Periods, Kool-Aid and Pre-Teen Daughters

If you thought your period was bad, just wait until your daughter gets hers!

I can remember when my kids were little and we would squish into a small bathroom stall together at a restaurant because I was terrified someone would steal them if I left them outside the door. (Now I realize no one would want them).

Then one day, at an especially crowded Target, one of my daughters exclaimed definitely using her outside voice (of course), “Mom, you are peeing Kool-Aid, how cool?” Then in a not-so-impressed tone, “Mama, are you wearing a diaper?”

I heard giggles from the door outside.

And it was on this day, that I shared with my twin daughters the nitty-gritty details about the female period. They were like 4. Or maybe 5. Sadly, they learned I was not some sort of super hero that could pee red Kool-Aid at all, but was just a bleeding mess of a woman – that they too would become some day.

I realized back then, that it wasn’t worth me sugar coating the whole thing. A friend of mind made up some long story about a bird and a nest and some eggs – all of which was supposed to explain the birds and the bees as well as the anatomy of the female body. When she told me her story, I too was confused and on that day decided I would always be honest with my girls. Seriously, why not, right?

I told them that every girl gets her period. That they will grow under arm hair first and will get boobs one day. That they will bleed, and it will seem like it comes from their pee-pee. (Because the word vagina was just too scary to mention at the time). That it will last a few days or maybe a week. That they will wear diapers again, but they aren’t very big. And that it can make them feel sort of icky for a few days, but nothing so terrible that chocolate, medicine and some wine couldn’t cure.

There, we had the period talk! And from that point on, my period became public knowledge among my family. We would sit down to dinner and my girls would tell my husband that “mommy was on her period.” Like he didn’t know!?

My ‘in your face,’ blunt and rather candid approach to periods may not be for everyone. There are plenty of moms who want to pretend that their daughters will be babies forever and ever. There are plenty of more mothers who read some stupid parenting book that told them they had to go into terms like uterus, sex, womb, fertilization, fallopian tubes etc. in order to explain a period to a little girl.

I just gave them the outline facts because I felt like that was all they needed to know at the time. They’ll get the rest later when the time is right whether I want them to or not. But mostly, I wanted them to know that it’s not a big deal, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not embarrassing or confusing. It just is what it is. A period!

But the good news is that when the time did come, both my girls were sort of ready and not freaked out about the whole period thing. Sure, they were complete bitches for a week before, just like their mother. They ached a bit and demanded extra chocolate and cheese dip from the Mexican restaurant. And they cried over stupid things. But then they too peed Kool Aid, and the world became harmonious again.

And just so you know ahead of time, you and your daughter or daughters, will end up with harmonious periods, meaning they will happen at the same time. Apparently, this is because of some endorphins, although my husband refers to it as a curse. And, life with a toilet full of red Kool-Aid for a week, can make things a living hell. So prepare yourself for that!



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