Today, I am going to tell you a little story about raising daughters and menstruation. No, it has nothing to do with half-naked selfies but it just might be TMI so if you are squeamish about lady parts or feminine hygiene products and the such, I should warn you do not read any further. If you faint at the sight of blood? Stop! Do not continue reading! Back the truck up and run in the other direction.Go. Run. Fast. It’s about to get real up in here. For real, for real!
As many of you know, I have two little girls that I am trying to raise with self-confidence, independence and verve for life. I want them to live life so fully that they just grab it with both hands and jump. I want them to live life on their own terms. I want happiness and equality for them but more than anything else, I want them to always know they can come to me.about.anything. ANYTHING! That includes pubic hair, menstruation, boobs and yes, even sex, masturbation and childbirth.
I parent with honesty and openness. I want them to ask questions. We talk about everything. If they ask, I answer. I am trying to build trust and respect to compliment the unconditional love. I want them to not only be children that I love but people that I like and I hope they feel the same way about me one day but today, I am their mommy and my job is to mother them.
Anyways, sometimes even when you think you are doing it right, things get muddled and you are left wondering WTH just happened? This is what happened to me yesterday in the bathroom at Panda Express. Don’t judge.
The girls had their well visits yesterday and got a surprise Hepatitis vaccination and flu mist sprung on them. That did not go over very well so to “help the medicine go down” we promised them a dinner out. It was the least we could do.
In the middle of dinner, my littlest one informed me that she MUST go to the potty or she will “actually” pee herself. Her words, not mine. Obviously, that’s kid code for four-alarm code yellow. I realized that I could use a little tinkle and check myself, so off we went. Of course, we travel in packs, where one goes, so shall the other and with that, per usual, we had 3 girls in a stall. Only once we got in there, I realized shark week was back with a vengeance.This was a straight up Jaws emergency. If you know what I mean?
The girls have always gone into the bathroom stall with me in public places if I have to use the facilities. Its just the way it’s always been; co-sleeping and co-toileting, attachment parenting gone wild.I don’t want them to get abducted but I also don’t want to give step-by-step directions on how to use a tampon yet either. I practice discretionary, ninja-like tampon changing skills. They know that sometimes mommy gets a “booboo”. They think a tampon is like a Band-Aid for your vagina and they are sort of right. But they are getting older and we just had the conversation in May about puberty and periods, thanks to a dog that went into premature heat.
I asked the girls to turn around. They do and I successfully execute my quick change and flush. This is nothing I ever thought I would be doing in my life, then again I never thought I would randomly be smelling baby’s butts in public restaurants either. How the mighty have fallen. Remember, a baby changes everything and all that shit?
Only, life hates me and the toilet is one of those green, low-flow, crunchy granola Woodstock, no bra-wearing, hairy armpit bastards and no match for the super duper, no-holds barred, epic nuclear- reactive, cotton torpedo that I needed to use that day to keep the sharks at bay. So everything flushes. Except.the.Damn.Tampon! It re-appears waterlogged and even larger than before and as it does, in slow motion, both girls turn around to see it breaking the surface of the pink toilet water. Then this happened.
Gabs (screaming at the top of her lungs): “Oh no! Mommy, I saw blood!!!!”
Me: “Remember I told you what happened with the dog?”
Gabs (whispering and completely serious): “Oh my God, Mommy, did you just go into heat???”
Me (dying of laughter on the inside, trying my damnest to keep a straight face): “No honey. People don’t go into heat. We have periods.”
Gabs: “Oh because I was scared we were going to have to keep you inside because all the daddies in the neighborhood were going to try to jump on you.”
Then, I died.
And just like that shark week wasn’t so bad anymore. Have you ever been caught in a state of shark week? How did you explain menstruation to your little one?