First Hiccup, now my kid: The horror of puberty


Yesterday, I bought my son deodorant for the first time. He’s getting to an age now when I know puberty (and all of the associated hormonal melodrama) is right around the corner, but I guess I was hoping to squeeze a few more years in before having to have any of those mutually embarrassing “your body is going through some changes” talks. And God, I’m as lousy at them as I always suspected I’d be.

In researching online, I discovered I’m not alone, though, at least in the deodorant department. Technically, my son is past the lower age limit at which puberty can begin, and there are literally dozens of websites and online forums with parents posting that they’ve had to buy their kids deodorant, and asking if this was normal. (Apparently so.)

So now in our bathroom, next to the Crest fruit-flavored, sparkly toothpaste and Iron Man toothbrush, we now have a little thing of Arm & Hammer Essentials deodorant. I read lots of good things about it online from other parents; it’s aluminum free and gentle on a kid’s underarms. Also, apparently buying a product that includes an antiperspirant as well as deodorant isn’t a good idea for kids, because of the harsher chemicals. Who knew? Now I do. In the span of 24 hours, I feel like I’ve become a guru on the subject of kids’ armpits.

Yesterday, my son also announced that he was “too old” for Disney’s new movie, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” when I suggested we go and see it. Where my daughter’s eyes lit up at the prospect, his nose wrinkled and he rolled his eyes in a way I suspect will soon become all-too familiar. And this morning, he made breakfast for us: scrambled eggs and bacon. “I don’t need any help,” he told me when I tried to get the butter out. “I can do this all by myself.”

At least he still lets me hug him.

The first small waves in the tsunami of adolescence are making landfall in my house. I’m bracing myself for what’s yet to come. 

(And dear God, did I just find a whole internet topic on “precocious puberty?” Precocious? If memory serves, psychotic is more like it…)


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