Explaining My Period to My 3 Year Old Son

This may be the most share-y/TMI post I’ve written.  I thought maybe I shouldn’t share this, but this blog is supposed to be about my experience raising my little guy, so here goes.

A few days ago…

I’m in the bathroom, and my kid barges in like he’s a landlord, and my rent is late.  (If you read my posts, you know that’s his MO.)

Instantly, I think, why do I never remember to lock the door?

Whatever he wanted to ask instantly froze at the tip of his tongue, and he looks at me.  Puzzled.  The look on his face tells me he is both concerned and deciding on a course of action.

“Mommy, what is that?” he asks.

I’m sitting on the toilet removing a bloody pad from my underwear.  I stop.  I feel like we are stuck in a moment that will either be insignificant or cause him psychological harm.   Though inside I’m on the verge of panic, I keep a straight face.

Do I lie and tell him it’s paint?  He’s not an idiot.  He can see it’s blood.

I should just tell him to get out and close the door.  But, he can’t unsee all of this blood.  Blood isn’t good.  He’d still have questions.  They’d linger.

He’s looking at me.  If I’m not honest and I don’t normalize this now and freak out, my reaction will inform his thinking of women’s bodies. 

“Mommy’s on her period,” I tell my three-year-old nonchalantly.

“What does that mean?” His brows are furrowed, still curious.  I’m not out of the woods yet.

“Once a month, mommy menstruates.”  I pause.  He’s still standing there–door wide open.  “It’s normal.  All mommies menstruate.”  That’s not quite right, I think to myself.  “Big girls…older girls and mommies menstruate,” I say.

“What’s that in your underwear?”

Ok.  I need to be more clear.  Play it off , says the voice in my head.  I look at my son and smile.  “That’s just Mommy’s period.  I’m menstruating.  It happens once a month.”

“Is that blood?”

“That’s not really blood.  It just means Mommy’s not having a baby.  So, once a month, my body cleans itself out.”

He’s still looking at me.  “It’s normal and Mommy’s ok,” I tell him.

“Oh. Ok.”  With that, he closes the door behind him.

I can’t remember the last time I felt such relief.  He’s not gonna be a weirdo, I think to myself.  I thank God and continue about my business.

A few seconds later, I hear the kid running down the hall. “Daddy!  Mommy has her period!  She’s memtruating!

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