Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Evasive Maneuvers

I am in the shower, when the sweet little voice of my six-year-old breaks through...

"Mom, what does this spell? T...A...M...P...A...X"

"Aaaargh!" think I, even as I say calmly, "Tampax," hoping that one word will end the conversation, but knowing that it will not.

"What's Tampax?"

Now, I always tell my children the truth -- but that also means I am free to attempt to use the truth to confuse them -- and so I reply, "It's a feminine hygiene product."

If this were my other daughter (the Short-Attention-Span 9-year-old) that answer would have been enough. Either S.A.S. would have pondered my definition quietly, or moved on to playing with day-office-evening settings of the makeup mirror.

However, the Curious Younger One continues her interrogation with "Do you eat it?"

Ignoring the fact that my daughter would think I would store food on the floor next to the toilet (and how that reflects on my housekeeping skills) I say, "No....it's something grown-up women use..." And at that exact moment, the truth begins to fail me...

"What do you do with it?" asks my relentlessly inquisitive one.

I throw in the figurative towel and run for my only figurative escape -- that old standby, "I'll tell you more about it when you're older."

"Like, how old?"
"When you're a teenager."
"Seventeen?"
"You'll probably know all about it by then."
"Only if you tell me!"

BTW, I hope to be heavily tranquilized throughout the duration of her teenage years.

This episode did trigger a (fond?) memory of my own youth: when my brother found a box marked "Sanitary Napkins" -- I don't know his age, expect that he was old enough to read the word "napkin" -- and he proceeded to set the dinner table with them.

A little bulky, but very absorbent.

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