boys and menstruation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw a disappointing incident while I was at Target today. I was in the same aisle with a woman who was buying either tampons or pads, and she had a little boy, about three or four with her. As she threw the things in the cart, the boy said "what's that, mommy?" and she replied, in the most annoyed and disgusted voice, "none of your business." then after a moment added, "it's only for girls. Are you a girl?" and the boy said timidly, 'no'. and the mom replied again with "then don't worry about it." in a very irritated tone of voice.

The whole exchange brought up a range of reactions in me. For one, I tried to think that maybe, just maybe, it was his millionth question of the day, and she was tired of answering him over and over. But still, it was a darn good, and reasonable question. I hope that had I been in the same position, I would've taken the opportunity to educate my little boy on a natural process, you know? I mean, as it is, my son has seen the whole process of menstruation, but if he wasn't, I'd want to explain it to him, right?

I just thought that we were past the point of teaching our boys that menstruation is gross, something to hide and be ashamed of. Guess I've been living in a bubble. :
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#2 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 02:21 AM
 
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I hate it when I hear yucky exchanges like that in a public place. It makes me sad for that child.

I don't have sons, but my 3 1/2 yo dd is asking what my feminine hygiene products are and I tell her. I'm sure I'd say the same thing if it was my son.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 02:55 AM
 
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The other day we were waiting in an office, and I was finishing the hand sewing on a post partum pad for a friend, and kids asked me very loudly "Are you sewing more pads mama??" LOL
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#4 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 03:16 AM
 
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These things always make me sad too, but behind the horror at the dialogue lurks this question: How do you live in the same house with a child and not have them see your AF: I don't pee alone, KWIM?

nice name DalaiMama
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#5 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 03:26 AM
 
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So how would you explain it to a 2.5yo? I never do pee alone, so he has seen the whole process, but is not really verbal yet, so I'm not really sure how much information to give. I have to admit that although I am perfectly comfortable with my own body, I tend to be pretty private, and I have a hard time vocalizing it.

And have I mentioned how irritated I am that I have no problem saying "penis" when ds points to dh's, but when he points to me and asks, I can't for the life of me think of what to say? I hate that saying vagina or vulva is so damn uncomfortable.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 03:35 AM
 
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I tried a few months ago when ds asked if I had an owie, but don't think I did a very good job. I said something along the lines of:
When there is no baby in mama's tummy, the stuff that would feed the baby comes out because there is no baby to feed. It looks like blood, but it is not an owie. Then my body makes new stuff in case a baby needs it, but then it comes out again when there is still no baby in mama's tummy.

Then, when my mom was here to visit he proudly brought her a pad he'd found and told here, "yook Gramma, da baby comes out HERE!"

:
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#7 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 05:36 AM
 
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We call female genitalia the Yoni at our house (it's a sanskrit term). It just sounbds so much more special and positive to me. I think that I explaind to my kids that during my "moontime", my body gets rid of some blood that it doesn't need, and that this happens to all women.
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#8 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 05:56 AM
 
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We also refer to our vaginal area as Yoni.
Oceanbaby, when dd was 2.5, she ASKED what my pad was and I just simply told her that it was there to catch my blood that comes once a month. I assurred her that it wasn't an owie, that it comes out cuz I don't need it in my body. I plan to expand on that as more questions come and as time moves on. But at this point she is content with that answer and now she takes visual note when my pad is in place and says, "that's your blood, Mama" And I say, "yes".
I remember when I was young and I must have seen my mother's blood. She gave me an explanation that when women get older they have a hole where the blood comes from. I didn't realize then that I too, had a "hole"!!!! I thought that I would get it later or something. : My mom came from the generation where she didn't talk to me about anything concerning sexuality. I intend to talk about it as much as any other natural aspect of our bodies.
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#9 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the_dalai_mama, after my irritation at this woman subsided, I too wondered how she got the luxury of going to the bathroom all by herself. thanks about the name. I felt really silly when I had been on here for a few months and realized that someone else (you ) already had almost the exact same name.

back on topic, my son is too young to ask questions, but I am sure he has noticed what is going on. So far, I just reassure him that it's not a boo boo. I figure I'll give him more info as he seems ready for it.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by oceanbaby

And have I mentioned how irritated I am that I have no problem saying "penis" when ds points to dh's, but when he points to me and asks, I can't for the life of me think of what to say? I hate that saying vagina or vulva is so damn uncomfortable.
Me too. I wimped out and had dh explain it to him. It was really quite cute though.

My ds is 4 (almost 5 now) so I distract him by getting him to read me a story or build me lego-something while I am using the washroom during af. I don't mind explaining to him but he has been known to bring up things during inappropriate times, but that is a whole other thread.
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#11 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 01:45 PM
 
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When my dd first noticed, she asked "Why are you red?" And I think I just said "It's okay, I'm not hurt, I just have red." I just went with it from what she called it. That was awhile ago, so now I've told her it's called a "period", and so she calls it that now. No more questions as of last AF.
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#12 of 17 Old 09-13-2003, 11:17 PM
 
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The Yoni thing gets me every time on this board, as I knew a girl named Yoni in high school!

Well, my kids know too due to bathroom company! My DS yells Yuck b/c he assumes it is *ahem* #2 and I got it on my undies... But Isay "not yuck!" for now.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 01:36 AM
 
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Here is something I find interesting...my ds,who is 11, knows more about how a menstrual cycle works than I did when I was 11 years old (many years ago, thank you).

I think it is good to be honest about everything, including periods

The woman buying the pads with her son must've been PMSing, huh??!
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#14 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 03:52 AM
 
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some moms pee alone? no one told me!

joe has not asked much yet, my gut response would probably resemble the target lady (not as mean a course!) but thanks everyone for the ideas on a more "grown-up" way to answer him. i'm sure he'll have PLENTY of questions!:
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#15 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 05:34 AM
 
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Well, I don't get to go alone, but since I've been nursing for almost six years without a break now (b'H), plain&simple haven't had AF that many times for anyone else to be aware of it. The bleeding post-partum is different, doesn't bring up the issue, you know? That's "because mommy had a baby" stuff.

But do use minipad-type things. They call them my "diapers."
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#16 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 07:17 AM
 
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My mom taught me a word for vagina that I liked so I use that with Emily. It's Chataca-pottica. She told me that's what her friend Gloria called it and that it was a word they used in New Mexico. I have NO idea if that is true, but I don't really care because it's a cute word, it rhymes, and Emily smiles when she says it.
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#17 of 17 Old 09-14-2003, 01:05 PM
 
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Maybe the momma had been out for a while adn was at her breaking point(you know the please let me hurry and get home stage) and would explain later.
As for when I may introduce this subject to my own son I can not say. Heknows what a pad is(use to atick them to his forehead when he was little) vut doesn't know and has never asked what they were for.
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