Early last week, while digging through my bathroom for some unknown thing or another, Matthew came across some feminine hygiene products that he insisted on knowing the purpose of. I tried to brush him off, but (you know Matthew) he persisted. I sighed inside, thought resentfully about all of my well-intentioned theories related to answering kids' questions, and braced myself.
Cringing a bit on the inside but (hopefully) looking relaxed on the outside, I told him a bit about the female cycle, including about egg production (whereupon he immediately stopped my explanation to ask whether he'd been required to use a beak to break out of his shell when he was born - aaahh), what happens to the lining of a female uterus if an egg is not "joined up" with sperm, and what happens about once a month for women. Blah blah blah. Matthew was utterly fascinated, wanted to be informed about (and involved in) every part of a woman's cycle, and had (as you can imagine) a few dozen questions for me about menstruation. I don't think I've ever talked that much about this topic! I was thankful when the conversation finally evolved into other matters for discussion.
But I should have known it wasn't over...
On Thursday morning, I brought our oatmeal to the breakfast table, and Matthew and I sat down to eat. I was just lifting the first spoonful to my mouth when Matthew said, in a very conversational and pleasant how-was-your-day kind of tone: "soooo, Mom, are you menstruating right now?" He settled in for another hearty conversation on the topic. Appetite gone, knowing now that it was never going to end, I put my spoon back down and took the bowl to the sink. That was enough of an eye-opener for me!