Tampons+Daughter+Supermarket = Embarrassment !

I had been reading a blog over at http://northernmum.wordpress.com/ about an embarrassing moment with her children brought to mind one of my own a while back, so here again is the story;

My oldest daughter, Hilke, is well known for being something of an embarrassment at times, as all children can be of course, but Hilke really does have this knack for dropping her mothers in it.

With my wife Judith still not able to see very much after surgery and me having a day off I had gone to collect our kids from school. Judith had asked me to collect a few items from the supermaarkt so I took the kids with me for a little bit of a treat. I should explain that we do not often go to the supermaarkt because most of our fresh produce either comes from my in-laws farm or from the local organic farm here. With Judith preparing our meals from scratch there is little need to visit the big stores so for our kids it is a bit of an adventure, especially the Albert Heijn just off the Vrijtofht which is not unlike a cave inside.

Albert Heijn supermaarktNo sooner had we got into the store and we ran into some of Hilke and Nicholaas’s school friends and their mothers. Put any women together in a store and we go into gossip mode and shopping is relegated to a poor second place while we catch up on news and the kids are left to run riot through the store. We mothers happened to be standing in the toiletries isle talking when Hilke and friends come returned from their exploring. The children start to give their critical attention to the shiny and colourful products on display and I kept a little of my attention on what they were saying between themselves while continuing my gossiping;

“My mother uses this, it’s very good” said one little girl with all the earnest intent of a telesales operator trying to sell you something.
“But your mum has some HUGE spots on her nose, it can’t be that good !” replied another who was clearly an early developer of her Bitchy Gland.

Pausing by the tampons and sanitary towels the girls started a deep debate on feminine hygiene products. Dutch schools start sex education at age seven so they knew about periods even though none were menstruating themselves yet. I think their interest had much more to do with the wide variety and very girlie styling of the packaging rather than any interest in the contents but when one girl discovered a familiar brand she grabbed it and stated very clearly;

“This is the one my mum uses, only she buys a big super box of them!”
“Does it have wings?” asked Adrie trying to show some knowledge of the subject.
“No, it’s a tampon, it has a string not wings” replied Mahaultt.
“You tie it to your underwear with the string then?” Marysa, clearly unaware that it is worn internally.

Just when I feared that this could soon turn into a bit of a car wreck unless one of us mothers intervened my daughter jumped into the fray, from past experience of her contributions my heart rate immediately doubled;
“It’s a tampon, that means you stick it up inside you” she said with all the authority of a girl who is academically at the top of her class.
“OOooooohhhh!” was one’s response, “EWWWWWWWWW!”was another’s.

I am not, I should point out, a religious person, but with the intervention of Hilke I started to pray. I prayed like the life of my first born depended upon it. Those of you who have met Hilke, or who know of her will understand why only to well. She continued;
“You put them in your vagina to stop it up”.

By now the girls were starting to draw a small audience and I knew this was not going to end well, I could just feel it and but like a rabbit stuck between headlights I froze. Hilke was now clearly the leading authority on feminine hygiene products in this group and all attention swung around to her.

“So why do tampons have strings?” asked Marysa.
“So you can pull them out of your vagina when you go to the wc, all tampons have strings”  she stated.

One girl noticing one particular box of tampons and picking it up exclaimed “Hey these ones have skirts, why do these have skirts, is that in place of a string, because you can pull skirts down” said the little asian girl whose name I can never recall.

“Do your mothers use these Hilke?”

CRASH ! The wreck I had been dreading happened.
“No mama uses sponges” she proclaimed over the shop noise and looking toward me as I tried to shuffle to the nearest cover.

“SPONGES !” came the loud and collective response, and as one they started to examine the shelves for sanitary sponges. It took them a few minutes to realise they were not on the shelves so I started to relax a little. Then one girl held up a large bath sponge in her hand and triumphantly, and very loudly, proclaimed…….

“Your mama puts THIS in her vagina ?” I swear the entire store stopped dead, I could have heard a pin drop if the frantic beating of my fibrillating heart was not drowning out all sound in my ears. Even the gossiping mothers came to a complete stop.

Gasps of “Mmmmuuuhhhh!” showed they were clearly impressed, or horrified, or perhaps both.
I think Hilke, upon seeing the expression on my face, sensed that her allowance was seconds away from being stopped until she reached her late teens and so attempted to ease the situation by telling her friends.

“No, no, no, they are tiny little sponges” Hilke added, slightly helping matters, “Like cotton wool balls. She orders them specially, you cannot buy them in here, they are special”.

By now men in the store were giving me full lengths looks as they walked past, I could guess what they were imagining. The gossiping mothers edged towards me and some sort of unspoken agreement between seemed to nominate one of them their spokeswoman.

Sea Sponge Tampons

Sea Sponge Tampons & Yikes !

“Sponges?” asked Mevrouw Klaas. At least the store seemed to be returning to normal after the revelation that one of their customers appeared to spend her menstrual cycle with a bath sponge shoved up her vagina.

I explained that in fact natural sponges were the very first form of tampon ever used and that unlike the tampons and towels stocked in stores like those on the shelves they were natural, hypo-allergenic and do not cause toxic shock to their users. Having experienced an intra-vaginal allergic reaction to tampons as a teenager I knew better than most the dangers of manufactured sanitary protection. They also caused no pollution during their manufacture, and contained no dioxins (the most deadly poison known to life on this planet and routinely used in the manufacture of tampons and sanitary towels).

In the end the girls interest moved onto something else, as did everyone else. On the way home I tried to explain to Hilke that it had been a little embarrassing for me but in true Hilke form she counted by saying that it shouldn’t be, “Periods were quite natural mama!” Yeah thanks Hilke I think I know that much better than you do given your age!. I know we have always been very open and straight with our kids but it does come back to bite us at the oddest times.

Sea Sponge Tampons – Jamsponge (English)
Sea Sponge Tampons – Gladrags (US)
zeespons tampons – drakenenergie.nl
zeespons tampons – naturalbeginnings.nl

Author: Nina.




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