We are avid Downton Abbey fans. I have bought Season 5 on i tunes and the latest episode downloads all day Monday so we can watch it in 3 chunks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Actually we don't usually get to Wednesdays, it is so gripping.
In one of the episodes, Robert, Earl of Grantham, had been particularly cantankerous. My daughter piped up, "maybe he has man paws. He is like dad was last weekend".
She knows that men don't get the menopause, well I think she does. I didn't understand all the hormonal details of the menopause, as it came and bit me on the bottom, who knows what a 9 year old can understand?
For example, the other day we were at the supermarket and a woman was having a complete strop. My little girl whispered to me," does she have the menopause mum?" It was then, I realised that in fact, she thought IT was visible and known to complete strangers, like a badge of honour.
We have talked about each and every woman we know well and less well. She has asked me about each and every one of them to know if they are having their "many paws" or not.
I thought she was fairly well informed about the mechanics of periods. There was no packet of tampons safe from her hands when she was young. She used to open them up and wear them as ear-rings to dress up AND share them with her then, other 4-year old friends. If there weren't enough milk bottles around for them all the feed their babies, a tampon was handy. I explained to her that I had to bring them from the UK. She would reply, "yes mama" and then forget next time they needed a pretendy feeding bottle. I had to hide them.
Once, I didn't hear her come into the bathroom and I got such a fright when she suddenly said boo, that my tampon nearly shot up to my chest. She always asked if she could pull the string out for me…..
So she knew about eggs every month, not being used and coming out on a tampon. For years she knew this.
Last month she was going on her first overnight school trip. The school decided that they needed to have a talk with all the girls, in case any of them got their periods while they were away from home for this 24 hour stint. I was glad I knew in advance so I could tell her.
You just never can tell though can you? When I told her that her teacher was going to talk to her about periods she was surprised. "I thought they were going to talk about what clothes we had to bring", was her first reaction. "Why do we need to talk about periods"? When I explained it was in case, any of the girls GOT a period when they were away, she looked confused.
"But that won't be happening to me. I am only 9. It won't happen till I am old".