Things I Want My Daughter to Know

I was recently doing the dreaded “seasonal clothes change” chore. You know, the task of going through all the kids’ clothes and getting rid of outgrown clothes? This chore could easily take me three hours, and I do it twice a year. I was thinking as I was digging through my 5 year old’s pants (besides ‘how did these 18mo pants get here?’) that this, like many jobs I do around the house, is a chore that no one else in the family even knows is a chore to be done. The recurring thought of “this house would go to hell in a handbasket if I wasn’t around” went through my head yet again.

Being elbow deep in Carter’s brand clothing for three hours gives one time to think, and so I began to envision what would happen if, heaven forbid, something tragic happened and I was no longer around for my family. Visions of piled laundry, mounds of dishes, and my kids running around wearing 3 sizes too small pants as capris ran through my mind.

If I’m being fair, I’m sure my dear husband would figure it out. I didn’t marry a moron. He would not let our 5 year old wear 18m pants that he could bust out of like the Hulk. My husband would figure out how to do the dishes and the laundry. More realistically, he’d probably hire that crap out and then our house would be much cleaner than it is now and he’d wonder why he hadn’t gotten rid of me much sooner.

I have no doubt that he could raise our two boys to be fine, upstanding young men, just like he is. Or was. He’s 40 now, not exactly young. But still fine and upstanding. I do, however, worry about his ability to raise our daughter. There are so many things that she would need to know to be a fine, upstanding young woman that he doesn’t even know are things.

I started to make a list of what I want my daughter to know if I am not around to tell her:

  • When in a bind, wrap toilet paper around your underwear to make a sanitary pad. Make sure you tuck the ends in tight, though, you don’t want that sucker falling out as you’re walking around the grocery store! Trust me.

  • Speaking of feminine products; you will want to use tampons. Here’s a little story: On the day I got my first period, I was going to a pool party and had to wear a tampon. I panicked. My mom (your grandma) gave me the box and told me to read the directions. There were drawings and diagrams, but I could not for the life of me figure out where the hole was that I was supposed to stick the stupid thing.

My mom was standing outside the locked bathroom door as I was hysterically yelling, “I don’t understand where I’m supposed to put it!” I was jabbing around between my legs with no success.

“It goes in your vagina!” my mom yelled back. 

“Where’s my vagina? Like where pee comes out?”

I was totally clueless. And hysterical. My friend’s dad was picking me up to go to the party in mere minutes. Finally, my mom just came in and put it in for me herself. We did not make eye contact and we never spoke of it again.

Now that I am a mom, I understand. I would do this for you too. But in case I am not around when the time comes, I’m sure there are YouTube videos out there that show you how. Google it. But only Google “How to insert a tampon” Do NOT Google “vaginas”! We clear?

Also, sometime you may be busy, or thinking of something else, and may accidentally put in two tampons. It happens. At least it’s happened to me. Maybe it’s not normal, I’m not sure. BUT, just in case it happens to you, know this; you won’t realize it until you go to take it out and you wonder why it feels like your insides are being torn out. You will live, I promise.

  • If you get a lot of headaches, drink more water. Even if you don’t get headaches, drink more water.

  • Being kind is never the wrong choice. You will never regret being kind, but you may regret it if you don’t. Regret is a crappy feeling. Try to live life in a way you won’t regret.

  • Never use black eyeliner to line around your whole eye unless you are going as Catwoman for Halloween. Trust me on this. A little goes a long way when it comes to makeup.  

  • If you lose a back to an earring, you can make one out of a pencil eraser.

  • lf you choose to shave your legs, I believe you should shave every day. You can do it quickly in a half-assed way and you will probably get what you missed the day before.

  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and who you can trust to be honest with you for both little things (like when toilet paper is stuck to the bottom of your shoe or you have a booger hanging out of your nose) and big things (like when you need dating advice or you need support through a crisis). Girl friendships can be tricky. Choose wisely.

  • The people you think are the most popular in high school will not always be people you want to be around. And I promise that none of it will matter after you graduate. The world is much bigger than your high school.

  • If your father doesn’t approve of a boy you are dating, I wouldn’t either.

  • Cheap shoes will hurt your feet and you’ll end up not wearing them. It is worth it to spend a little more for quality when it comes to footwear.

  • Apply your deodorant after you have put your shirt on.

  • Leggings are not pants. Cover your tush.

  • Someday you may want to have a baby. There are a lot of things about pregnancy that your father doesn’t know or understand. But, oh Lord! I can’t. You’re only eight. I’ll save that for another day. Or decade.

This is a good start. There’s just so much to know. I will never be able to teach her everything; some things she will need to learn for herself. When I was my daughter’s age, there wasn’t Google. Or the internet, for that matter. Luckily, she can always google answers to her questions.

Just don’t Google “vaginas”.