It came from under the sink

By Mir
October 21, 2006

The massive cleaning out of the crap continues apace. There’s no shortage of junk around here, that’s for sure. I have this crazy dream that someday I’ll look around my house and only see stuff that we NEED and USE. Is that crazy, or what?

Today we had soccer (where Monkey’s team triumphantly TIED for the second week in a row! they are really not-quite-sucking, now!) and came home and had hot cocoa (because it was 40 degrees on the soccer field) and I decided to do some baking. Mmmmm, delicious gluten-free pumpkin bread! It really is delicious, but now I understand that “gluten” means “having glue-like properties,” because everything I bake with, say, rice flour (yummier than it sounds), tastes fine but falls apart. So we baked pumpkin crumble. Grab a spoon.

Then, because the day hadn’t been quite exciting enough, I decided to clean out my bathroom. (Warning: The following ends up having surprisingly little to do with cleaning. Go figure.)

The kids were busy doing important things like trashing their rooms and covering every square inch of the kitchen table with art supplies, so I grabbed a trash bag and headed into the master bathroom, a.k.a. Where Health And Beauty Items Go To Die.

Dudes. Need some Advil from 2002? How about some hairspray from 1996? I can totally help you out. Also, did you know that band-aids can actually calcify? I didn’t, either.

I cleaned out the high cabinet and was just starting on the drawers when Chickadee wandered in. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was cleaning, and she looked understandably perplexed. It IS a relatively new concept around here, after all. But she appointed herself helper and enjoyed pawing through my things and suggesting items to toss. We agreed that my ten-year-old razor handle could go, but were at odds over a flowered scrunchie. (I won, and into the trash it went. I had to promise that if they come back into style I’ll buy her one, though.)

I opened the cabinet under the sink and started pulling out items from the pile of junk shoved in amongst the pipes. By this time, Monkey had arrived in my bedroom with an armful of Legos. He rearranged them and kept us up-to-date on their dealings (“Now this one is going to transform and get out his laser!”) while I surrounded myself with half-empty bottles of lotions and cleaners.

Removing an avalanche of Mary Kay items (last Mary Kay party attended: 2001) revealed a forgotten stash of “feminine items” in the back corner of the cabinet. I started pulling the bags of pads and boxes of tampons out and piling them on the floor.

“What’re THOSE?” asked Chickadee.

“They’re called maxi-pads. They’re for grown-up ladies.” Monkey stopped what he was doing and craned his neck to peek into the bathroom. Seeing only an unremarkable pink bag, he went back to his Legos.

“What do you do with them?”

(Is someone trying to tell me something, here, or what?)

“They, um, well. It’s sort of complicated. Do you really want to know?” I swear to you, her little face just lit up when I said it was complicated. This is what she loves, is complicated. Tomorrow night I’m hoping we can cover some Euclidean geometry.

“Yes! Tell me!”

I took a deep breath.

“Well, when you’re a grown up lady, your body makes an egg every month.” Her jaw dropped open. “Um, not an egg like a chicken egg. It’s teeny tiny, and it’s inside the ovaries, which are in here—” I pointed to my hipbones “—unless you’ve had surgery, like me, to have them taken out. I don’t make eggs anymore, because when I had my surgery to take out my uterus, they took my ovaries, too.”

She was fascinated. Hey, this was actually kind of fun.

“Anyway, each month an egg gets made, and if it gets fertilized by a man it grows a baby.”


“Yeah, you know, like we have to add special stuff to the plants to make them grow. You know that you need something from both a woman AND a man to make a baby, right?” She nodded. “So each month, unless you get that special something from a man and a baby starts to grow, the egg needs to be flushed out of your body.”

I glanced past Chickadee, out the doorway, to see Monkey dangling off the end of my bed, completely transfixed. Hooboy. Okay, well, two birds, one stone.

“So, um, if the egg doesn’t get used, your body’s been getting ready for a baby by making the baby-holding place, the uterus, all warm and cozy, and if the egg doesn’t get fertilized, the uterus has to get rid of the lining it’s built up, and the egg that didn’t get used. So you, uh, bleed a little.”

Two sets of eyes went as big as saucers. I rushed on.

“So that’s what these are for,” I clutched a sack of maxi-pads to my chest like a shield. “When you have that bleeding, it’s called menstruating, or having your period. And you have to put one of these into your undies to catch the blood.”

“You bleed from your VAGINA? Yuck.” Monkey rolled off the bed and leapt to the floor like a cat, returning to his Legos because clearly, this story wasn’t going anywhere he needed to be. Chickadee was still gaping.

“Yes, women bleed from their vaginas.” I looked down at my lap and contemplated having some turn-of-the-century Tylenol I’d found a little while before.

“Does it… HURT?” Chickadee had moved a little closer to me, and spoke in low tones.

“No, honey, it doesn’t hurt. It’s annoying, and sometimes you get a little tummyache while you have your period—some stomach cramps, maybe—but it doesn’t hurt.”

“And it happens… every month?”

“Yep, once you’re mature it’ll happen every month you aren’t pregnant. Girls start their periods usually sometime between, oh, about nine—” her eyes went even wider, and I rushed on, “—and fifteen, and honey, I do NOT think you will get your period when you’re nine. I was a lot older than that, and probably you will be, too.”

“You have had 35 eggs!” announced Monkey. “Except only two of them turned into kids!” I was still trying to wrap my brain around this when Chickadee snapped out of her petrified haze to correct him.

“Every MONTH, not every YEAR, and she would’ve had to have eggs when she was a BABY for that. You can leave now.” Oddly, Monkey didn’t leave, but he did go back to pretending not to listen. “So,” she said, turning back to me, “you put one of those in your underwear, when you bleed? But you don’t need them anymore, because you don’t make eggs and bleed anymore?”

“That’s right,” I said. “I had my girl parts removed when I had my surgery.”

“So you’re a BOY now?” Chickadee quipped. We laughed and I poked her, then added the half-empty box of tampons I’d just found to the pile. I was just about off the hook here, and that hadn’t been so hard.

“What are THOSE?”


“These? These are called tampons. These are also for when you have your period, only these go inside your body instead of sitting in your underwear.” I held one up while Chickadee visibly cringed.

“INSIDE? YOUR BODY?” Her horror brought Monkey to the doorway.

“Well, yes. Um. See, these pads, well, sometimes you don’t want to wear a pad. Let’s say you’re on the swim team, and you get your period. You can’t put a pad in your bathing suit; it would show and be all messy. So then you’d use a tampon.” They both continued to stare at me.

“But… HOW does it GET inside??”

I sighed and tore open the wrapper. “Okay, see, it has an applicator, that’s cardboard. You would hold it here, and put the applicator into your vagina—”

“CARDBOARD? IN YOUR VAGINA??” Chickadee looked as though I’d just announced that first you take it and put it up your nose. Come to think of it, that’s probably about what it sounded like to her. Monkey began to laugh hysterically, whether at this marvelous tale I was spinning or his sister’s head spinning all the way around on her neck, I wasn’t sure.

“Yes, honey, just to help put the tampon in. See, you would put it in this far, then push this part, and see how that pushes it up? Then you take the cardboard out. And leave the tampon.”

“IT HAS A TAIL!” chortled Monkey.

“Yes, it has a string, so you can take it out later.” Also so that, if you have a slender neck, you can hang yourself with it after The Tampon Talk.

“Does it hurt?” Chickadee is a pragmatist. I like that about her.

“No, sweetie, you can’t even feel it in there. And this is something you’re not going to have to worry about for a long time, okay?” She nodded. Monkey giggled his way back to his Legos once more. I went back to pulling things out of the cabinet. Then I added, “I’m pulling this stuff out to put in your bathroom closet so you’ll have it when you need it, but it’s going to be years, probably, honey. When the time comes we’ll talk about it some more.” I remembered something. “And guys? This is not the sort of thing you need to be chatting about on the bus or announcing in class.”

“Yeah, cuz it’s GROSS,” said Monkey.

“Well no, but because it’s something that parents talk to their kids about and you don’t need to be telling other kids. Okay? If you have questions or want to talk about it, you come to me. Or Daddy.”

I chucked a few more bottles into the waiting trashbag.

“Mama?” Chickadee had been sitting very still, and barely seemed to move, even now.

“Yes, sweetie?” I found the hardware to a towel bar. I was trying to decide whether to save it or admit that the bar was never going back up and throw it away.

“You said that for an egg to grow into a baby it needs fertilizer from a man.” Crap. “How does THAT happen?” Crap crap crap.

“Yeah, how DOES that happen?” chimed in Monkey. Chickadee whipped around to face him.

“YOU can LEAVE,” she said.

“Welllllllllll…” I swallowed, hard. “That’s even more complicated. Are you sure you want to know?” She nodded. Monkey edged inside the doorway a bit.

“Okay. Well, you know a woman makes eggs in her ovaries, right? Girls have ovaries and boys don’t?” She nodded. “Well, boys make the stuff that fertilizes eggs in a part that they have and girls don’t. Any idea what that might be?” Chickadee thought a moment, then furtively pointed to her crotch. “That’s right, very good. Boys make something that fertilizes eggs that’s called sperm, in their testicles.”

I stopped and beheld her expectant face. Everything about her behavior was telling me she was ready, and yet I could clearly remember my own reaction at learning The Truth at around her age. Maybe this would be enough information for now.

“But,” her little brain was whirring, I could see, “how does that stuff get to the egg?”

“Well, there’s something that a man and woman do together to make that happen. Any idea what that might be?”

It took every molecule of my being not to shriek with laughter when Chickadee started making kissing noises.

“Yes, well, it usually starts that way, yes. There’s some kissing, and some touching, and then if they are ALL GROWN UP and WANT TO HAVE A BABY then the man puts his penis into the woman’s vagina and releases some of that sperm and maybe it gets to the egg and starts a baby.”

All they heard was “penis into the woman’s vagina.” Before the chorus of “EWWWWWWWWS” drowned me out.

“WHO TOLD YOU THAT?” Chickadee demanded. I bit my lip so hard I thought I was going to draw blood.

“My mother told me, when I was about your age. Why?”

“Who told HER that??” It was now clear that Chickadee was considering a hearty bitch-smacking of whoever had started this horrible story.

“Ummm, I suppose her mother told her. Why, honey?” She was not to be deterred, however.

“Well who told HER? And who told HER mom? WHO STARTED IT??”

Monkey held up a bottlecap (I have no idea where it came from) before I could answer. “A bottlecap! I found it! Can I have it?”

“Sure, you can have it.” He ran off with it. He was clearly All Done.

“Mama!” Chickadee was not letting me off the hook. “WHO knew this?”

“Honey, I don’t know about the telling part. But that’s how animals make babies, too. It’s instinct. It’s called having sex, or intercourse, and it’s how the egg and the fertilizer meet and start babies.” Her gaze was still accusatory. I lamely continued on. “It’s for grown-ups. Who are married.” I may or may not have crossed my fingers behind my back.

“Well,” she was fairly sputtering at this point. “I am NOT going to want to do THAT!”

“That’s a very normal way to feel, sweetheart. You won’t need to worry about that for a very long time. Really, it’s SUPPOSED to sound yucky when you’re a kid.” Of course it is. (I mean, it’d probably be pretty disturbing for your kid’s reaction to be all “neato, I can’t wait to try it!”)

I started loading items back into the cabinet. Chickadee sat on the floor, dejected. I felt like I’d blown it completely. What happened to “the miracle of life?” What about “normal and natural” and all of the other buzzwords I’d always planned to use? I scooched over and pulled her into a hug.

“Sweetie, a lot of people have trouble talking about this stuff because it IS a little weird and probably sounds gross. And most of it you really don’t need to know now, but mostly what you need to know is that you can always talk to me. And when you have questions and need to know more, we’ll talk about it, and you can come to me whenever, with whatever you want to know. Okay?” She nodded. “Okay, then.”

“I still don’t EVER want to do that,” she hissed, as she scrambled to her feet. I chuckled.

“Baby, I fully support you in that decision.” She glanced sidelong at me, trying to decide if I was making fun. “And later on, when you’re older, if you change your mind? That’s okay, too.”

“I WON’T.”

“Okay. That’s fine.” What should I have done, argued with her? (“Young lady! You are going to have sex and you are going to LIKE IT!”)

She picked up a brush I’d found. “Can I have this?”

“Sure, honey. Go put it in your bathroom. Hey, do you have any questions?”

“Thanks! No. I think you told me enough.”

“Mama?” Monkey had reappeared, and Chickadee pushed past him on her way out.

“Yes, honey?” I braced myself.

“Do you have any more bottlecaps?” I laughed and told him that I was fresh out, and was about to ask if he had any questions when he disappeared down the hall after Chickadee.

So that went… ummm… yeah. I need a drink. And some crumbly pumpkin bread. And a lobotomy.


  1. Aimee

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    I think you handled that brilliantly. Really. The thing is, you can’t know when that conversation is coming. Considering that you were sort of blindsided with only expired Mary Kay products as protection, I’d say you aced it.

  2. Emily

    You handled that very very well. Much better than my mother, who handed me a ‘kit’ from Tampax and Always containing a booklet and a poster about mensturation. Then, the night before my wedding asks if I know about ‘wifely duties’ (about 7 years too late). Of course I had to be the wise a** and reply ‘like dishes and laundry?’… Luckily for me, that conversation ended quickly.

  3. Keryn

    That was HILARIOUS. Thanks for the laugh–and the warning. Fortunately, my oldest isn’t yet three. I have time. (Right?)

  4. Jen

    Can I just print this out and hand it to my daughter when she starts asking questions? I think you handled it perfectly.

  5. GetSheila

    “I’m pulling this stuff out to put in your bathroom closet so you’ll have it when you need it, but it’s going to be years, probably, honey.”

    What IS the shelf life on feminine hygiene products, anyway?

  6. Whimspiration

    That was perfect! The ideal way to handle the talk. Congrats!

    And thanks for the hearty laugh. I read it to my mate, who is now prepared for when it is time to have “the talk” with his daughter (our youngest). And congrats on getting some cleaning done too. *grin*

  7. Sheryl

    Ha, I had to laugh. I’ve had the “what’s a tampon for” conversation a few times, and the “babies are made with a man’s sperm and a woman’s egg” but thus far I have been MERCIFULLY spared the “yes, but HOW?!” I’m not ready for the “insert part A into slot B” discussion.

  8. Michelle

    Wow a lot of info for one conversation. I’m impressed she seemed to digest it all.

  9. Fold My Laundry Please

    You handled that beautifully and with appropriate maturity! Chickadee will surely appreciate that when she gets older.

    Most of my knowledge about menstruation came from those bronze colored films they showed to all the girls in about Fourth or Fifth Grade. (You know, when they separate the boys and girls and they each get to watch, “The Film”? What do the boys watch, anyway? I never did find out.) From those films I gathered that when you had your period, you bled like maybe a couple drops worth and then it was over until next month. Man, was I caught by surprise when I had my first period and it lasted for SEVEN DAYS!!

    Similar to Emily above, when I came home from school (totally devastated by my newfound “womanhood”) my mother handed me a box of tampons and said, “Make sure you read the directions. They’re on a piece of paper inside the box.” This example of perfect parenting was only topped by my mother’s declaration on my 18th birthday that, because I was now an adult according to the law, it was okay to tell me dirty jokes and to discuss her and my father’s sex life! Gah! No wonder I have issues!

  10. Cele

    I would truly hope to die before my mother discussed hers and my father’s sex life. literal shivers.

    You know Mir, you might think about hiring yourself out for this talk. You were very smooth. My mother’s talk began with.

    “Sweetheart, when you get married there are things you will do that you don’t like, but you doing them because you love him.”

    I’m still trying to figure out which things she was talking about.

  11. Contrary

    Ah, memories. The day I got my first period, my mother, called my father (whom she was divorced from and who I maybe saw once every 2 or 3 years as he lived 2000 miles away), and told him that I had ‘become a woman’. I’m not kidding , she seriously said, “Dave, your little girl became a woman today!”

    I was mortified, of course and refused to speak to him. Wait, that’s not really being accurate, because it sounds like I just sort of quietly said I”d rather not speak to him. What actually happened is that I ran screaming from the room and hid in my closet for several months.

    Of course, after the initial eardrum busting screech, I’m sure he was relieved he didn’t have to congratulate me on ovulating.

    So, whatever you do, if for some reason you ever choose to discuss Chickadee’s menstrual cycle with her Daddy, do NOT let her know about it. Trust me.


    Still Scarred

  12. Gillian

    I had this great hug story. Every body hugs each other once in a while. Sometimes when a man and a woman love each other in a more special way than they love anyone else They can decide to hug each other so closely that the man’s penis will fit right into the woman’s vagina and plant his sperm which is his part of making a baby. If the woman’s body is ready with an egg and a soft nest in the uterus then this special way of holding each other can start a baby growing. Whether a baby starts or not the woman and the man will feel a lot of love for this special way they have of being together. But every time, they need to be ready to take care of a baby together before they decide to hold each other so closely because there is alway s chance that that can happen.

    Yup, I was pretty clever. Then at six she asks me what a homosexual was. I said that is when a woman feels those special loving feelings for another woman or a man for another man. She said “Yeah, but how do they do it?” And ignorant as the day is long I could only say…”Honey, I don’t really have any idea.” Yup, way clever me I had never given it a thought. Duh. They should issue bloody instruction manuals with each model.

  13. Carolie

    I have never seen a more terror-stricken face than that of my father when I was 12 years old. My mother was in the hospital having a hysterectomy (at that very moment!) and I stood at the top of the stairs, pad in one hand, belt in the other, saying “Dad? I think I’m bleeding and I need help…”

    Give me a break…the stuff they showed us in school didn’t have a belt, it had that adhesive stuff. And my poor father deserves a medal for not running out the door screaming (though he did have a pretty good belt of scotch after calling my grandmother and handing me the phone!)

  14. Amy

    Oh my. I’m forwarding this to my friend. She’s been fretting about how to handle THE TALK too. Her daughter is 9 going on 30. Scary.

    My mom handled me a book. “Here read this” Nothing more.
    I think I would have appreciated your way more.

  15. Lady M

    I am so impressed with you. All that good information under pressure.

    I think I will keep my hygiene products under lock and key, although the “talk” won’t be coming until Q is able to ask questions beyond, “More?,” I suppose.

  16. hollygee

    Like Amy, I got the book and nothing else.

    Mir, you are a wonder.

  17. Michelle

    Mir, you rock! I got all of my information from Judy Blume books. My mother does not talk about these things. The extent of her involvement was “Yeah, your having your period. Get some pads from my bathroom.” Really helpful. I definitely prefer your method.

  18. Sheila

    That’s it. My girls are NEVER going to clean the bathroom.

    Having said that, I think that you handled things beautifully and I plan on printing this, memorizing it and word-for-word spitting it out at my eldest. I picked up a few of the books recommended in the comments when this subject came up a little while ago, and all my daughter got out of THAT little moment was, “so I should only talk about this with you and Dad, not Grandma and Grandpa, because it was like 30 years ago that they had a baby– they probably don’t even remember this stuff!”

    And I loved how Monket was literally distracted by something shiny at just the right time!

  19. Melanie Marie

    Ha! Good for you!

    My mom told my sister and I at the same time (I am 14 months younger). She told us that the pads go on the outside and the tampons go on the inside.

    Later, she found me crying in the bathroom. She asked me what was wrong and I sobbed that I didn’t think I was going to be able to swallow one of those things! (How else would it get inside????)

    I have to hand it to my mom for not bursting into a fit of laughter!

  20. Kate

    Well done Mir. A lot better than my mom did. She brought home a book from the library that explained what happens when girls get their period. I kept questioning the fallopian tubes and ovaries – those are your arms and hands right? My mom was not amused and left it with “there’s a box of pads in your closet. Let me know when you start to bleed.

    Chickadee is going to be fine!

  21. Kimmie

    Lordy…..I’m going to print this out so I can use it when I need to explain all of this……LOL

    Did the pumpkin crumble help?

  22. MMM

    I was laughing so hard at this. My husband was laughing at the bits I read to him. You did a great jopb explaining, though. I may have to use this story for my 10 year old when she finally gets curious.

  23. angelfeet

    I was going to print this out and put it in a very special place, for when I need it in a couple of years.

    But no, I’ll just put them on a plane and you can tell them!

  24. Allanna

    Woot!! Go Mir! I think that you handled this amazingly. (I’m still snickering over the “You will have sex and you’ll enjoy it!”)

    Chickadee and Monkey are very blessed to have you for a mom. (Just like I’m still grateful for having a mom who made it clear that I could come to her with any questions … even though I was pretty precocious, reading the encyclopdia’s entry of “sexual intercourse” when I was six. We still joke about my reaction — “Mom! They said ‘penis’ and ‘vagina!’ That’s gross!” … Yeah, my priorities.)

    Maybe Monkey heard enough that he won’t be in need of a refresher for a few years? ^_^

  25. Sara

    Well done, Mir. I just had a very similar experience with my 10 y.o. daughter. We had already had The Talk last year, but the feminine hygiene discussion never really came up then. It came up a couple of weeks ago and she had the same reactions as Chickadee. She also swears that she’s never going to “do sex”. She has informed me that when the time comes for a baby, she’s ‘going to the airport and adopt one’. Apparently, in her 10 y.o. mind, adopted babies only come from the airport.

  26. Kendra

    Whew…very nice job…again, like the other posters, I can only recall my mom giving me a pile of books and having a talk about my period and what would happen. My mom must have made it sound fab-u-lass because I was actually excited about it (I’ve always been slightly masochistic).

    I may need you to coach me a bit because hearing my kids say the word vagina is a little too much right now.

  27. margaret59

    Oh Mir, Yes, as you might guess, 1959 is my birth year. This post made me laugh probably more than I have laughed at any of your posts. (Longtime reader (lurker)). I am still laughing at the idea of sex ed in my time. We heard about menstruation in public school starting about 5th grade, but sex!!
    I can not blame my mother for not discussing any of these things with me. I was barely 12 when she died, and she had been ill for the last 8 months or more. I do feel so badly for my father (he is definitely a Saint in Heaven). My first period, I thought I had food poisoning (cramps). He tried to talk to me about periods, womanhood, etc. I pulled the covers over my head and may have screamed, “NO NO Don’t talk to me!”. Long story–he sent me to my godmother to discuss these things. She bought me my first pads. This probably doesn’t sound as funny as it was. Poor Papa, dealing with this in the early 70’s–he was born in 1910 and had no sisters. (He may have actually been glad to die the next year! Just kidding–I still miss them both.)
    Good job, love. Probably better than I did with my daughters.

  28. the Mater

    Mir, you are amazing! Bravo on creating such a matter-of-fact learning experience for both kids (even though you were nervous as hell inside). I think you handled it beautifully.

    LOL at Contrary’s coming-of-age story here, similar to mine except my dad was sitting in the living room and my mom just proudly called down the hallway with her report that I’d suddenly become a woman :>( I wanted to crawl under my bed and disappear.

  29. shannon

    the joy of the two cats and the dog, they don’t ask questions like this!!! but when the time comes and we do have real, live kids, i will save this entry and tell them to read “aunty” mir’s words…great job!

  30. Plain Jane Mom

    I spotted at least a dozen moments in your story where my heart would have STOPPED! You are a woman of fortitude!

  31. Juliness

    You are freaking amazing, Mir! You’ve earned SHERO status For All Time. Exceptional post.

  32. Robin

    Some random affirmation from a complete stranger:

    You are a great Mom! I wish my Mom had been as cool as you. Keep up the good work (and your awesome sense of humor.)

  33. Victoria

    Yes, you handled that very well. Re; the gluten free baking – have you been adding Xanthan gum to the recipes? It helps to bind stuff together.

  34. peepnroosmom

    I am laughing so hard tears are literaly streaming down my face. Very well said.
    My mom told me NOTHING. What I learned, I learned from school and friends. The day I started (at school of all things) she took me to the store and said OK, pick some out! What?!?
    We had The Talk with Peep last year. OMG I thought he would die. We said “any questions?” and all he said was “that was so gross.”
    Very well said.

  35. Chookooloonks

    Luckily for you, I made rum punch last night. Come over, I have a glass waiting.

    Oh, and I’m printing this out for when it’s my turn to talk to Alex. Seriously.


  36. Susan

    I don’t know what was funnier, Chickie wanting a smackdown with whoever made up the penis-meets-vagina story or Monkey with his bottle cap.

    Hoo boy.

  37. Roseann

    My 10 year old was watching Harry Potter on TV last night. A commercial for the NuvaRing came on, and he sort of watched it with more interest than I thought he would have. We have had the talk with him, he knows how things work, but, well, he’s a boy, and I never thought to tell him about that.
    He turned to me and sort of sheepishly asked if that woman had to swallow that nuvaring once a month. Umm, I asked him if he was sure he wanted to go there, and he blushed, said, nope and walked away. I’m guessing we have a bit more of a discussion to have.
    Brilliant handling of the talk, though. Great Job.

  38. Kim

    Awesome job, Mir ~ you did great!

    Chickadee just slays me ~ she’s so…indignant! How dare someone *make up* the sex story! lol

    My mom told me it was all Eve’s fault, so there ya go. ;) I like your version MUCH better. lol

  39. Sarcastic Journalist


  40. carrien

    I’m still chuckling over “Who told you that?” That’s hilarious.

    My mother told me when I didn’t really want to know either. I think she just wanted to get it over with so when she saw me staring at anatomy pictures in a book she just plunged right in. She used her fingers to demonstrate, and I remember my jaw hitting the floor, and wishing I could rewind. Sounds like Chickadee was ready though.

  41. Karen Rani

    You are SUPER MOM and I’m flying you here in a few years to talk to my boys. I’ll be in the basement, drunk. You can join me after. I’ll save you a glass.

  42. Zee

    Well, I learned about sex from a book at a friend’s house that his parents had bought for him so THEY didn’t have to explain it… Apparently parents weren’t in to honest back in the early 80s. YOU, however, did a great job. Well done! (And the post cracked me up, too, so even better! :) )

  43. kathy

    you need Xanthum gum. You can get it at the HFS and it will glue your gluten free non gluey food.

  44. Cynthia Samuels

    There are great mothers and great mother stories but this one takes the cake on both grounds! Sweet as your pumpkin bread, laugh-out-loud funny and AMAZING IN ITS HONESTY. If all kids got info this way think how the world would be. I particularly love your telling them both at the same time; brother and sister. Think how much that will temper any anxieties – having shared this with the opposite gender so young. I’m putting up a link right now!

  45. Zuska

    My mistake was taking a nice big sip of coffee right before the “WHO TOLD YOU THAT?” part of the story – I should have seen that coming, lol!!!

    Priceless, Mir. Considering everytime we go in a public restroom and Curlygirl spies the tampon/pad dispenser she reminds me that I keep putting off having “the discussion” – and she says it just like that, with air quotes and she even waggles her eyebrows around (it’s true, I have been delaying the discussion, but usually when she asks MegaBoy is nearby and, unlike Monkey, I really thing MegaBoy will be TOO interested, and nightmares will follow). I hope our “girl talk” goes as smoothly as yours did!!

  46. rachel

    wow. great job handling the talk.

    my girls understand about the menstruation part (and told them very similar things), but they don’t understand about the how do eggs get fertilized part. thankfully they’ve never asked. yet. i’m storing up your answers.

    xanthan gum is the key to non-crumbly. it works well. glad the pumpkin bread was yummy!

  47. jo-less

    Hee hee, my mother just bought me a book for my birthday which we read on the bus on a school trip :-) Then I seem to remember a conversation along the lines of:
    Mum: So, any questions?
    Me (squirming): Nope.
    Mum: Good.
    I certainly remember feeling like Chickadee about sex and periods for a long time.


  48. Velma

    Audrey W.’s 10th birthday party at Howard Johnson’s, in the bathroom, I was horrified. I couldn’t even eat my ice cream. My mom swears she had told us the biology part of it when we were even younger, but listening to those girls tell me all about what some boy was going to do to me to make it to 3rd base? Gack.

    I’m so going to print this out and use it as a blueprint. I know it’s coming one of these days, and now I feel a little more prepared. Also? My nasal passages are all tingling from snorting sparkling water out my nose.

  49. Jenn2

    Ah, the teachable moment. Truly the apex of motherhood.

  50. Lesley

    “Thanks! No. I think you told me enough.”
    Hee! Your girl is so funny.

  51. Susan

    That decides it. I’m shipping my kids off to you the next time they have those types of “questions.”


  52. Avalon

    My only child is now 22 so i am blessedly past this phase, but your depiction truly made me laugh outloud. The sheer shock for poor Chickadee was priceless. BTW, I came here from trollbaby.
    Great story!

  53. Jennifer

    WHAT?!?!?! The tampon goes INSIDE?!?!?!

  54. Elleoz

    I think you did an awesome job. I wish someone would have explained all of that to me. I can’t remember how I found out, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with watching TV.

    You are brilliant. Can you come and explain it to my 3 and 2 year old in say, 6 years? I’ll bring the liquor!

  55. lizneust

    Mir – once again you handled the situation beautifully! My oldest is 3, so I’ve got some time, but I’m hoping I do better than my Mom. (“Here’s a pamphlet. Read it and let me know if you have any questions.” Uh, no.)

    By the way, I bet warm pumpkin crumble would be *lovely* on vanilla ice cream.

  56. Michael

    That was really great reading. Makes me wish I’d been there to watch that.

  57. InterstellarLass

    I’m saving this and giving it to my kids to read so I don’t have to do it.

  58. daring one

    You did amazingly well. So far, Laylee has asked about the “string” and the “big stickers” and I’ve just explained that they’re special things for mommies. I’m building up to the rest of it. I should have 5-10 years before I hit any further questions. Maybe I’ll grow up in the meantime and figure out what the heck to say.

  59. diane

    Gotta add to the kudos here and say Mir, you handled that beautifully. All I really remember was a book about where babies come from, and then later a book about puberty, and a moment of, “Any questions? No? Okay, good.” I soooo want to be the mom one day that encourages my kids to ask as many questions as necessary.
    Also? Both of their reactions are beyond adorable. :)

  60. chris

    I am sending my kids over right now for your talk. Damn you are good.

  61. Muirnait

    Wow. This entry got a LOT of comments. I love the “WHO STARTED IT!?” Seriously, though, I think you did wonderfully! I’m saving this for the day when my hypothetical kids ask questions!

  62. Mary P

    Well done! I remember that conversation with my mother. When we got to the “penis in vagina” line (Hello, Google searchers!!), I said, “EEEEEWWW” (of course), and she said, “You won’t feel that way in a few years.” I just give her a disbelieving stare, and she Laughed.At.Me.

    Just as, twenty-odd years later, I laughed at my eldest daughter when I told her. And now she’s in her twenties (just barely!!) we laugh together.

    You know what, though? When she asked you “HOW DO YOU KNOW?” … Um, I don’t think she’s grasped that YOU, her MOTHER, have actually Done The Deed. Heh.

  63. halloweenlover

    That was amazing. Seriously, I think you did a fantastic job.

    I hope we’re still around to hear when you have to remind her about her pledge to never ever ever have sex. You’ll have to keep the blog just for that reason.

  64. OneTiredMomma

    Damn you’re good. My uncle thought the maxi pads were to make the inside of his boots more comfortable, and my boys think they are soft stickers.

    Excellent job explaining. A great book we have is: What’s The Big Secret, illustrated by Marc Brown (of Arthur fame)

  65. katake

    Hysterical! I went through The Talk (which really should be plural ‘cuz they don’t usually get it all the first time through) with my Little Bird–now 10–last year. It really, really is a good idea to tell the gals about menstruation well in advance so they’ll be comfortable coming to you later with questions (SWALLOW the tampon?!?). I also got a book about taking care of a girl’s body so that she could browse those tickly subjects on her own first. She recently told me that she might be getting her period very soon because she’s got some kinda discharge. I very calmly showed her where I keep the pantyliners and inwardly rejoiced that she came to me. Yay for 21st century Moms!!
    Great job with Chickadee and I absolutely loved her responses!

  66. R*belle

    Oh wow, thats priceless!

  67. Belinda

    OMG, I was OK until “WHO STARTED IT?”

    Am I a terrible mother, if, given my own horrible horrible gynecological history, and IF my own daughter starts menstruating at the age of 11, like I did, IF sometime during her teen years I am in favor of putting her on those BCPs that only allow 3-4 periods a year? Because, from my admittedly damaged point of view, every single period is damage in the making. Ugh.

    Then we get to consider the talk about the new HPV vaccine, of which I AM in favor…and wondering why it’s not recommended for males, too, since they’re the ones doing the spreading of the virus…that’s for another time, though.

  68. Ben

    I am never telling my kids. They’ll just have to find out in juvie.

  69. Lia

    I am LMAO! Um, yeah and printing out this conversation so that I know exactly what to say when MY daughter asks.

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