I have to toot my own horn and say that I have a way with words. I can make connections and analogies that make difficult things easier to understand. I once used frozen fries to make a connection to hypnotherapy…. don’t ask. But trust me, it worked.
Unfortunately, my gift can fail me at the most unusual times. This post is about one of those times.
My daughter was thirteen years old. I had taken her to the doctor and had expressed concern that she hadn’t gotten her first period yet.
(Don’t worry, men – I am *not* going into almost any amount of detail.) He told me that it would come, in time, but to be proactive and talk with her about it before it happens, and lessen her trauma. So, I tried.
I started by talking with her about mommy’s time-of-the-month. I tried to talk about it medically. Giving the appropriate terms and correct descriptions. Her response: “Gross. That’s gross.”
Well… she’s got me there.
So I tried again.
Me: Okay…. so it’s sort of like flushing a toilet.
Her (looking at me like I have a cat on my face): Gross.
Me: Work with me, kid. I’m trying to explain it. Like a toilet, it has a purpose. It holds the stuff you put in it until you don’t need it anymore, then you flush.
Me (realizing I am in too deep at this point, but I need to keep going): Okay, but it’s sort of different. You see, your body fills up your insides so that you can have a baby.
Her: I don’t want a baby.
Me: Good, but stay with me here. So, every month it does this and when you don’t need it anymore, it flushes out until the next month.
Her: Why doesn’t it just stay full? Like, forever?
Me: Because a toilet has to be refreshed, doesn’t it?
Her: Does this mean I don’t have to flush the toilet?
Her: Who flushes the toilet?
Me: You should.
Her: No. Inside me.
Me: I don’t know. God, I guess.
Her: Why can’t I choose when to flush?
Me (now realizing I’ve gone too far): Forget about the toilet! My point is that you fill up, you flush, and you do this every month. It’ll happen to you. Don’t freak out.
Her: Do I have to wipe after it flushes?
Me: Oh God…. sorry… I’ve screwed this up. Forget it. Here’s the thing: when it happens, I’ll help you. Until then, let’s pretend I didn’t say anything.
Her: Okay. It’s still gross.
At this point… I walk away. I’m fairly much mortified. In one single conversation, I have managed to liken my daughter’s reproductive system to a toilet, her uterus to a crap receptacle… and I’m pretty sure she isn’t wiping or flushing for a month.
Motherhood: 1 Me: 0 ………………….This is why I only had one kid.