I’ve been picking up on some subtle hints that you’re feeling wholly unprepared for our baby girl’s first period party. That’s fine, since she’s little, but the number of times you’ve said, “I’m scared” when tampon commercials come on TV is really starting to add up.
I get it. You’re a good dad, and, since I work, there’s a chance that when the fateful day comes, you’ll be the one on call.
I’m here to help.
Welcome to your “So Your Daughter Will One Day Have a Period” tutorial.
Two things must start us off.
1.) We call it a period. There’s menstruating involved. Let’s get our vocabulary in order- no “friends,” “monthly visitors” or “that time” talk. If you want our daughter to talk to you about what she needs, first prove that you can talk about the subject at all.
You might also want to read up on female anatomy. You can even read the books I’ve picked for her.
Spoiler alert: they’re scary books.
2.) Please forget everything from the tampon commercial. There is no more fallacious advertising on this planet than the tampon commercial.
It’s a blossoming, cheer-squad-spinning, field of lies.
Now, we’re ready to talk.
Will the first period hurt?
Probably. See the anatomy lesson mentioned above.
Will she be freaked out?
Probably. We’ll give her books, long talks, and advanced notice, but all of a sudden she’s going to be in pain and seeing blood, while the world just nods, says its normal, and tells her to go on about her business sporting absorbent gear in some difficult places.
It’s kind of like being stabbed and having to walk around with the bandages hidden, pretending it doesn’t hurt.
It takes some getting used to.
Will she need anything?
Yes and no. She’ll need cuddles. And for you to go away. And chocolate. But not THAT chocolate. She might get frustrated with the pain/hormones and say things- evil, spiteful things, and when you tell her not to say evil, spiteful things, she will dissolve into a puddle of tears and whimper, “Why are you mad at me?!”
And sanitary products.
Years from now, If you’re the one home when this all goes down, tell her everything will be okay, and hand her a pad.
Why not a tampon?
Because, in the beginning, those need a lot of instructions or even some help.
(Ladies, show of hands for those of us who got that right on the first try. Anyone?)
So, hand her a pad.
There’s always Midol in the cabinets. There are strategically placed heating pads throughout the house. She’ll be set until I can come home.
The first periods will probably feel like the scariest. Even so, it will actually be a long few years before she starts to feel her period is “normal.” There could be some easy times, as well as hard times. There will be so many issues for all of us to figure out.
Is missing school on the hard days in her best interest?
Birth control pills regulate this and that, but the side effects…?
Do we need second jobs to cover the cost of menstruation supplies and junk food cravings?
I’m glad you’re a good dad, since these are parenting decisions (with heavy input from our girl, of course). You and me, we’ll help her all the way.
And you’ve totally got this. You were a little pale in the delivery room, but you were no fainter.
So, go read those scary menstruation books. Learn it so well that you could teach it.
There will be a test.