Well, THAT was unexpected.

I was recently fortunate enough to have an evening with just my darling daughter Isabelle.  She had been struggling with behavior at school (erm, ever seen Mean Girls??) but has made drastic improvements in the last month or so.  Yes, I am aware that there was a 2 week break in that month… and she was sick for a good week as well.  Whatever, I take what I can get.

Anyway, every few months we get a catalogue from the seizure inducing, so bright your eyes will bleed tween super store Justice.  Isabelle shrieks with delight and spends the next few days memorizing the sequin filled pages and deciding on the over priced made in China trinket she cannot live without.  This time it was a glorified beanie baby named Darling.  One of the creepy ones with the big bug eyes.  The upside to this is, that for a week or so at least, Isabelle is willing to do any chore I can come up with in hopes of earning a few quarters to make her little dream come true.

So, she raised the money and we made a date for a Mommy-Daughter night.  I picked her up from school and we headed to the mall.  She directed me thru Target, past the pretzel place and to her “favorite store in the whole world”.  We got the fried rice she requested for dinner, sitting at the little table like she always wants to do.  After dinner and gum from the candy machine, Isabelle and I stopped into Claire’s so she could fawn over all the jewelry and purses and polish.

When we left the mall it was my turn for a treat!  We were going grocery shopping!  What?  Not your idea of a treat?  Trust me, an opportunity to go with one child rather than three in tow is very much a treat.  We made our way through the store, chatting and just enjoying one another’s company.  I just had a couple of things left to grab…

And then it happened.

My baby grew up all at once.

I grabbed a box of tampons.  While I have been pregnant a good portion of Isabelle’s life, it was not a first time occurence.  But this time was different.  She has asked a few times what they were/what they were for and I was easily able to change the subject or just tell her “big people stuff” and that was that.  Not so this time.  She saw them talking about it on tv and wanted to know what it was all about.

Seriously??  She is barely SIX. 

I should totally have at the very least a few years before having to deal with this.  Gah.

We were almost to the checkout, so I told her we would talk about it once we were on the road.  Yes, I was buying myself time.  I could tell by the look in her eye she wouldn’t forget.  Of course, she started peppering me with questions about the groceries, if she could have gum, candy bar, lip gloss, and everything else they oh-so-convieniently place by the check out so by the time we were settled in for the ride home I still had not been able to think about how exactly to explain menstruation to my six-year-old.

What comes to mind?  Why chickens of course.  Why not?  They are so human like.

Our conversation:

“So Mom, are you going to tell me about periods now??”

Do I really have to???  I am not one that will lie about things, or make it some big scary secret.  But there is such a thing as age appropriateness.  Not exactly sure how that fits into a six-year-old and menstruation though.

“Sure honey.  So, you know how chickens lay eggs right?  And some eggs make baby chickens and some don’t, they are just regular eggs?”

apprehensively, “Yeahhhh”

“Well, women make eggs too.  Actually, all girls have a bunch of itty bitty eggs inside them.  But they are so tiny we can’t see them.  When you become a woman a long time from now, about every month your body has to either get rid a of a few eggs, or make a baby.  So if your body doesn’t make the eggs into a baby, they come out as old blood from your vagina.  It is completely normal, all women do it about every month.  It doesn’t hurt, it is just your body doing what it is supposed to do.”

Holy crap.  I am not looking forward to being woke up at 2am because she is having a nightmare about laying bloody eggs.  That may not have been the *best* explanation…

Isabelle, “Oh.  Ok.”

To the parents of Isabelle’s friends: I also told her this isn’t really something we talk about with other people, that her questions should come to me.  If her friends bring it up, they are supposed to talk to their moms.

And that was the end of it.  Well, other than her asking if she and her brothers were once eggs.

Thank God- seriously, PRAISE THE LORD- she didn’t ask how the eggs become babies.