My aunt called me up last month and told me her apprehensions about some physical changes in her 6 year old daughter. I calmed her down. I said, sometimes it is just a sign of the far future. Then, yesterday, she called me again and told "that which should not have happened" has happened. She was sobbing. Yes. Her 6 year old daughter had attained puberty! Otherwise called Precocious Puberty or Early Puberty.
I was actually devastated by the news. I behaved like a hypocrite by putting up a brave face. I told her "This is an inevitable incident in any girl's life and had to happen sooner or later. Anyway, visit a gynaecologist once."
Later, my memory indexed to the same chapter of my life: Puberty
I was 12 years old. All of a sudden my body was on a growth-spree. There were some drastic changes physically. My face and hair started getting greasier. At one point in time, I had disowned my own body because of all those stupid changes. I was feeling weird. I was so conscious about my body. Though my mother had given me some lessons on menstruation, it took sometime for me to come to terms with those changes. I superficially understood what she said. Nevertheless. I was in a state to recognize menstruation only when my life decided to have a tête-à-tête with it.
One fine day, I realize that my body had started functioning on its own without asking my permission! I had all theoretical knowledge on menstruation such as how it would be accompanied by acute mental and physical discomfort, cramps, back ache, mood swings, irritability etc. But, when it actually happened, reality hit me in my face. It was horrific to accept that it is PERFECTLY normal to bleed for 4 or 5 days! I remember asking my mother whether this would continue in my sleep too...
All of a sudden the world around me looked different. I started identifying myself more with my mother. I had to accept that boys are different from girls. Till then, I would have fought till my last breath to prove that wrong. I cursed God for giving women this. I got my sex-education. Once friends started whispering about it, I felt more comforted by the fact that I wasn't alone.
So, there I stood transformed from a girl to a young woman.
Coming back, to my aunt's call. My heart cried for the kid. 6 year old kid, has to accept that bleeding is normal and if seen her friends would shout "shame shame puppy shame"? She has to bear all the pain, mood-swings, cramps and other discomforts associated with menstruation? Not just that, the physical changes would make her stand out in crowd. How much of emotional distress can a 6 year old child undergo?
Why does this happen? While many researchers opine that obesity,consumption of adulterated food, family related stress, genetic factors etc, may be few of the reasons why early puberty occurs, there is no comprehensively accepted research that has broken ground in this aspect.
I can suggest all theoretical plans to deal with such a situation like, telling your child it is perfectly normal and it is really OK to be so. Love thy body the way it is etc etc. Can I take the same things if Bunni is in that position? I fear not. A hypocrite I am, as of now. But sometimes situations give the necessary strength.
Fingers Crossed. Prayers.