Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Scud Missiles"

I have long held the opinion that all men, upon marrying the love of their life, should have just one really obnoxious cycle every few years or so in order to fully be able to understand what we go through on a monthly basis due to our wonderful hormonal make up. After all, in order to truly understand what someone is going through, you need to experience it yourself, right? And if just a few powerful men were to endure the joys of endometriosis, just think how much different sick leave would be in the corporate world. I've long believed that men just didn't understand, and in general aren't really willing to figure it all out. Or so I thought. Then I married Don.

Don is a wonderfully understanding man. It never seems to phase him when I have a more difficult month now and then. He just takes care of me as best he can, making sure the household continues to run in my half-absence. He plugs in the heat pad without being asked and he'll run to the store on a moments notice, knowing I am usually prepared so it must be bad if I'm caught without. However, the first few times he went meant extensive training before he entered the store. No, it wasn't that he didn't want to go shopping in the female aisle. He was very willing to do whatever I needed him to do. It was more a lack of knowledge. As if he'd never seen them before. And honestly, he hadn't.

I learned early in our marriage that the open household I'd grown up in where any question was fair game and there was a lot of open talk about the joys of being male or female between us in order to help prepare us for lives away from home, was not the same place he'd been raised. He'd been raised in a more private home where he wasn't exposed to such minor, yet important, information. He'd never seen any female needs up close and personal, and really wasn't sure how one was used, let alone what might be the difference between a panty liner and an overnight pad. And tampax... that was a real mystery to him. I determined then that over time the boys and Laura would grow up in the more open environment. They'd be taught how their body worked and how the opposite gender's did as well. And I began to look for casual opportunities to bring up the subject as they grew older as well as incorporating a biblically based educational program in to our homeschool day.

A few years ago, just after the war in Iraq had been declared a victory and scud missiles became less of a constant refrain in the news, I came across a story written by another Mom with some rather inventive sons living in her house. And on that same day I happened across my boys knee deep in army men set up across the playroom, fighting their very own 'Halfghanistand' military action. So, since we often share jokes and it seemed to fit in with their play at that moment, I shared it with them. Little did I know it would singlehandedly change how we refer to female needs in our household. Now, tampax are referred to as 'scud missiles' and that time of the month is referred to as 'Mom's own little war zone'. Hmmmm... I was sure I didn't let PMS overtake me like that! :)

Here's the story we read several years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Where's the Tampax?
Ok, I'm the only female in a house full of guys: 4 sons and a hubby. Toilet seat never down, etc.-you get the picture. Therefore, I'm the only one who would be using Female products, correct?
A strange thing was happening at my house: tampons were disappearing.
*insert Twilight Zone theme*
It started a few months ago, when I went to my cupboard to get out a tampon and there was only one left. I could have sworn I had just bought a box the month before. So, I go back to the store, buy a new box and forget about it.
The next month (that time of month), I go back to the cupboard and viola! there is only one tampon left, again! What is going on here? Gremlins? Total memory failure?
I go to the store, buy another box and try to chalk it up to forgetfulness, but am really wondering, now.
Later in the month, I decide to clean out my two youngest sons' closet and, Low and Behold! at the bottom of their closet are the wrappers, applicators, and the tampon themselves!
Now I am starting to freak... Dear God, what are they doing with them?!!
I get hold of myself, tell myself that "I am an Adult" and can handle this-despite the bizarre thoughts running through my mind. Wondering, "Do I have enough money saved up in the bank for MAJOR THERAPY?"
I go to the stairs and yell to my two youngest sons to "Come Here, RIGHT NOW!!!"
With their usual lack of speed, they finally appear in their room to find me staring into the bottom of their closet.
I firmly, but with control, ask, "What are you doing with THOSE? Those are MINE!"
My 12 year old looks like a deer caught in the headlights and is silent.
My 10 year old looks at me, all innocent, and says, "Well, Mom, we were playing with our G.I. Joes and THOSE make really good SCUD missiles. What do YOU use them for?"

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