I never thought it would start with a discussion of chess, but that is how the topic of a menstrual cycle came up with Luke.
This evening, Chuck and I arrived home from our dinner and Luke had conned the new babysitter (Nancy) into letting him stay up late because he allegedly had a "headache." Whatever. We paid sweet Nancy and let her escape the crazy house that we call home before I rolled my eyes at Luke, gave him some Tylenol and a bottle of water. We asked him how he liked Nancy and he said "Okay." And then he launched into a story that is so very Luke:
Luke, "Mom. I wanted to play chess, but Nancy didn't know how."
Me, "Well, that's okay. Not everyone knows how to play chess."
Luke, "Well . . . um . . . I wanted to play, but had to go to the bathroom. And when I was in the bathroom there was a towel thing that had . . . um . . . I think it was blood on it."
(Yeah, it happened that fast!)
My eyes widened and I tried to not to crack a smile. Chuck was giggling internally across the room. Me, "Yeah. That could be. Was it in the toilet?"
Luke, "No it was on the ground."
Me, "Was it in the trash can?"
Luke, "No, it was beside it. So I picked it up and put it in the trash."
I cringed a little, but how could I complain since I would have had to do the same thing. Me, "Oh good. Okay."
Luke, "Well, Mom?"
Me, "Uh huh?"
Luke, "What was it?"
Me, "You really want to know what it is?" He nodded. "Okay, I'll tell you. Let me just go take a look at it and I'll let you know." I went to the bathroom just to confirm the sighting, but I didn't see anything and I wasn't really excited at the prospect of digging around in the trash. I went back to the den and sat down next to Luke.
Me, "Okay, sit down and I'll tell you what it was."
Chuck looked at me with wide eyes from across the room and asked with a bit of shock in his voice, "Are you really going to tell him?"
Matter of factly I answered, "Yeah. We're supposed to be honest when they ask questions." Plus, I really believe it is time to really teach him the facts of life and the birds and the bees. If I remember correctly, second grade is when I first started hearing rumors at school, so I want my kid to be prepared.
So I continued with Luke staring at me intently. "Well, you know how girls have a special place in their tummies for babies?"
(You may remember that we've talked about this before which you can read about here and here and here.)
He nodded and answered, "Yeah." (Yes, I realize that he hasn't once said "Yes ma'am." - I digress.)
Me, "Okay, well when a girl doesn't have a baby in her belly, there is a teeny tiny bit of blood that comes out of that spot in her tummy and girls use a special type of tissue to catch the blood every once in a while."
Chuck piped up. "Once a month."
I kept going, "So that's probably what you saw. You've seen me with a special type of tissue. It kinda looks roundish and fits in my hand. Do you remember that?"
Luke looked confused.
Me, "Or it could be kinda flat." (Thinking of a pad which I haven't used since middle school, unless you call the flipping diapers that you have to wear after a baby comes out your hooha a pad. - Again, I digress.)
Chuck piped up again, "It looks like a little diaper, Luke."
Luke's head swiveled to Chuck and then back to me and he asked, "Does it happen to you?"
Me, "Yeah. It does. Once a month because there's not a baby in my belly. It happens to girls starting around when they turn 11 or 12."
Chuck quickly interjected, "But Luke, girls don't like to talk about it."
I chimed in, "Oh yeah! They really don't because it is private, okay?"
Luke looked serious.
I continued, "It's like talking about your butt or your penis. You don't talk about it okay?"
(And here I am talking about it on the Internet.)
He nodded his head, "Okay."
Luke was then satisfied and I asked, "Do you have any other questions?"
Me, "Okay, but I want you to promise me that if you have any more questions about this or about girls you'll ask me. Okay?"
Luke nonchalantly answered, "Okay." He was clearly not as affected by this conversation as Chuck and I were. He didn't appreciate the import of the topic at hand, which, in the long run, is probably for the best.
To top it off, I made him pinkie swear, which he changed to a thumb swear--no idea what that is--and now all is good at our house. But to be quite frank with you all (not that I'm ever not frank), I had no inkling that the discussion of chess would lead to the explanation of menstruation.