“Mom, do you have to say that word so loud?” the doll asked perturbed with me for not taking special care of her predicament. The “word” in question was “B-R-A” “Sorry, um, how does that support thing feel on: Too tight? Just right? How?” “Shhhh, you are talking too loud. Geeze the other people in the store probably know what we’re buying now too”. Her voice sounded embarrassed and giddy all at the same time.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to talk with more parents of pre-teen girls about when they first began purchasing the dreaded “bra” for their girls. Seems we’re right on schedule. “Mom, how old was you when you got your first training bra? She asked with her arms crossed in front of her. “I don’t know, maybe ten” I said. “Well, that’s not too much older than I am now, ’cause I am 8 and a half…” she said with much emphasis on the “and a half”; “and that’s not very far away from ten.” she said in way that made me wonder who she was trying to convince, me or her?
“Let’s try on this sports styled bra…” “MOM, do you have to keep saying ((bra))?” she whispered, still embarrassed by the task at hand. “Sorry doll, it’s just habit.” I said in return. When all was said and done, we left the store with four new bras and a nice top for the doll. On the way home she asked, “Mom, why do they call them bras anyways? You would think they would be called something else.” “Bra is short for Brassiere”. “Oh so like in the olden days you called them brassieres? That’s a funny name.” Um, in my olden days we called them bras too. But brassiere is where the word is derived from”. I said.
Once home she asked her father, “Daddy, do you notice anything different about me?” When he responded “No”, she lifted her shirt to show him. “Doll…” I began, but she cut me off, “I know Mom, I just wanted to show Daddy the first time I weared one.” Then perhaps to show off her special purchase some more, she approached the boy and asked, “Boy, do you notice anything different about me….” Fortunately the boy responded “Sorry doll, not interested in seeing your thing under your shirt”.
Later, following her shower she asked, “Um Mom, am I supposed to wear this ((bra)) (still whispering) to bed each night?” “Nope, you are free at night” I said. “Good, that thing was starting to get itchy.” she said as she turned toward bed.
Sorry to tell ya doll, I thought to myself, it’s only the beginning…..