the cork

It started innocently enough.  Childhood curiosity is a beautiful thing.  Really.  It’s true and honest and genuine…and often embarrasing to others.

A few weeks ago, we were on our way back from Beaumont (a 6 hour car ride) in a caravan with Trey’s sister Robin and her family.  On one of our many bathroom breaks, I stealthily snuck a tampon into my front pocket and proceeded to help usher Robin’s girls into the bathroom stall at the McDonald’s.  At some point during the hustle and bustle, Mary Beth, our 7 year old neice, noticed something yellow sticking out of my pocket. 

tampons“Ooh!  What’s that?”  She squealed.

“It’s nothing.” 

Come on, even in the ladies room, we don’t advertise that it’s our time of the month unless we have to. But she wouldn’t let up.  She was reaching and grabbing and making all too big a fuss about the tiny little package.  Finally, I gave up.

“Mary Beth, it’s a tampon.”

“What’s a tampon?”

“You’ll learn about it when you’re older.  Ask your mom.” 

All us ladies had a good laugh about her curiousity in the bathroom. And we thought that was that.


It wasn’t.


Yesterday, Trey and I spent the afternoon with his family: lunch, a Barbie movie, home made cake and ice cream.  We were all sitting around the table talking, when Mary Beth came flailing her arms:  “What’s this?”

You guessed it.  A tampon.

She’d seen one sticking out of the pocket in my purse and this time decided to bring it to the dining room table for everyone to see.  Since it was the second time this had happened, I jokingly mentioned to Robin that it might be time to have the talk.

So, there, in the dining room, at a table with my mother in law, Trey, 4 year old Bella, and a friend of theirs from church, Robin proceeded to explain to Mary Beth what a tampon is. While the women at the table were getting a big kick out of it, I’m pretty sure Trey was mortified. 

As Robin tried to be honest and thorough in explaining to her 7 year old daughter the changes that her body would inevitably go through, Mary Beth couldn’t keep her eyes of that tampon.  Finally, after about 5 minutes of trying to tell her what a menstral cycle is, we did what any good natured, fun-loving family would do, and we opened up the tampon and dropped it in a cup of water.  Now that (and pretty much nothing that was said prior) was interesting to Mary Beth. 

Nana (Trey’s mom) said it reminded her of one of those washcloths that comes in the tightly wrapped package but expands when you put it in water.  Robin called it “the cork.” 

I’m pretty sure Mary Beth didn’t retain any of the information given to her regarding her impending puberty.  But we sure had a good laugh about it.  Well, except for Trey…who’s really hoping that, when the time comes, we have boys.

One Reply to “the cork”

  1. Leslie,
    That is wonderful!! I only wish we had video taped the experience so I could just play it back the next three times (one when M.B is older, two when Bella is older and three when Makayla is older). It would save me some time!! :)

Leave a Reply