This is in response to Lili Radloff's column, Why do periods still embarrass people?

Oh lovely Lili, your newsletter made me laugh!

It reminded me of when I was young and all my mom said to me was, “Don’t get a fright one day when you see blood on your panties, just tell me.”

Well, how can one go on living calmly after that!

I would check my panties every single day – 10, 20, 30 times a day! Once I saw a pinprick of pink and thought this was it. Lucky for me, I have an older sister who put the facts into perspective.

I vowed I would talk openly to my daughter about periods, boys, sex and anything she wants to discuss openly.

That being said she was well prepared when she got her period.

Even now (she’s 15) she’s very open about it – telling her friends (boys and girls alike) that they must please forgive her if she’s grumpy, but she’s pre-menstrual.

In primary school, she would also make sure the teachers (male and female) understood that if she asked to go to the bathroom during class time, it was for a very good reason.

All good and well, but I must admit I blushed poppy red when I heard via my mom-in-law that my daughter had a long discussion with her grandpa about tampons!

You see he gives her a lift home every Tuesday and for some reason she felt she needed to talk to him about periods and tampons. She stated emphatically that “Grandpa, I’m not going to wear tampons until I’m at least 18!”

Grandpa – bless him – didn’t have a CLUE what a tampon was. He’s old school so you do need to forgive him. But, kudos to him for nodding sagely throughout the rather one-sided conversation!

Needless to say I couldn’t face him for a week after that. I still want to blush when I think about it. - Helen

I got mine at 11 while on a school camp. No warning chats from mom, so I thought I was dying and I was too terrified to tell anyone for ages.

Not a fond memory, but it caused me to take a very different approach with my daughters. - Dorothy

Sorry, but I beg to disagree; I think dolls having periods is completely stupid. Having a bowel movement is also completely natural, and yet the Barbies don’t offer an option with mini loo paper and skid marked panties.

Neither, heaven forbid, will boys action figures come with ‘nocturnal emissions’ or ‘morning wood’. - Barbra

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