“Mom, what’s a period?” My 12 year old son looks up from his homework.
We’ve had ‘the talk.’ I am proud to say I was incredibly detailed and blunt, so much so that there were moments when his jaw was hanging open. However, I didn’t go into details about that part with him. My excuse is that he’s a boy. It can wait.
I give quite the parent response. “Why?”
“—– (sports teammate) was complaining about a girl being cranky and said ‘she must be on her period.'”
“That’s not a nice thing to say.” (**make mental note to discuss misogyny and sexism later**)
“Answer the question, mom.”
I could not sleep last night. I am behind at work. I am feeling hormonal (shut up, 12 year old acquaintance of my son). My husband is out of town. And something smells like poop in our basement and I cannot find the source. Not now, dear, sweet baby Jesus.
“It’s part of what happens when a girl goes through puberty.”
“C’mon mom.” This is new, this expression he now casts my way several times a week, the one that says, ‘not buying it, try again.’
“Well, remember how the sperm fertilizes the egg to make a baby?” He nods. “So, if there’s no sperm to fertilize the egg, it gets flushed out of the body once a month.”
“What do you do with the egg?”
“Nothing. It’s too small to see.”
“How does it flush out?”
“Blood helps flush it out.”
(I went into needed detail, but will spare you. You’re welcome)
He nods and goes back to his work. That wasn’t so bad. I’m a great explainer. I’m am rocking this puberty thing. I am tired and my basement reeks of poop, but this? This, I am good at.
He looks up again. “When did you stop laying eggs?”
Uh, what just happened here?
“I haven’t stopped.”
“You STILL lay eggs?” He is incredulous, his jaw hanging open.
“Yes. I. still. lay. eggs.” My jaw is clenched, my clipped delivery brimming with edge.
He is dumbfounded, flopping back into his chair to consider this new, startling truth. “Mom, no offense, but you’re the oldest chicken ever.”