That time of the month. I thought it would be a subject that I wouldn't have to discuss with my boys until they started dating - and that's why she's being so bitchy. I've been lucky. My friend had to deal with her son asking what she was sticking up her butt whenever they were in a public restroom situation but I was spared such embarrassment. My luck ran out last weekend, when I took my four-year old to the bathroom with me during a road trip.
Since it was a truck stop, I had him share the stall with me. Usually, I look for the roomier handicapped stall so he can be mesmerized by the garbage in the corner while I go, but time was of the essence. I settled for a regular one, cramped and very public. Every word reverberated like a belch at a wedding.
I asked him to turn around, as if that were going to do any good. He turned around - in a circle and faced me just in time to see everything.
"Mommy, why is your pee red instead of yellow?" He said in his high pitched voice that could cut glass.
I should've said something - anything - but all I could think of was, "Uhhhh, because."
"Because why? Is that - blood!"
Now I was getting flustered. As it is, I hate nature during that time of month and having to explain it to a squeaky four-year old in a truck stop bathroom was too much. Without thinking about my answer, I said, "Yes, honey - that's blood but I'm not dying."
I don't know why I added the "dying" part. Perhaps because when I was a child asking my mother the same thing, it was the first thought that entered my mind - I thought my mother was dying.
Naturally, my four-year old became a little alarmed. The drama queen that he is, his eyebrows burrowed up his forehead in a state of panic. "You're dying?"
"No. I'm NOT dying."
"Then why are you BLEEDING?"
"It's okay," I said and ushered him to the sinks to wash our hands and get the hell out of there.
Again, he asked, "Why are you bleeding?
An older woman getting paper towels smiled at us and chuckled to herself.
Yeah. She's no help.
"I'll tell you all about it in the car," I said and escorted him out the door.
Out in the main area, amongst drivers, passengers, shoppers and diners the four-year old ran towards my husband.
"Daddy! Daddy!" He yelled, "Mommy's bleeding!"
It was one of those moments in life where I wished I came with my own sound effects. What would it be, the record scratch? A truck collision. The hecklers at the Apollo theater in Harlem - perfect.
They say bad things happen at truck stops. Look what happened to Sandra Bullock's character in "The Vanishing." In comparison, I kind of wished that I could vanish at that moment.