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Am I Too Close With My Kids?

Photograph by Getty Images

Yesterday I was cleaning up the playroom and happened upon a random plastic bin filled with all sorts of toys my kids haven’t played with, much less even thought about, in years. In addition to the now defunct and/or passé toys, I found a pair of my readers, a few Tupperware lids and a pad for one of my bras.

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As I pulled each obscure item out of the bin I commented on it.

“Oh, I’ve been looking for these."

And "Oh, no wonder I can never match my Tupperware."

And "Oh dear, WHAT is this bra pad doing in here?”

As soon as that last bit about the bra came out, I wanted to reel it back in.

And, as if on cue, my inquisitive 8-year-old who doesn’t miss a beat asked, “What’s a bra pad?”

Being a card-carrying member of the IBTC (itty-bitty titty committee), bra pads are as much a part of my life as is toothpaste and soap.

So, I said, “Well it's a pad you put in your bra.” And for some unknown reason I threw in, “to make your boobs look bigger.”

Oh sheesh, did I really need to add that?

I’m happy to be close with my girls, however I can’t help but wonder if a line is being blurred.

“Why do you want your boobs to look bigger? You don't want your boobs to look bigger do you?”

“Well, kind of, mine aren't that big.” Again?! Can I get those words back please? No? Didn’t think so.

Then my 6-year-old chimed in with, “I'm a size 1 and Penelope (name changed to protect the innocent) is a size 2. You’re probably a 4, mom.”

I almost retorted with “I’m actually more of 2.5” but thankfully I found my common sense and realized the conversation was going in a direction I was not prepared to go so I diverted their attention quickly.

“So, who do you think is going to win the Battle Round on "The Voice" tonight? Luke Wade or Griffin?”

That’s all it took to steer clear of the bra pad/boob size convo as they started intensely analyzing all the previous week’s performances, but in the back of my mind I began to assess how the whole bra/boob convo came to this conclusion: I am just a little bit too comfortable with my daughters.

Overall, I'm a very forthcoming person and am not ashamed to talk openly to pretty much anyone. The grocery store clerk who asks how my day is going is going to get the God’s honest truth, whether she likes it or not.

However, with my kids, what and how much is appropriate to talk about with them? I tell them about the random zits on my nose and about my wicked PMS cramps while asking them to grab mommy her pack of tampons. I even sometimes shorten the proper term for their privates to “vag” (thank you Jonah Hill in "Superbad"). I’m happy to be close with my girls, especially now that it’s just us girls in the house, however I can’t help but wonder if a line is being blurred.

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I do try to make sure I am a mom first and a friend second — I am fairly strict with them in many ways because they will have a lot of friends, but only one mother. But, I also think being open with them right now is going to help all of us down the road, particularly when they start going through “things” like having their periods and going from a 1 to a 4. Lord, help me.

Do you share personal information with your pre-pubescent kids? How do you handle conversations about boobs, periods and all the other fun female topics of interest?

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