The other night, my son and I were watching That 70’s Show. It was the episode where Kitty thinks she’s pregnant, but then finds out she is going through menopause. He asked what menopause was, so in explaining, I had to explain what a period was. I could have just said it’s when a woman can no longer have children, but I really want him to know things. Even it’s just the basics, I want him to be informed. He’ll eventually hear about periods at school, but I want him to know that they are totally normal and something all girls deal with.
I want him to be that guy who has no problem buying his girlfriend a box of tampons. We all want that guy, right? Who better to teach him than me?
Back to explaining menopause, I asked if he knew what a period was. He did not, so I said that when a girl goes through puberty (we’ve had lots of those discussions because he has full on hit it, his voice is already super deep and he’s 12!) her body is then physically able to have a baby. I told him we have eggs and each month our body gets one out and it gets all excited about getting pregnant (I may have had some jazz hands going at this point). When we don’t get pregnant, our body flushes the old egg out, which results in a period. I explained the period, which he said is weird. I agreed, because it is weird if you are hearing about it for the first time. I then told him that when our body runs out of eggs, we go through menopause and stop having periods, which is why Kitty thought she was late and pregnant.
Maybe you aren’t in agreement that I tell him things like this, but he is a pretty mature kid. We’ve already had many conversations about what he goes through with puberty. He processes information and then files it away for later. I also tend to just give him the facts. I made sure to reiterate that it’s totally normal and happens to all girls. Girls at that age are self conscious enough about it, without having boys make comments or tease them. I also remember the amount of bleed throughs that my friends and I had at that age. I inevitably got blood on at least one pair of pants each month. It will happen. Maybe boys don’t notice it as much as we do, I remember pointing it out to my friends, but if he does notice, I don’t want him to make a big deal about it. I had to explain pads too, not tampons though, that’s a bit much.
This conversation was only like two minutes long, but it came up, so I told him. Other things have come up in conversation, so I’ve explained those as well. It’s the easiest time to talk to them, when it comes up naturally. That isn’t a conversation that I would ever sit him down and have, so I’m glad that it happens like this.
His sister on the other hand, I have no desire to have the period discussion with her. I know I probably only have a couple more years, but I’ll worry about that then.