Blogging about life and raising our five kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, May 21, 2012

When the Girl is Growing Up


As most of you know, Angela is my only daughter among 7 boys.

Needless to say, I know a lot about raising boys but not so much about raising girls!

Yeah, I'm a girl, but not a "girly girl". Most who know me personally will say I tend toward the tomboy end of the spectrum. That's probably why I have a hard time knowing the best way to teach Angela some of the things that come along with being a young lady.
A couple years ago another blog friend of mine posted about teaching her girls to shave their legs when they turn 13. Angela was also 13 at the time, and honestly, my mom mind hadn't even gone there yet! 

That night when Angela got home from school I inspected her legs. Mmmm...nope! She hardly had any hair on her legs yet, but that's when I became aware of all the other girls Angela's age. Most (all?) were already shaving! Ugh, where had I been?

Fast forward and Angela is turning 16 in just a few weeks. She's in high school. HIGH SCHOOL! We went to the YMCA over the weekend, and there was a small group of high school girls in the locker room getting ready to run the track together. They made me realize summer - which includes shorts and swimsuits - is fast approaching. It's time for Angela to learn to shave. I already knew that Angela would not tolerate the vibration of an electric razor, so a standard razor it would be. Lord help me.

When BlogHer asked me to participate in this review it was perfect timing. I gathered all the necessary supplies:
I was glad it was a Venus Embrace for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has a soft-grip handle for great control. It also has 5 very tiny blades, giving a very close, comfortable shave and figured a close shave means more time between shaves! Another feature is a ribbon of moisture for a smooth glide. Angela needs as little friction as possible because her legs are extremely sensitive. Also, like the the other Venus razors I use myself, the Venus Embrace has interchangeable razor blade refill cartridges.
The Satin Care Passionista Fruit Satin Care shave gel has a great sparkling, fruity scent that is very girly and seems like something teen girls would really like.
So I had the stuff.† Now how to approach this with her? Is this the right time? Can she handle it? Can I??? I called her into the bathroom . . .
"Angela, come here I want to show you something."
She came into the bathroom annoyed with me because usually if I want to "show her something" it means fix whatever mess she made earlier. LOL 
"What?" she said, with a classic teenage tone.
"What's coming up in June? I keep forgetting," I said, feigning forgetfulness.
"My BIRTHDAY! 16! YAY! I want a dance party!"
"Oh that's right! Do you know that at 16, you're really not a little girl anymore. A lot of girls, when they turn 16, get to start shaving their legs."
"What?" she asked, thinking I was nuts. "Like moms? Girls 16 shave their legs like moms?"
"Yes, just like moms. Now, this is only for the most grown-up, mature girls. Shaving your legs is something you have to be very careful doing. That's why it's important for me to show you how to do it and not one of your friends. Do you think you'd like to give it a try?"
She put on her most serious face for me. "I try it!"
I handed her the Passionista Fruit Satin Care shave gel.


"Do you know what this is? This is called shave gel. What does it say on the bottle?"
She started reading without her usual complaining that I'm making her read! "It says 'Great shave gel for new shavers." She turned it over, and in my radio voice I helped her read the back. "Passionista Fruit Satin Care is the secret to silky smooth legs."

I explained to her: You get to put the shave gel on your legs, and it will do three things. First you'll be able to see where you've already shaved, and it will also make you smell great and give you smooth legs. How cool is that?"

"I want some on my hand. Please?"

She spread it around like lotion. "Mmmm smells nice!"

"Ok, now onto the serious part. Do you know what this is?" I carefully set the Venus Embrace in her hand, showing her where to put her fingers so she'd have control of it.


"It's a shaver thing," she answered.


"That's right. It's called a razor." I turned it over so she could see the underside. "Do you see these? Those are the blades. The sharp part. You don't ever want to touch those with your fingers because they can cut you. But I'm going to show you the right way to hold it so that doesn't happen. You've seen me shave my legs, and it doesn't hurt. I don't get cut. It's very important that you only shave your legs with mom around so I can help make sure you stay safe, ok?"

We got onto the business of actually shaving her legs. Angela loved how smooth and silky the Passionista Fruit Satin Care felt on her legs. I did the first couple of swipes with the Venus Embrace razor so she could get used to how it felt. She didn't really want to do it herself so we did it hand-over-hand. Angela loved how her legs felt afterward and couldn't wait to go show Dean her silky smooth legs!
If you have a first-time shaver in your home, you should check out some of these great tips.
I know Angela is starting to pay more attention to her appearance and I want to make sure she's getting the right information from me. What are some ways you tackle conversations like shaving (or other tough†"firsts") with your daughter? Venus Brand is having a sweepstakes. Leave me a comment answering that question to be entered for a chance to†win a $50 Visa gift card!
Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/21 - 6/30

Be sure to visit the Venus Brand feature page on†BlogHer.com†where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!

71 comments:

Mami2jcn said...

My daughter is too young still (she’s 2) but I remember my mom reading “Where do I come from?” with me to teach me about the facts of life.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn said...

tweet:

https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/204711827777658880

Carissa said...

Oh Big girl firsts! My big girl is only 11, but she already has friends who shave. The big thing for her was wearing a bra. I went and got her some cute bras that were not padded. It's surprisingly difficult to find bras that are not padded in the young girls' section! She wants a padded one but I am NOT ready to see my little girl with little bulges in her shirt just yet. :-/ They want to grow up too fast! The biggest thing I had to teach her about bras was covering up the straps--she didn't think about the racerback showing with a tank top on! And she likes her printed ones (plain white is so boring mom!), but I have to remind her that the prints show through with plain white shirts. :-)

I am not a girly girl either. Just goes to show how God has a sense of humor! My 11 yr old has learned to do her own hair and now does her sisters' hair too.

Linnea said...

We just did this with my 11 year old. Apparently now a days girls are 9 when they start to shave and if you dont you get bullied. But my daughter stood firm and said no I will not shave yet. So I brought it up a couple weeks ago. She too was a little scared and to be honest so was I. My experience of my first time shaving was not pleasant. My abusive mother was not kind or caring. So I wanted this to be so extra special for my daughter.

I showed her first and was so nervous I barely took any of the hair off, lol. Then she did the other leg herself barely touching the hair. I should go buy her a venus. We used Noxema I think. Maybe I will get her some of that shave gel too. She has yet to try to shave again and its been weeks. It doesnt bother her :)

Thanks for writing this. Also thank you for being so kind to your daughter during this special moment. Not all of us had that. It is good to see that.

BE blessed
Ashlee
ashleelinnea at gmail dot com

kellyr78 said...

My daughter is only 4, but I keep my explanations simple and always remind her how pretty and smart she is!

kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

kellyr78 said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/kellydsaver/status/204736365412368384
kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

Courtney B said...

make sure you talk WITH them not at them.. it helps!

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Courtney B said...

tweet

https://twitter.com/#!/MeandBells/status/204765524763217920

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Tj and Amy said...

My kids are still to young to know. but I think about it. I have a book to help ease them into it. I know the school has a special assembly but I want to talk to them when i feel the time is right. amypugmire@live.com

Tj and Amy said...

tweet. amypugmire@live.com
https://twitter.com/#!/1amypugmire/status/204775018545160194

Frugal Mom from California said...

I don't have a daughter, but I have a son. I think it's important to be open and honest when talking to your kids about their bodies

elena150980@yahoo.com

Frugal Mom from California said...

https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/204801225923887106

elena150980@yahoo.com

akronugurl said...

my daughter is only 4mos but im gonna teach her to be her self and love be honest be happy!

freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

akronugurl said...

https://twitter.com/#!/akronugurl/status/204882549602910209

freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

Becca said...

First, I just have to say how amaaaaazing this post is!! Self-awareness and awkward teen milestones were early on my list of fears when Samantha was born. I am so grateful to people like you and Angela who are showing those of us with little'uns the way. I should totally print out your dialog with her, to use when Sammi's old enough. It's *perfect.* While Sammi's still too little (6 next week!), we're still on the "don't touch the electric socket" stage. I now feel a bit more comfortable knowing that these kinds of conversations should go just *fine* when the time comes. Thank you!!!

Becca said...

Tweeted. :-)

https://twitter.com/#!/bateminx/status/204989021175296001

JaneeNoel said...

My girls are only 5 and 3 so we're not to this point yet. . .thank goodness!! But with each new thing they learn, I try to instill confience and a relaxed attitude about trying new things. Your post was really helpful because I have a lot of questions about what life will be like with my daughter with DS when she hits the teen years. I always LOVE when you blog about your life with Angela. janeenoel at yahoo dot com.

MarySC said...

My great-niece (typical child) is 8 and she has amazing long dark eyelashes, a great thick head of hair, and... a lot of dark leg hair. I don't think it will be very long before she is getting teased about it. And at that point she will be allowed to start shaving!
I see laser hair removal in her future.

Hope Anne said...

I left it up to my oldest daughter whether or not and when she started to shave. She chose to do it when she felt ready and comfortable. As far as I know, there was no teasing ahead of her decsion time. With my next-coming-on daughter, I expect a little more issues. She has struggles with memory, and is developmentally behind her peers in some ways. I have already had her read the American Girl book, "The Care and Keeping of You" because it's such a non-threatening way to help introduce girls to changes in their body and new hygenine issues that need addressed. She liked the book, so if problems cropn up hopefully she will remember enough that we have a foundation to have a discussion on. If not, I will just have to do what I can. YAY for good shave creams and razors! ;-) Anything to make the job easier!

Kelly Massman said...

I don't have any teenage girls--just a boy, but I think it is good to be interested in their lives and be willing to make time for them... Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

Amy said...

It is certainly not easy to be a parent, especially tackling those tough “first” conversations with my kids. But the best way I prefer is openness and be honest and straight forward. That’s the way I preferred to be treated, so, I’ll do the same with my kids.

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

Amy said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/205939154096369664

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

B. Wilson said...

I'd say it's best to just be honest

--Brandy
fosterbrandy(at)msn(dot)com

Tiffany Winner said...

I think if you have a good relationship with your kids as they're growing up, all important conversations will come much more naturally.
thismomwins@gmail.com

Tiffany Winner said...

I tweeted: https://twitter.com/thismomwins2/status/206470132313227265
thismomwins@gmail.com

Rebecca Graham said...

Be honest and be a good listener too.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

gwen said...

Um, my 1st for today was telling my 3 year old it is NOT ok to be running outside naked when you see the door open! Graduation season has me pining for teenagers and things like shaving legs, crazy as that sounds...

Gwenolivia@hotmail.com

JC said...

Be honest and realistic are best tips from my experience.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

JC said...

https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/206964349665951744

Lund7 said...

With 2 teenagers in our house, we go through lots of disposable razors! Would love to win this giveaway!

Anash said...

go slow and answer questions! Thanks for a super giveaway!
My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anash said...

Tweeted:
https://twitter.com/anashct3/status/208178541731397632
Thanks for the chance to win!
email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

MANDY83 said...

be patient and understanding. Share with them a personal childhood/teenage memory of your own!

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

MANDY83 said...

https://twitter.com/aes529/status/208960267919433728

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

jenmalonee said...

Always be honest while talking and make sure you feel comfortable talking about the subject.

Jennifer Marie

lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

jenmalonee said...

tweeted

https://twitter.com/JenniferCNP/status/209134401848737793

jennifer marie

lilnursejen at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

I taught myself to shave my legs when I was 13 and cut myself pretty badly in the process. I wish my mom had taken the time like you did to show me the safe way!

Tina said...

My daughter is too young. I'm going to teach her just be herself and honest
merleandtina@Yahoo.com

Deb Anderson said...

blog post
http://tnshadylady.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-great-bloghercom-giveaways.html

Deb Anderson said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/211820350705635328

StephanieC said...

i plan to have those conversations over meals so we can both process while we chew! scg00387 at yaho dot com

StephanieC said...

https://twitter.com/DesMoinesDealin/status/211882697478504449 scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Calli said...

My tip is to be calm and treat your child with respect; treating them like an adult will allow them the choice of starting to act like an adult.

chambanachik said...

My daughter is only (almost) two, so we haven't had those big conversations yet, but when we do, I hope to be honest and listen well.

chambanachik@gmail.com

cw said...

just try to be open and honest about everything so it doesn't feel awkward or embarassing....instead it is just part of life.

sy said...

tweet: https://twitter.com/syytta/status/214285704161804288
songyueyu at gmail

ms-texas said...

things like shaving are simply a fact of life - just be open and honest - sharing a mother -daughter day helps too!

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

Karina said...

my daughter is still a baby so I haven't had to have any "talks" with her yet

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Karina said...

https://twitter.com/karinaroselee/status/215196508797140992

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Christina said...

Tackle conversations especially tough “firsts” with my daughter is not too easy, some of the ways were having the conversation with her honestly and to share my past experience, she would be interested to listen and learn.

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Christina said...

I tweeted about this promotion: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/215716869431234560

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

LAMusing said...

I don't have kids, but as a child I appreciated Mom being honest and available :)
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

https://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/216274137411358722
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Gina M Maddox said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/CrazyItalian0/status/217311124843016193

gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

Gina M Maddox said...

I think being open with your kids is my best advice. Thanks for the chance to win!
gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

v

Betty C said...

I prefer to keep these kind of conversations as part of ordinary day to day talks. Shaving is one of the easier ones but talks about sex and periods are not so easy. I've always felt that if it's treated as just part of growing up then it isn't made overly important. My children always knew they could come to me about anything and that made it easier.

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

MCantu1019 said...

I just am honest with my daughter.
MCantu1019 at aol dot com

Kerry said...

When we have one of those 'firsts conversations', I just make sure my kids know that they can ask me any questions.
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/218493333310418944
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

coriwestphal said...

I'd have to say that honesty is the best policy in any 'first' moment. Be honest and be comfortable and your kids will trust you!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

coriwestphal said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/218546397950124033

coriwestphal at msn dot com

Betty C said...

Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/218727191880548352

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

Tabathia said...

Don’t be afraid to tell them you don’t know something, but be prepared to find the correct answer
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/218731448734187522
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Jammie Morey said...

we are open with our daughter so the converstations are not that bad. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

Jammie Morey said...

tweeted https://twitter.com/mommysdizzy/status/218825894653984770

Deb said...

My best tip is to approach the conversation and answer only the questions your child has at the time - don't overwhelm them with information they may not be ready to deal with.

angie lilly said...

When I was 11, the subject of shaving came up in my household because of teasing at school. My mom said I would have to shave every single day, would probably cut myself doing so, and made me watch her do it. After that, I waited until I was 13! Her honesty and willingness to tell me it was OK to not want to grow up was wonderful!
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

angie lilly said...

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/219064720529965056
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

Julie said...

My daughter is a teenager...quite honestly I was "nervous" about tough
first conversation...took the plunge and found she wanted to know things..this helped ..I believe being honest is helpful
thanks
aunteegem@yahoo.com

Amanda said...

I remember having to go to my mother and tell her I needed to shave. I was really embarrassed having to ask. My mother does not shave. I hope my daughter will not be embarrassed, I talk about shaving and other issues all the time, to warm her up to the idea, she is only 10.