On the merciful evolution of difficult questions.

[Some backgound here: this post is the culmination of Pascale opening a line of discussion about tampons. Previous discussions include… Q: What’s in that white box, Mummy? A: Tampons. Q: What’s this box for in the public bathroom? A: Old tampons.

On this day, we are in the washroom, getting ready for ballet class to start.]

Mummy. This box is for old tampons.

Yes, it is.

What… exactly… is a tampon for? And how does it get old?

Well, you know how we’ve talked about how your body will change as you get older?

Yes. I will get breasts and things.

That’s right. Right around that time, your body will start to release an egg every month. Can you think what that might be for?

Oh yes. The eggs could be for babies!

Correct! But if they’re not being used for a baby, then they just come out of your body.

Oh, like the chickens! Some of the eggs turn into chicks. But some of them are just eggs. [Leans forward, conspiratorially.] They are not fertilized.

Amazing – that’s exactly it.

Can you eat human eggs? Are they as tasty?

Oh, no – they’re soft and small, and actually a bit messy when they come out, which is what the tampon is for. It goes inside your body and sort of acts like a plug to make sure the fluid only comes out when you’re in the bathroom. It’s very convenient. And then, when it’s finished, you put it in the box or flush it.

Oh, ok! [Big smile]


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