Puberty And Potty Training


As Jazmine eagerly awaits her body changes, Baby Grace shows then shies away from potty independence. It is quite the spectrum we have here in the Lee household. On one hand, we are watching our flower blossom.  On the other hand, our sweet cherub is turning into quite the tyrant.

As a mom who enjoys like-mindedness with other moms, it is hard to straddle this spectrum.  I am fully immersed in each but not exclusive to either. I can speak with some moms and be right in the boat with them in puberty discussions.  Other moms, our potty training woes cause us to click. The tricky part is when I need to leave one conversation to tend to the part of motherhood that I have but they don’t.  Discussing the necessity of undergarments for budding girls is cut short because I need to discipline the toddler who thought it was a great idea to remove things from shelves.  Exchanging funny toddler stories is cut short because my big kid has another activity to get to.

I am in a unique position not because it is exclusive to me but because in my circles, I am the white tiger in the room. I don’t quite fit. I used to struggle hugely in this area.  When it was only Jazmine and I was waist-deep in step-motherhood, I was still a white tiger. I hated not feeling fully apart of the mommy tribe because I had one child and not multiple to juggle on top of having blended family uniqueness.  That was a hard time. Praise God I learned a few things from that experience.

I am better able to accept my motherhood duality now. I can pass easily from puberty, to potty training, to being a step-mom to teenagers and back again seamlessly because it is ALL my life.  Each unique stage of life applies to me simultaneously.  I wear that fact as a crown.  In my bag, I keep snacks for the tyrant and spelling words for the blossoming one. On any given day, we could have teenage boys or our adult daughter over. It is my life and I am grateful to live it.


I Will Let My Child Be A Child


My family was privileged to attend both a cotillion of a close family friend and a wedding of a family member in the last two weeks. Jazmine, my dancer, was excited about having opportunities to cut a rug at both events. I was excited for her.  Jaz dances ALL of the time! She dances at grocery stores, at the post office, at the library, at department stores, at the mall.  SHE IS ALWAYS DANCING!

I love it.  She is entertaining to watch.  I love the new moves she comes up with. She comes up with new moves every day. So, true to form, Jazmine got her party on at the cotillion!  She did her moves plus those she picked up from the 16-year-old crowd that was there. She didn’t do anything inappropriate because those whom she mimicked weren’t dancing inappropriately either. I was very proud of my daughter.

At the wedding reception, my child cut a rug! She couldn’t wait to hit that dance floor and as soon as it was open for all to dance, she was one of the first people out there.  She doesn’t wait for others to join her. She is not shy to dance and dance she did.  She moved her little (little in age not in size) self this way and that.  I saw a look from someone I respect that said she did not approve of how my Jazmine was dancing.  A family member came to me and asked why my daughter was twerking. I was IMMEDIATELY offended but smiled and said, “My daughter knows nothing of twerking.  All she is doing is dancing how she sees fit.” At that point, I joined my baby on the dance floor and cut up myself so everyone in attendance could see that she gets her moves from me.  I have intent when I dance.  I know how my body moves and I can make it shake, wiggle, jiggle, rattle and roll in all the right places. Jazmine has watched me dance for all of her seven short years. At her age and stage, she is supposed to move her body all around.  That is dancing for her. She is not conscious of what a titillating dance is. She has not idea what a flirt is.  She is cognitively seven (maybe eight) years old!  She is not grown. She was not dancing with her behind poked out.  She wasn’t dancing with her chest thrust forward.

So why was my baby girl gazed upon with looks of disgust?  By cause my baby got back.

She’s been shapely since she came out the womb.  I WILL NOT HAVE HER BODY SHAMED NOR WILL I  BAN HER FROM DANCING LIKE ANY OTHER CHILD HER AGE DOES JUST BECAUSE SHE HAS A BOOTY! That is not her fault nor is it something to take fault with. Grown folk pay big bucks for implants or padded pants for what my baby girl has.

My Jazmine is seven years old.  Her four-year old cousin was dancing as well.  Her cousin has a shape of a rail.  (There is nothing wrong with that.  I am not criticizing that.  I am simply making a point.) She too is a dancer.  I can ALWAYS count on her to bust a move as soon as she hears a beat. (I love that girl.)  No one said squat about cousin.  She did the same moves.  What was the difference then? Because the four year old is built like a typical four year old and my seven-year old is built like a brick house (at least a ten-year old).

My Jazmine will not miss out on being a child just because her body is growing faster than her age.  If ANYONE has a problem with that, they can take it up with me.  I doubt they will want that but they are free to chat.