“That was odd,” Tracey told me when she reappeared from the doctor’s office with Miss10. Four of us were being checked for wayward moles and it seemed our daughter had suddenly developed acute shyness, presenting herself all hunched with her arms clamped over her chest and being about as floppy as a bronze statue. Tracey was shaking her head. “I don’t know where that came from.”
Um, I thought to myself, actually I might know something about that.
I am notoriously bad at putting my kids at ease about anything (just how bad you can see for yourself if you do a search on this page for ‘phobias’).
“Sorry I took so long,” I’d said to my two girls fifteen minutes earlier as I’d emerged from the office and Tracey had ducked in for her check. “I had half my clothes back on when I remembered a spot I wanted frozen off.”
If anything I’d have thought she’d have balked at the ‘frozen off’ bit, but I’d have been wrong.
“Wait. What?” stammered a wide eyed Miss10. “We need to take our clothes off?”
“Only down to your undies,” I assured her. “Well, your mum takes all her clothes off,” I joked, “but that’s just her. She’s an exhibitionist, like Lady Godiva.”
“I don’t think I…”
“You’ll be fine,” I said to my daughter. “You just strip down and he looks you over.”
This was my 2nd mistake…
…followed quickly by my 3rd. See if you can spot where I went wrong in the next sentence.
“It’s okay,” I said. “He’s a doctor. He’s used to seeing people naked. Don’t be worried about him seeing your boobies.”
“Please stop talking, Dad,” begged my daughter, proving once again she really is getting more and more like her mother every day.
Then Tracey stuck her head out the door and waved Miss10 into the room, and my daughter trudged towards the surgery door with the same sort of enthusiasm I approach parent-teacher meetings. But I decided not to mention any of this to Tracey when she brought up Miss10’s sudden bout of shyness.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” I said to Tracey instead. “I guess she’s just growing up and becoming aware of her body. Maybe I should talk to her.”
“I’ll talk to her,” said my wife. “You’ll probably say the wrong thing and make it worse.”
Maybe she’s right 😉
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Bruce hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page.
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”