"Mommy, what's this?" your toddler asks. You turn around and see it: She's holding a fist full of your tampons. Or -- he's using your pantiliners as stickers. NO!!! You try and brush it off with "those are Mommy's ... things." But what toddler is going to take such a vague explanation, especially for something you won't let them play with?
It's the other age-old question: How to explain your period paraphernalia to your toddler? There are no easy answers. We asked women how they've explained it, and here's how some especially funny and creative moms have put it.
1. Tell them Moms wear diapers, too. This is a popular explanation for a lot of you. "They think my pads are diapers for adults." May you never have to wear real adult diapers! "My dd thinks they are diapers. She always tells daddy they're for Mommy's 'gina.'" Too funny, that's what we called a vagina when I was a little girl, too. "I told my kids they were 'mommy diapers.' My daughter was like wow, you still wear diapers???" Come to think of it, this explanation just leads to more embarrassing questions.
2. Go with other creative look-alikes. Some moms have let kids come up with their own explanations -- like "oversized pre-wrapped Q-Tips." Sure ... sounds useful! One little girl thought a box of tampons looked like huge birthday candles. "I just went with that," her mom said. Another mom calls them "lady Band-Aids" -- which they kind of are, if you think about it. And then there's the mom who let her kids think pantiliners are shoe inserts for sweaty feet. Wonder if that would actually work?
3. Distract them with wonder. When asked about the tampon dispenser in a public restroom, one mom told her young daughter it was simply "the mommy machine." And that worked?!! Awesome.
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4. Put off the conversation. It's amazing sometimes how much mystery children will accept. Some moms just tell their little ones, "We'll talk about it when you're older." That sounds like forever. There's also, "Those are my things here give them to me OH LOOK! IS THOMAS THE TANK ON NOW???"
5. Tell the truth. Whaddaya mean, you just tell your kid what that's actually for?!? Yup. Some moms just tell it like it is. "No creative or funny ways here. We are open, honest, and blunt about it." Another mom says, "I've always tried to normalize it for them, especially my boys. I don't want them being jerks to females about it, so I've always been very frank and matter-of-fact about the whole thing." Wow, the woman who is going to be able to ask her boyfriend to please pick up some tampons at the store for her is thanking you right now!
Has your toddler discovered your box of tampons or other period supplies? How do you explain it?