A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Organized Minutiae, Precocious Puberty, and Mommy Tears

So while I’ve been stringently organizing the minutiae of my life like DS cartridges and Legos, my little girl has been growing up behind my back.

Which brings us to another frightening installment of:

Real Conversations, Really Bad Parenting.

Girl Child: “Mommy, my nipples hurt when I press on them.”

Bad Mommy: “Well don’t press on them.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Two days later, she complained once more about sore nipples, to which I again suggested the obvious, and most likely with the “duh” sound tacked onto the end for effect.

Then yesterday during dinner, she said, “Mom. My boobies still hurt. Are you sure I’m not going through puberty?”

To which I dismissively clucked, “Don’t be ridiculous. You’re only 8 years old.”

Which spurred Nature Boy, her 11 year old brother and official validator, to chime in: “Yeah, sometimes my man-boobs hurt. It could be puberty, Mom.”

Then we all just cackled like hyenas about Nature Boy’s “man-boobs” and someone asked someone else to pass the peas and that was the end of that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cue my daughter’s guardian angel who whispered in my ear later that evening “Pay attention… she needs you.”

And so at bedtime that night, Mini-Me and I sat down on her bed for a heart to heart. She lifted her pink cowgirl nightie, took my hand and placed it on her chest, and said, “See? Do you feel that?” And sure enough… there was a little bump under each nipple. I suddenly remembered her bursting into tears for no reason on two separate occasions the week before, and then all the pieces of the puberty puzzle magically came together, and…




How can this be?

She’s only 8 years old.

She still enjoys playing with Fisher Price Little People and Legos. All she wanted for Christmas was a Penguin Pillow Pet and snow. She’s too young for breasts. And I’m totally not ready for this.

It reminds me of a comedienne I once heard who said “People used to tell me, ‘Don’t blink, or your kids will be grown before you know it.’ And so I’d go home and blink, and blink, and BLINK!” I sooooo get that. I blink A LOT around here. And organize Legos. And drink wine from a box.

But I thought I had more time.

You see, every time I look at her, all I see is this:


and this:



and this:


Dear God, is it too much to ask to keep her just like this a little while longer? I promise I’ll stop with the Lego sorting, if you’ll just give me another chance.

Well I’m off to google things like “puberty” and “normal breast growth” and “does watching iCarly lead to hormonal abnormalities?” Wish me luck. And please tune in tomorrow to see if I’ve invented a legal way to stunt my daughter’s growth.

Oh, and if you happen to hear the sound a grown woman weeping to the tune of Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time, it’s probably coming from my house. Sorry about that.

Dazed and confused,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. laura lee

    oh Iris! I don’t have a daughter or breasts but I can imagine quite a shift for everyone that must be. rock on for chatting it up w/ your girl. i saw some “training bras” at Target last week that made my eyeballs pop out. Then I went back to the boy underoos. Good luck with that…. mini-you is stunning.

  2. MamaCloud

    Please do keep us posted…look out for an email in your inbox too…and my vote is still for the tanks with the built in bras!!! Love you and How much you love your brood!!!

  3. The NDM

    Oh, Iris. That’s made me tear up…

    I like it, though, that you are only promising God to give up sorting Legos and not to stop drinking wine from a box.


  4. oneshabbychick

    OK, I will not be leaving a comment on every post… (although, I am tempted….)
    and I promise I will not be your stalker, but I am so loving everything you write and it’s ALL striking such a chord with me! I think I was ready for you, Iris. I don’t have a daughter, but this post brought me close to tears, cuz I have two tween boys, one almost a teen, and IT HURTS. So, I get it. ALL of it, apparently….. your fan, osc

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh please, stalk away. I live for it!

      Thanks for getting it. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  5. Melissa

    Don’t be alarmed – my kiddo started getting itty-bitty-boobie pain around age 7 1/2, which freaked me out and led me on a hunt for more information on early onset puberty and age of beginning female breast development over the decades. Turns out, anywhere between ages 7-13 is typically when breast buds begin forming and breast tenderness begins occurring, with age 8-10 being the norm (and it has been around those ages for a while). Get her some flat little cotton training sports bras – that provides relief for my mini-me when hers are achy. Good luck in a few years from now! 0_0

  6. Carrie

    So….as the mother of a child who actually HAS precocious puberty……don’t worry. My son was born fully developed, having started puberty in-utero. He is now seven and has the physical body of a 14.5 year old…… really, don’t worry. She would have pubic hair, etc. They grow up much faster than we would like sometimes (or in our case, much faster than any other child their age – seriously, no sports team will allow him to play because of his size) but all you can do is sit back and watch her grow into a beautiful young woman.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing that with me. This post is from about a year ago; her development has tapered off a little, but I was truly shocked and scared. Puberty is happening earlier and earlier with every generation!

      It sounds like you are a wonderful mother and have handled your son’s situation with grace and love. This affirms my belief that God never gives us more than we can handle. Your son is lucky to have you. God bless you both!

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