Menstruation: Talks with a near 3 year old

Tee hee.  So, I’ve always let Zara play with pads, it’s every kids’ right!!  But now, I actually got my period, so I have to start using them.  I continue to breastfeed but just this past month, my body finally said, alright, let’s get this started again.  So I’ve had to take out the pads and not play with them.

I figure that if I’m embarrassed about it, then for sure she will be.  I remember being young and getting my period and not knowing what to do about it, so I hid my underwear.  The last thing I want is for that situation to be recreated.  So, I figured I may as well go for it.  It all started this week when I got my first period since April 2008!!

“Zara we need to go shopping, I need some pads,”  I said.  “Oh, okay,” she said.  Off we went.  She helped me find some, I explained that I like the thin ones and then we bought them (not the huge ones she wanted, tee hee).

I tried this explanation, or something like it: “Every month a woman’s body has a chance to have a baby, a little egg gets released from the ovary and it goes into the uterus and if the woman doesn’t want a baby, then the egg leaves the uterus and the body passes it through, and then we use pads for the passing through part.”  She seemed interested, slightly intrigued, and also not so interested.

Then we flash to me having to change a pad in the bathroom.  I said, “let’s close the door I want some privacy.”  I was saying that because my husband was going to walk by, I heard his footsteps.  My heart started to race and then I realized that I was getting nervous and that it is just my body, and despite the fact that I have been period-less for years now, that every woman goes through this and it is nothing to be shy about.  So I calmed down, asked her to pass me a pad from the drawer and she did.  She asked me again why I needed it and I said, “Well, I have my period.”  So then I drew her a picture of me, with visible ovaries and a uterus, but she didn’t seem quite interested.  And that’s totally cool.  I’m here to explain, that’s my job, not to force and not to make her interested!

So close to her bedtime, I needed to change my pad, so she asked again what it was about and she said she wanted one too.   I asked her not to play with them anymore because I actually need to use them now and that maybe we could get her her own box another time.  But she was so interested, she grabbed one anyway and she wrapped it around her wrist.  I explained that I don’t wear it on my skin, but it goes in my underwear and the soft part is what I feel against my body.  So, down went her pyjamas so she could get a pair of underwear to put under so she could wear a pad too.  Now she is asleep for the night wearing a pad.  Tee hee, at least she’ll know what to do when she eventually gets her period!

I also told her that she was the only child we want to have, unless something unplanned happens, and that my body is going to have a period every month for quite a while.  She said, “well I want a baby in my belly, I think I’ll have a baby lamb.”  Enough said.  I love being a mom.


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