Sniff … Sniff … Tween Spirit?

saltcrystalI was at a Toastmasters Contest Saturday when I smelled something. I smelled it again. Unmistakable, that’s B.O.

Sniff. Whiff. I made a personal armpit check. Not me. Phew.

To my left I leaned in for a discrete snort of my husband’s pits. Freshly showered. Not him.

I looked at the 20-something chicks in front of me – they seemed perfectly groomed. Doubtful …

My daughter lifted her arm to whisper something in my ear.

Whiff. Sniff. P.U.!

You?

There I sat, wondering how the unmistakable smell of teen spirit was already coming from my 7-year-old little girl. Her only bad smell used to be “kid-who-played-too-much.”

I did some mental math. I was 12 years old and on my way to Junior High when I finally asked my mother for a stick of deodorant. It happened around the same time that I got my first bra and finally got permission to shave my legs, wear lipstick. Around the time I started my period. Most of this became necessary because I had to be naked in front of all the other girls in the locker room after gym.

I thought I had another four or five years before I had to have the, “you’re coming to an age when you start to smell a little funky and need to step up the showering. Oh, and use this natural salt crystal,” talk.

Then I flashed back on my a few of my friends telling me their similar-aged sons are smelling pretty funky. Just last week I heard Jenny McCarthy say her 6 year old is growing armpit hair and has the beginning of a mustache. Oddly enough, Ali Wentworth agreed with this mysterious new development in her own 6 or 7 year old girl. That was Friday’s Oprah.

This is becoming so universal that doctors are calling it “Normal.” Universal defines normal.

It’s a symptom of the early puberty so common that it’s not referred to as early puberty anymore. It’s just puberty. At 7 years old.

If the doctors are calling this prematurish puberty “normal.” Then what is left for parents to do, except have the same conversation you were intending to have – but several years earlier than you were expecting?

My only advice is this: Don’t make your kid feel like a freak.

Be shocked in the bedroom when you freak out with your equally stunned spouse or stammer about it on the phone with your mystified best friend.

Then, put on your best poker face when you’re explaining things you thought you had four more years to prepare yourself for.

I do have a question for The Girl Revolution readers – if the armpit hair is coming in any second are we encouraging shaving or au’natural?

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