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Clean up in isle nine...

In our family there are five of the male variety (not including the dog - also male) and one of the female variety. That'd be me. Many years ago, all the boys realised I didn't have a penis, which included various joyous moments such as Erik (then three) pointing to random people on a tram and yelling, 'Penis! No penis!'

I was cool with that, I even kept my cool when he pointed to a women and yelled, 'Penis!'... Luckily, she was also cool with it.

We've had other fun times, like when I recently made a one woman push for the word vagina to be used in preference of 'vajayjay' or Luey's all time favourite 'vahmmmmmm'... Yesterday, he confided he still actually prefers to say 'vahmmmmmm' - I whispered to myself, 'Small steps, Sif, small steps, he's only ten'...

My approach to society's taboo topics is to be very straight forward and open and matter-of-fact and to always answer a question where and when it is asked.

I don't not want my kids growing up with all sorts of weird and mostly not-so-wonderful misconceptions about their bodies or about sex. I certainly don't want some girl's irate mother lobbing on my doorstep telling me her daughter got pregnant from my son because he told her 'It isn't sex if it isn't inside'. Remember how Clinton didn't cheat on his wife because it was just oral? Things that make you go, hmmm.

So, and speaking of oral, when one of my children asks at the dining table - in front of his littlest brothers, 'Mum, what is a blow job?' I answer - while the Grumpy Old Man chokes on his food - 'It's a sexual act where one person stimulates the other persons genitals with their mouth, sweetheart.' This leads to much 'Eeeeewwww!'ing and gagging and a bit of laughter and me saying, 'Yes, it sounds gross, but a lot about sex sounds gross in the cold, hard light of day.'

On Saturday we took the boys grocery shopping. We try never to do this. Four boys in a crowded shopping centre with a stressed out Grumpy Old Man is not how I like to spend my Saturday afternoons, but sometimes it can't be avoided.

We were working through the list and were up to isle nine, the shampoo, cosmetic and sanitary items isle. Oh yes, you know where I'm going with now... If you're too squeamish, look away. If you are mature and open minded, follow me.

I reached for a couple of packets of pads and Luey in his eminently high pitched voice-that-carries, squawked, 'What are those for? And, what are these back here?' he pointed to the tampons. I glanced up and down the isle which was chockers with Saturday lemmings shoppers, like us. The Grumpy Old Man was at the other end of the isle, so I could proceed with impunity.

'These are pads, and those are tampons.'

'What are they for?'

'Well, from the age of ten or so, sometimes later, every month girls and women bleed from their vaginas, and these go in their undies to soak up the blood, or they can put those inside their vaginas.'

'Bleed???' Luey looks around him at all the women in the isle as if he is excepting a re-enactment of the lift scene from 'The Shining'.

'Yep, every month. It's called a period and it happens if the egg that the girl or woman releases each month isn't used to make a baby. The body kind of chucks it out. It's completely normal'

'Oh, yeah, it's okay, I'm not grossed out,' he squeaks, 'I was just curious. What happens to men?'

I resisted the urge to say, 'Men generally live in fear of their testicles because they tend to do and say stupid stuff around women who are bleeding.' and instead went with...

'Nothing, you guys are pretty lucky, huh?'

He nods enthusiastically.

'So, it's like a blood clot?'

'Yeah, something like that, only bigger' (admittedly bigger wasn't the best description to use here, I'm sure he's imagining some horrific, bloody football-sized thing, but I was also trying to save the rest of the isle from their embarrassment and we were getting perilously close to the Grumpy Old Man, who would break out into a cold sweat before passing out if he heard us. 'Clean up in isle nine, Grumpy Old Man with 19th century moral code...'

'When does it stop?'

'Mostly when women are between fifty and fifty-five...'

'Fifty-five???' and the boy looked appropriately sympathetic.

My job was done and we turned into isle ten - the chocolate isle!



Rhianna said…
Oh Sif! I love this. As the mother of an 11 yr old girl I wish it were all that easy.
Sif Dal said…
You know, I had been thinking, but I really forgot to mention it, that quite often with boys it's all talk about wet dreams and masturbation and how to use a condom, but I wonder how many mothers and/or fathers actually explain menses to boys?
Ms_MotorbikeNut said…
I was the same with my daughter & my husband & I are the same with with his daughter.

In 2009 we were all staying at a motel & I had all my prescribed drugs on the dresser, usually at home I keep them on the shelf just above the kettle.

Anyway my step daughter who was 10 years old at the time asked us what my packet of the contraceptive pill was.

Hubby & I said down and explained it to her all very openly & honestly.

A was very happy with the way we explained it to her.

(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX
Jayne said…
"I resisted the urge to say, 'Men generally live in fear of their testicles because they tend to do and say stupid stuff around women who are bleeding.' and instead went with..."

Hahahahahaha!!! LOVE!!! So funny! :D
I'm kinda glad I had this convo with both kids at home. Poor S is a bit terrified of getting her period tho, Gawd I can only imagine with all the horror that anticipation entails what life will be like here when she does get it ;)

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