We poop with the door open in our house. Rather, my daughter and I do. My husband finds it to be a vile habit but we have no intention of stopping. I conduct business from the toilet, watch videos, hide out, shop, send emails and chances are – if you’ve ever texted me – I’ve responded from the bowl. So it wasn’t a mystery that when my daughter was about two or three she started being the toilet paper runner and soon after, the feminine hygiene runner.
Both of these positions, of course, are unpaid internships designed to prepare her for the girl in the stall next to her in the tenth grade having what I lovingly refer to as a “blowout” and needing to borrow a tampon otherwise known as “The Red Scare.” The goal of these positions is destigmatize the idea of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and normalize the flow and, of course, normalize running out of toilet paper and having to call for help.
When she was younger, she thought that the blood collected on a pad was actually poop. I could see why this was an alarming discovery for a four-year-old. So for five days once a month, women just shit their pants in defiance. For being overworked, underappreciated and for being the gender that was gifted with the privilege of giving birth, we soil our drawers. Actually, I kind of like it.
As she grew older, she understood more. For being overworked and underappreciated, we bleed. Yes, the crimson wave is our revenge, like a horror more. We are all Carrie. We are all the Firestarter punishing the world for fucking with us. “The Girl Flu” was actually communicable and we were all vampires wreaking havoc on society. They don’t call it MEN-struation for nothin’.
Actually, I explained it all to her accurately because, you know, … feminism. She recently learned the term “vagina,” (which we hadn’t used but every parenting article tells me now that I should have – another fail!) from her friend whose dog was on the rag.
“Why don’t you just wear a diaper like Princess?” she asked.
Uhh … terrible idea. Let’s focus. When a woman has her period, I told her, that means she’s able to have a baby.
“So as soon as I get my period I can have a baby?”
Uhhh,… no. Fuck.
After several botched attempts at clearly explaining the “Crimson Wave,” I think she got it.
As a fan of both the good, old fashioned pad and her sleeker, hotter and younger sister, the tampon, my daughter has always been exposed to both but I guess she never witnessed how the Skipper of the feminine hygiene world worked. So when she asked me “How does a tampon work anyway?” the other day, I figured needed to answer her.
Well, sister, I just happen to have a sample of some tampons on the table.
I know, I know. You may be asking “Who the fuck keeps tampons on the kitchen table?”
Well, weeks prior, when my husband was pissing me off, I ordered him a sample in his name as revenge. Bonus: Free tampons in my mailbox.
I took one out of the package and demonstrated how the applicator and cotton thingie work. Calling it a “thingie” also illuminated the fact that I, myself, am not well-versed on feminine hygiene. I explained tossing your leg on top of the bowl and, essentially, impaling yourself with plastic-covered cotton and how it’s better for, ya know, competitive swimming and shit.
Women are fucking amazing, I told her. We can bleed for five days and not die. And, you know, feminism again.
After working for several minutes to glorify “Shark Week,” the invention of the tampon and how great women are, this is the look of horror she gave me:
So when do I introduce her to the Diva Cup?