Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lady Product

Have any of you ever found it difficult to introduce the concept of feminine hygiene to your preschool-aged son?

I don’t know how long it takes for most kids to ask about their mother’s period, but it came up for us pretty soon, sooner anyway than I was prepared for it, which I find is really the way it always goes with parenting.

One day, I was putting in a tampon and my son wandered in and asked what I was doing.

I stuttered a bit and then I just said, “I’m putting in a tampon.”

That handled it for awhile and then he wanted to know what a tampon was, reasonably enough, and so I said “It is my lady product.”

Primo seemed satisfied but I felt like that was a lousy answer. Not just lousy, but weird, and maybe he’d end up in the 6th grade with strange ideas about shit because of it. So I said, “It is something women use to take care of the part of ourselves that makes babies.”

This clearly did not make any more sense to him than the explanation of “lady product” or the word “tampon” for that matter, but I wasn’t about to get into the uterine bleeding and the Fallopian tubes and the PMS and the rest of it. I figured that was enough. And it has been, so far.

A few months later though, I was sitting on the playground bench, watching Primo and his friend Eddie rifle through my diaper bag, looking for snacks. In his mad search, Primo pulled out one of said feminine hygiene products and scrutinized it for a second, as if trying to remember what the hell it was. I am sure he was trying to figure out if there was any way to use it in the furtherance of his playground fun.

Then his friend Eddie asked, “What’s that?”

I saw the recognition flicker across my son’s face, and then the disappointment, because this clearly wouldn’t help his situation any, being neither a snack nor a toy.

He said, “It’s my mom’s Pam-pam,” and tossed it onto the ground.

I nearly died. Laughing, not from embarrassment. It takes more than airing my Pam-pams in public to make me blush.