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 | , , , | 11 Comments