mortified. And probably several other -ifieds that she hasn't figured out yet.
We sat and talked for an hour.
I had to shoo her siblings out of the room several times, because she desperately didn't want to discuss any of this around them.
"Mommy," she asked tentatively, "do we have to talk about this every day? Can it just be every other day?"
"Honey, we can talk about it whenever you have questions, but we don't have to talk about it every day."
After dinner, the subject apparently came up again, this time with Hubby. There was a brief conversation with all three girls regarding some things, and then Youngest had a question: "What's pyooterberry?"
As Hubby related this to me while the girls were getting ready for bed, I tried not to laugh too much, but pyooterberry was too good to not write down.
Hubby also explained why a simple misstep in the kitchen had Oldest blubbering uncontrollably earlier. She was petrified of all that had been discussed today.
She slunk back into the room while we were talking and settled on the couch next to Hubby, snuggling close to his side.
We reiterated that she can always come to us with questions, that this is something that every girl goes through, and that it's going to be okay.
Then Oldest wanted to know why it was that she didn't have any bras yet, because "almost every" girl in her school wears them. I explained that she didn't need them yet. Of course, this led to wanting to know when she would, and Hubby and I both explained that it's different for each girl. She peeked down her pajama top to look at her chest, and sighed. Then she announced that it bothered her that her one nipple was flat, and the other wasn't.
Hubby looked like he'd swallowed a live eel. He awkwardly patted her arm. "It's okay, honey. They'll...um...get better."
I thought his eyes were going to either explode or pop out of his head, and tried really hard to not laugh at him.
Middle had popped into the room during that conversation and was smothering Kimo with affection. Now she turned and looked at Hubby. "Are there fake boobs?"
I slapped my hand over my mouth and watched the expressions chase themselves over Hubby's face.
He hesitated for a moment. "Yes."
"How do I get those?" Medium immediately asked.
Oh, I am so glad she's asking him these questions, not me!
"Well," Hubby said, "most junior high girls get them by stuffing tissues in their bra. Or there are special doctors you can go to and get what are called implants put into you."
This then led to a discussion about breast sizes, and how there is no one-size-fits-all policy there; it just depends on your genes, and that some are small, and some are big.
Enter Youngest, who has finally finished getting ready for bed, and has only heard "...some are small, and some are big."
"Like Abraham Lincoln!" Youngest chimed in, not wanting to be left out of the conversation.
I very nearly fell off the couch, hooting with laughter.
"What?" Youngest said indignantly. "He's big!"
True enough, Hubby agreed, but not remotely close to the topic of conversation at hand.
Meanwhile, Middle is running over to see what I'm typing (I'm messaging with Waffle), as I'm still gasping and hooting, and demanding to know what's so funny.
It was pretty much left to Hubby to explain why Youngest's comment caused hilarity. Lucky him.
Then he asked her to tell me what they'd been talking about downstairs, after dinner. Mostly so I could hear it, I'm sure.
"Pyooterberry," Youngest said with a giggle.
"And how is it really pronounced?"
"Pyooterberry." More giggles.
We still have some work to do before pyooterberry hits.