A funny thing happened this week. In an early morning fog, I forgot to flush a tampon. A few minutes later, my oldest son shouted from the bathroom, “WHAT is that THING in the toilet?!” Of course, this prompted his brothers to rush to the crime scene. My husband and I shared a look of panic as I scanned my brain for an explanation. My first thought was to make up an excuse (“Mommy had a bloody nose and had to plug it up!”)
But then Michelle Wolf’s words
popped into my mind and I thought, fuck it
. Boys need to learn about these things too. As we gathered around the commode, I asked if they remembered the sperm + egg = baby scenario we’ve discussed, which drew a trio of concerned head nods. I explained how a woman’s body prepares to turn an egg into a baby and when that doesn’t happen, her body sheds the nutrients it had been storing up inside. I told them my body goes through this process every month
and showed them the boxes of tampons and pads hidden under our bathroom sink, like contraband sponges. They were a bit alarmed at first and only slightly grossed out. My oldest even remarked how unfair it was that mommy’s body still prepares for a baby even though daddy visited a doctor to stop him from making one. Great point kid, GREAT POINT. Like many of life’s mysteries, it held little intrigue once it was solved, and they were back to arguing over baseball in no time. Now if only someone had explained that
mystery to me when I was a little girl.