When I went away from home for a weekend for Kohanga, Marty looked after the kids. He is a great dad, Always been hands on and now he is a great granddad. No surprises there.
Jenni loved playing mum of the house too and was always really helpful when I wasn’t around. Suzanne had her own way of making her feelings clear. Whenever, I was away, she would allow Marty to feed her. Not too much mind but she would eat what she needed and nothing more. She was the only one of the kids that really liked the way he made porridge. He would wait for the water to boil and then just pour the rolled oats in and stir until it got to thick to stir.
If however, I was home then she would eat for no one else. Even if I was sick in bed, I would have to get up and feed her. Or she wouldn’t eat. She was very stubborn about that, I have no idea where she got her stubbornness from. But she was stubborn.
The girls were growing up and Marty and I talked about “the talk” that Jenni was going to need. I clearly remember my mother taking me in to my room and giving me the talk. I can’t remember a word she said. I just remember sitting in the bedroom with me while we had this special talk. I grew up believing that having your period was a really bad thing and something that was so embarrassing that you couldn’t talk to anyone about it. No one was supposed to know you had it, and I remember being totally mortified when I sister Judy was home from Kimberley one weekend and she was yelling to everyone that I had it.
At first I suggested that Marty should talk to Jenni and then I would talk to Suzanne and then it would be Marty’s turn to tell Simon. There is so much openness about such things today it is hard to believe just how hidden things were. I know that my grandmother would be totally mortified by the ads on TV these days for sanitary products. It certainly rubbed off on me, I wouldn’t buy any if I was shopping with someone else, it was just too embarrassing.
In the end, we decided to get some books out of the library. We were regulars at the library and so I knew the layout pretty well. However, I couldn’t find any books on the subject at all. Turned out they were kept in the back. We took a couple home and I read them first.
I know it must be hard to believe but I learnt a lot that I didn’t know. I was blown away by the information and it changed my whole perception of my monthly ‘curse’. I discovered the whole reason behind it all, how a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy, and this was the result when pregnancy didn’t occur. Unless you wanted to have 15 kids, this was actually a blessing and message every month, you are not pregnant but if you want to be, you can be. Well actually, I couldn’t but only because Marty got fixed after we had Simon.
And I know I must have had the “talk’ with Jenni and well I am not sure whether we had the talk or whether we just read the books. They had pictures and everything. but even if she didn’t understand it, I certainly did.
And I know that things are so different now. Did you hear about the two boys who wanted to buy Tampax. Well, they saw on TV that you can swim and ride horses and do all kinds of stuff when you have it.
And TV doesn’t lie, does it.
© Barbara Hart 2014