Hey Mum, smell this! MG is standing there proudly with his arm held aloft and pointing to his armpit. Thinking it was a prank – ok, I’ll play along. Nose dive in, take a deep whiff and I almost pass out. WTF? MG stinks. Ripe and sour. Sweaty pong. He’s not yet 9.
Brain on FFwd. OMFG MG. It’s happening. Is it happening? Puberty what? Panic rises quickly into my throat and I swallow it down. How is it that my MG smells like the typical male putrid teenager on a hot, sweltering 40 degree day after an hour of sport?
I am not ready for this. This is my baby. My little boy. My mini munchkin….only; only he is not.
Banishing the fear to the background and swallowing down the urge to barf at the stench, I laugh with MG and we giggle about the stink. I mean seriously. If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry. I tell MG that was a good one and he tricked me well. I march him firmly to the shower and celebrate the fact that he can now use deodorant like his Dad.
Well done Mini Giant. You are growing up and on your way to becoming the man you are meant to be.
Except what is happening here?
Everything normal for my MG? Check. Marched him off to his GP to ensure that it wasn’t abnormal or please no, precocious puberty (where puberty starts before age 8 in girls and age 9 for boys). Perfect health. His body is just ready to grow. I should be happy.
The signs of puberty are a fraction early so then why was I fearful? Because his body is changing, telling me he is changing and emotionally we are BOTH. NOT. READY.
Yet are we ever ready?
I’ve had the where do babies come from talk. I even purchased the book. I just haven’t broached the subject of puberty yet.
When we had the more detailed talk about babies, MG was 6. In his uniquely ASD special way he was interested in the process and the micro level mechanics of the information.
How does that work? Does it hurt? What if your wife says no? Why does that need to happen? How do you put it in? Why does it go hard? What happens to the blood when it leaves my head and goes to my penis? Will I faint and die? OMG MUMMY WILL I DIE? Does the blood go back to my heart? WILL I DIE? How many babies can a woman have? Why can’t I have one? Sheesh mate. You’re six. Chillax.
So am I ready for the puberty talk?
I struggled with the sex talk. Not because of the information. Not because I am uptight or shy. Not because I have hang ups about sex. But because my smart bunny asks me questions that I am trying to answer honestly, in an age appropriate way and that satisfies his deep and different modes of thinking. Something that is foreign to me.
I want to do this right for him.
I want to celebrate the changes and for him to be proud of his growth. Not like my parents who tried to be all scientific but wound up projecting their Roman Catholic strict “sex-is-naughty-and-you-will-become-pregnant-if-you-so-much-as-look-at-a boy” issues.
I need to bridge the imbalance between his emotional immaturity and his physical changes whilst providing enough information to satisfy his intellect. All this without scaring the bejessus out of him or worse, embarrassing him. There is no book for that.
Of course, there are book’s that can guide me but not provide the much needed examples of scripts to employ when he asks me curly questions. In an attempt to understand, he’ll will throw me many curve balls. (Ha ha – ok no. No inappropriate pun intended). Like Emmit in the Lego movie, I need THE INSTRUCTIONS. I probably don’t but it would be a F of a lot easier if I did.
For now, we talk about hairs that will start growing in places. MG examines his bald skin searching for those elusive tuffs of fluff that signify he’s A Man. We talk about getting taller and stronger. We celebrate today as an almost 9 year old and I tell him how excited I am to meet the man he will become.
Seriously tho: I could really use those instructions ………
ps – this classic over-thinker did much research and has her beloved Stylish Chic Fashionista Advisor to the Stars, Mon_Rue_ to thank for pointing us in the direction of MooGoo. Shameless product plug. It is our preferred deodorant. It is age appropriate and contains no hidden nasties for young and developing skin.
GIVE AWAY TIME
Whoo hoo. I’m giving away a Moo Goo deodorant to 10 lucky readers.
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Share below some of your best nuggets of wisdom instructions on navigating the puberty journey with your ASD child.
Please submit your entry by August 10, 2017.