Sunday, August 8, 2021

Puberty Baskets

 I have MANY preteens and teenagers running through my house each day. It's kind of crazy to think that I was once changing their diapers and now they wholeheartedly share their crushes, thoughts, and feelings with me. I take my role in guiding them through their younger years seriously. Naturally, I only want good experiences for them. 

We've been having many conversations about all of the changes they are going through. One child quietly came up to me one day and asked if I had any extra deodorant. I had an "oh shit" moment when I told the child I didn't. I had been meaning to get extras of little things any teenager may need. I just...didn't. And then here we were. Luckily, everyone was stinky that day from playing outside and sweating, so the child made it through the day unscathed and I promptly placed an order for pick up with all of the necessities I could think of.

In our emergency puberty baskets, a name given by the kids, I placed:

  • clean underwear in various sizes (yes, I have boys underwear too)
  • travel size deodorants (both boys and girls)
  • toothbrushes & travel size tooth paste
  • panty liners
  • tampons
  • maxi pads
  • dog poop bags (more on this down below)

The dog poop bags were questioned by the kids, but there's a good explanation. The girls all knew they shouldn't flush pads or tampons down the toilet, but a couple of them were worried about throwing it in the trash or not being able to wrap it up well in toilet paper. All legitamate concerns. I decided the biodegradable dog poop bags are the answer. The girls can simply put their used feminine product in a bag, tie it up, and put it in the trash. We have a dog, so a dog poop bag in the trash isn't going to raise eyebrows and the girls all felt much more comfortable with this solution. Plus, I don't have to worry about a clogged toilet or sewere line.

This is all new territory for me, but my job is to meet the needs of all of the kids in my care. This is why my underneath of my bathroom sink has puberty baskets, baby and make up wipes, a toilet ring (for potty training), spare hand soap (because we go through a lot), and baby soap for those times we do messy activities. More than providing for their needs, I want all of the kids to feel comfortable, so no one is put into an awkward position in the future.

 I often have to check in with parents about how much they'd like us to talk about things, however I enjoy talking to them about all things. Being completely open and honest builds a trust that makes these conversations (and any conversations we may have in the future) easier. I'm in a unique position because many (actually, most) daycare providers don't have kids through their entire lives. I'm lucky enough I DO and that means going from diapers to puberty baskets.