Spice Up Your Inbox. Subscribe Today.

enter your email address:


My 3rd grader came home from school the other day and reported that she had noticed a few girls in her grade have underarm hair.

At which point my 1st grader piped in, “But women don’t have underarm hair!”

Oh man, didn’t they cover this on “Good Luck Charlie” or “Jesse” or something? Do I have to explain EVERYTHING around here?!

So I told them that developing girls and women do indeed grow underarm hair.  It’s just that some choose to remove it.

(And it grows on the legs. And eventually the upper lip. And the chin. And someday you’ll find yourself plucking it at traffic lights. And then you’ll be plucking the chin hairs from your mother’s chin because she can’t see them anymore.)

After I unveiled the mystery of the underarm hair, my 1st grader wanted to know, “What about that thing you told us about? When do girls get that?”

“Your period? Well, some girls get it very early like 9 or 10. Or you can get it much later, like in your early teens. Or somewhere in between. And then you get it once a month.”

“And how long does it last?” my first grader pressed.

“Oh about 5 days.”

“No, I mean, how many months?”

I took a deep breath. This wasn’t going to be the best news ever.

“Well, once you have your period, you’ll most likely keep getting it until you are in your 40s or 50s.”

And that’s when my daughters started laughing.

Because they honestly thought I was kidding.

I finally convinced them that yes indeed your period can last 35 to 45 years.

But I put my best spin on it. I told them – even though it’s kind of a pain (flashback to white shorts on the wrong day) it’s beautiful because it allows you to hopefully have a baby some day!

“But I don’t want a baby someday. We have a baby. I want a dog,” my 3rd grader pointed out.

Yeah, well, I can’t help you there.


13 Responses to underarm hair and other girl stuff

  • Megan says:

    Have to have this same discussion in the very near future as Caiti turns 9 next month. Thanks for sharing the light funny side of it. BTW I keep tweezers in my car too!

  • Becky says:

    tell them about the Mirena IUD! I haven’t had my period in 5 years! Not time for the birth control talk? So maybe it’s a good thing I only have a boy??

  • Princess Judy says:

    Armpit hair in 3rd graders? My gawd I’m glad we didn’t develop that early. The girls started ripening in 5th grade. I grew boobs first (devastating) and hair later. It was horrible as I turned into a hairy beast. Now I’m turning into a man with the chin hairs.

  • Maryann says:

    My older daughter is 10, already in a bra, and I realized we will likely have to do something about her leg hair for summer camp! Armpits, thank goodness, not yet…

  • Maria says:

    I literally had the hairy legs conversation THIS WEEK with my 9 and 7 year old daughters. Once I told them that shaving makes it grow faster and thicker, they decided it wasn’t time to worry about shaving yet!!

  • I didn’t get my period until I was 16 years old…is that TMI? But anyway, I remember being so happy about that because we learned in sex ed that you couldn’t get pregnant unless you’d started having your period. And it wasn’t like I was having sex–because I WASN’T–but I always liked having that extra reassurance. I would continuously ask my mom, “When did you get your period? Because I heard that the ages are somewhat hereditary…so I’ve got until 16 to not get pregnant?” I must have scared the H out of her, even though I was so innocent. They’ve really got to quit showing those sex ed videos in high school and scaring us! 🙂

  • Lanie says:

    I think my mom outsourced the talk to Judy Blume. All I remember is her giving me a copy of “Are you there G-d, it is me Margaret?” xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

kelcey kintner