She mumbled about some monthly stuff going on. I had no idea what she was talking about. "What do you mean....down there?....What, every month?"
Poor Mum. She endured the conversation for a few excruciating minutes, but I was still pretty unsure of the facts at the end of it. I just knew it was unpleasant, embarrassing, and not something people talked about.
Two years later when I got my first period it was all a bit inconvenient. I was getting ready to get the train into town to see the Bay City Rollers at the Liverpool Empire, and I didn't want to be late, but I couldn't find the right words to explain to tell Mum that 'it' had happened. She was in the kitchen battling with the twin-tub washer and I stood watching her for what seemed like an eternity, leaning against a hot radiator, until I eventually blurted it out. She immediately went upstairs and came back to hand me a brown paper bag with a pack of sanitary towels inside. Not a single word was said through the whole transaction and the word 'period' was never mentioned again in our house.
I always promised myself I would be more open with my own daughters and encourage them to ask me questions about growing up and changes to their bodies, and I'm pleased that they can talk to me about anything without mumbling or feeling embarrassed.
Teen Parcels are all about preparing girls for their first period, and encouraging a healthy and confident attitude to periods and growing up. For a monthly subscription, the girl receives a parcel (small enough to be posted through the letterbox) that not only contains the essential sanitary protection (a choice of towels or tampons) but a box of goodies to enjoy, including beauty products, a sweet treat and something to drink. I think it's a great idea, and a perfect starting point for those conversations about becoming a woman.
We received two Teen Parcels and both arrived beautifully packaged and the contents were well thought out. My girls were impressed with the contents and thought they'd be a great way to mark the start of a girl's periods and would be something to look forward to, because sometimes we all need a bit of cheering up at that time of the month.
The Teen Parcel website has some great information for girls, with handy apps and tips and advice on everything to do with periods, plus there's a monthly newsletter to sign up to. I also liked '6 Life Lessons We've Learnt from Katniss Everdeen' which definitely appealed to Tall Daughter who is a big fan of the Hunger Games.
The subscription is £5.95 for the first box, followed by £9.99 thereafter, which may seem a bit pricey but the contents of the boxes we received would definitely add up to more than that and P&P is included, plus you can cancel at any time.
It's a well executed idea - I can't believe it's not been thought of before now - and something I'd be happy to recommend to friends with younger daughters for when they reach that certain age.
Watch out for the Twitter party next week around building girls' self-confidence and how to prepare them for their first period. You can join the conversation by using the hashtag #itsamonthlything.
Disclosure: we received two Teen Parcels for review purposes, but words and opinions are my own.