It’s Not All Mary Poppins

There are no secrets

I am not a squeamish person. I do not go all girly when I see a bug, I do not squeal in dismay at the sight of blood or even mis-matched clothing. Vomit does not call forth vomit. I actively enjoyed having “sex talks” with my kids.

And when it comes to my period? It is what it is, folks. I don’t advertise, but I don’t apologize either. I don’t think it’s a beautiful thing. I’m more of the opinion that it’s a damned nuisance. However, I am female, I menstruate. My daughters and I discuss it when the subject comes up, casually and without prissiness. The menfolk in my world are expected to wrap their heads around the whole idea, too. Just as I have little patience for girly distress over fashion mis-steps/clashing clothes on toddlers, I have next to none for men who dive for cover when the “Feminine Hygiene” commercials come on television. It’s not like they’re waving bloodied tampons about: it’s all pristine and clean, sanitized for the viewing public. (Appropriately so, I hasten to clarify. I am not suggesting they start with the bloodied waving.)

But all this squeamishness about the very mention? It’s just silly.

So, with that all stated up front, I can tell you that last month, when I was having my period, I tucked some necessary supplies into a ziploc bag and slipped them into the diaper bag. What with the toy bag and the diaper bag and the water bottle and snack bags, I don’t often carry a purse when out with the tots. A plastic zip bag in a pouch of the diaper backpack seems a sensible thing to do.

We have our outing (Nissa in the stroller, the others hanging on). We return from our outing, rather later than usual. The walk home has been a bit fraught, with me casting frequent, anxious glances at the glowering clouds above us. Will we make it before the storm breaks?

We do! I carry a near-sleeping Noah up the steps, and direct the others into the house. And, as we’ve had a picnic lunch at the park, straight into beds/cots/playpens.

The afternoon passes as it usually does, with as much housework, food prep, emailing, bill-paying, reading squeezed into those two precious hours as possible. And then the tots wake, and it’s all diapers and snacks and potty and songs and stories and…

then the parents are at the door, and it’s all greetings and info and laughter and reminders and hugs and kisses (the kids, not their parents, even though one of the dads is eminently huggable) and “See you tomorrow!”‘s…

and then I turn putting the final preps on dinner, prior to walking the dog…

when my husband appears in the door, home from work early. With a tampon in his hand.

“I found this on the sidewalk by the stroller.”

Hm. It’s one of mine all right. The right brand, the right size, the right colour wrapping.

And outside? Beside the stroller which I would normally have hauled up onto the porch, but didn’t because I was carrying a child?


Well, that’s good. And in the diaper bag?

Nothing. Nothing, that is, except three diapers and a ziploc bag.

An empty ziploc bag.

Not good.


Up the street, like Hansel and Gretel’s train of white stones, is a trail of pink-and-white plastic sleeves. Four of them, every couple of houses or so. Interspersed, just for good measure, with a couple of pantyliners.

Nissa. Of course. I suppose, distracted as I was by the incoming thunderheads, the occasional small item tossed over the side of the stroller escaped my notice.

Yes, I picked them up. Yes, in broad daylight.

And yes,

I felt


the teeniest bit


July 31, 2009 - Posted by | outings | , , ,


  1. LOVE IT!

    Never a dull moment with that one around huh?


    Nope. She’s one of those “busy” babies…

    Comment by Darcy's Mum | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. Up there with inappropriately timed questions. “Mama, I know how the baby gets out, but how does it get IN?” At a store. LOUD.

    HA! Too right. Or this favourite: “He’s a MAN. He gots a PENIS. She’s a yady. She gots a BAGINA.” In that piercing, carrying, little-kid voice.

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  3. Oh my! What a little stinker that one. I see some very interesting and hilarious posts in the future. Thanks for sharing despite your mortification. πŸ™‚

    My sense of humour generally trumps the mortification. And Nissa, she’s going to provide a LOT of blog-fodder, I can just tell.

    Comment by Zayna | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  4. Oh, she sounds like such a hoot! Keep the Nissa stories coming–I’m sure there will be plenty.

    I’m sure there will!

    Comment by Lar | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  5. hahhahahhahahahah! Have I told you about the time when Lolly was around 3 and she and her friend were playing behind us in a restuarant, making those shoom shoom noises from starwars, when people started to laugh we turned to find they were playing light sabres with two large applicator tampons…

    I can just picture that! Too funny!

    Comment by jenny | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  6. LMAO!

    Oh dear. That Nissa is something else isn’t she?!? I love her already! πŸ˜€

    She is a scream and a half. And CUTE? Oh, I wish you could see her face. She just sparkles, this girl.

    Comment by ~S~ | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  7. Great! You obviously have your hands full there!

    I finally got the question from my five year old the other day. He’s normally so perceptive, but this has escaped his notice so far. He settled for a very minimal explanation. Oof. He seemed to think they were a very sensible solution to bleeding from a hole.

    Sometimes the thing that stops you with these questions is just where to start and stop with the explanation. Basic is often the best. If they want more info, they’ll ask another question!

    Comment by Mwa | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  8. 0oh that Nissa. She needs to come wreak havoc with my Maeve.

    Are you SURE about that? Because Nissa, she’s pretty good with the havoc-wreaking, all on her little own…

    Comment by bridgett | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  9. Oof.


    Comment by daysgoby | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  10. Ha ha. Yes, my 18-month old found my stash of those in the bathroom and loved to get one out of the box and bring it to me. At any time of the month, obviously. So I always made no big deal “oh, thank-you sweetie”, popped it quietly in my pocket and returned it to the box later. Fine. Until the day he came marching out of the bathroom and passed one to me right in front of my mother-in-law. Slight embarrassment.

    It was only after that though that I realised quite how appealing-to-kids they make all the packaging. Have you noticed? All bright colours and fun patterns. No wonder they look like toys.

    Could have been worse. Could have been your father-in-law…

    Bright colours? Do they maybe package them differently here in Ottawa? Mine are all mostly white with thin pastel lines on the plastic sleeves, and the packages have soft swirly air-brushed tones on them. No bright colours. (And, if bright would catch their attention more, dull is a very good thing, says me!)

    Comment by Kate R | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Maybe the bright colours is an Aussie thing, I have no idea, but I’ve lived in the UK as well and they were similar there too. Maybe the marketting people have some strange ideas.

      Comment by Kate R | August 3, 2009 | Reply

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