Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Debate

We've been talking about the HPV vaccine a great deal. J, when she reaches grade eight next year, will have the option of getting the shot or not. It is meant to prevent cervical cancer which the girls can develop after contact with the virus in a sexual relationship. Can I tell you how unpopular this discussion is with a squeamish 12 year old and two protective parents of a lone female child? I think you can imagine.

But the consensus after discussing this with J's doctor and a close friend who is an ob/gyn doctor is yes, we should proceed.

J dislikes the idea intensely ... it's not just the needle which she is nervous about, it's thinking about the whole thing ... cancer, boys, sexual activity ... yuck.

J asked her father why I didn't have to have the vaccine and R had to explain that circumstances were different and this was not recognized, or seen as a threat, at that time.

J very sweetly said, "So ... 12 years ago [when she was conceived] that virus didn't exist?"

I looked at her dumbstruck (momentarily). "Oh sweetheart, did you think the first time mummy and daddy were "together" was just before you were born???"

The wave of shock and horror that passed over her face in successive waves ...

"Ewwww, why did you say that? Eww, I don't want to think about that!!!" True disgust distorted her sweet little face in a grimace of horror.

"But sweetie, we were married for a while before you were born ... you didn't think we ---?"

She marched off in disgust. "I don't want to talk about this!" she yelped. And she rapidly disappeared into her room presumably to escape her icky mother. :)

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