O’s been interested in the boxes of tampons in the bathroom for some time now. I mentioned back in this post how his phonic skills had helped him read the side of the box and piqued his curiosity. “What is this light-to medium flow, Mummy?” was the question I could see shining in his eyes.
We were on holiday in my lovely friend’s caravan the other week. As is traditional, the holiday was marred by the appearance of the monthly grimness and I had to festoon the titchy bathroom with the tampon boxes once more. I was showering O and he was chatting away three hundred to the dozen, as he always does when the fateful question was posited:
O: Mummy, what are those Tampax for?
Me (thinking fast and deciding that truth is always best): Well, you know how mummies grow babies in their tummies? In the womb? (we had already covered this a while back)
O (face shining with the promise of information intake): Yes…
Me (slightly garbled as is the way in these circumstances): Well, the womb gets ready to have a baby each month, but women don’t always have a baby so the womb needs to get rid of the stuff it got ready for if a baby came. And this stuff is cells and blood and it comes out of the special place between the woman’s legs. It’s called a period and the tampon is to catch it all and stop it going in your knickers. Otherwise it would be messy.
O: Is that when you are grumpy?
Me: Yes and sometimes a period gives you tummy-aches.
And that was that.
Fast forward to last week. I rang home after my weekly counselling appointment to tell M I’d be home soon and was picking up stuff for lunch. He put O on to me as he had important Mario Kart news to impart. We chatted for a while and then:
O: Mummy, where are you?
Me: I’m coming home. I’ve just had an appointment.
O (with great excitement): Is this to do with the Tampax? Have you been having the blood taken out?
Me (in alarm): No, no – no blood taken out….
O (overlapping and shrieking with glee): MUMMY’S HAVING A BABY! MUMMY’S HAVING A BABY!
Me: NOOOOOOOOOO! No, no I’m not. I’m coming home now….
I finished the call and headed home, realising there was more work to be done in the explaining periods arena. Poor M must have been rather startled and the chap from up the road who was fixing the boiler must’ve been a bit surprised as well…