Some time ago my sister got back from school and hit me with a “Uhm can you please buy me pads and a cosmetic bag”. I was tired and hormonal, but I promise you the word ’pads’ snatched me out of that within a second.
The first thing that went through my mind was that she probably had an oopsie at school and I was just hoping and praying not to have to be dealing with an embarrassing first experience. To my relive, there was no embarrassing story and she had not started with her period yet. It, unfortunately, took a fellow class mate’s embarrassing moment for them to get the talk about periods and the importance of carrying a pad for the day aunt Flo decides to rock up unannounced.
I just said ok and tapped back into my pregnancy hormonal mood because I was honestly not ready to have that talk with her. It later hit me that she is 12 years old and will soon have to welcome aunt Flo into her life and I wouldn’t want her to deal with the shock without any knowledge of dealing with the situation. I grew up with my old school grandmother who didn’t believe in having such adult conversations with kids and I hardly saw my mother so I had to pick up everything I knew then from friends. This was before I even knew my way around Google or even had any internet access.
I remember waking up this one morning before school feeling all wet and I went to the bathroom to pee. The strange thing was that I would still feel wet even after wiping so I decided to look at the toilet paper and that was when I noticed the blood. I called my gran to come to have a look and I remember her telling me about tampons that I’ve seen before but never really knew what they were for. She asked if I knew how to use one and I just said yes. That whole first cycle was literally a bloody mess because this girl didn’t really know how to use a tampon. It took a lot of trial and error sessions before I finally figured out how tampons and pads are supposed to be used. So I had that issue out of the way but both my relationships between my grandmother and my mother were not at a level where I could easily let them know when I’m on my period and need pads. So I found myself using toilet paper on the days that I didn’t manage to save up or find a way to ask for money to buy pads. Even the whole task of going to the shop to buy a packet of pads was difficult for me. Every month was just a reminder of the distance between my mother and me and how things would’ve been much better had I been staying with my mom.
Here I am years later faced with having ‘the talk’ with my almost teenage sister, a talk that I never got and do not know how to start. The fact that she made the first move made me realize that unlike with my grandma, she at least felt free to even ask me to get her a packet. I’m yet to have the conversation with her but we’ve started throwing some period related facts around and she has her packet of Maxi Stayfree pads. All her sisters use Stayfree so I buy them on bulk at Makro just to make sure that they are sorted out for a couple of months and not have to deal with having to ask me every time they go on their period.
I love that it’s not too long but still has a four-wall protection to prevent leakage and I prefer getting them the scented ones so that they can be dry and comfortable and not have to worry about other people noticing an odor.
I think I will do good with our little conversation…