Monday, March 19, 2007


The funny thing is that I had actually written "I" about drinking that wine--but then became self conscious about the lonely sound of it, and so changed it to "we" the better to convey, you know, the fellowship of moderate alcohol consumption there at our friends' house. I didn't want you to think it was somehow just me in the corner with a blanket and a bottle while everyone else sat at the table soberly planning some kind of 12-step intervention.

But then, of course, oops--I made it sound like some kind of DUI/snowstorm situation when really Michael hardly even ever drinks at all.

Because he's too busy huffing ether.

Meanwhile, here's my question of the day: if you were designing a tampon, would you play a kind of menstrual practical joke whereby you appended a string that appeared to be a handy removal advice--but was really a kind of wick to draw blood quickly from body to underpants without soiling the pristine cotton of the tampon itself? This is my question. I would not think to make such a joke myself, but I see that someone has.

And really, I'm just laughing my head off. Because it's funny to see Mama's undies soaking in the sink like she beheaded someone in the night and then mopped at their bloody neck stump with a wadded up pair of Gap bikinis. Really. It's not the stuff of future psychoanalytic emergency sessions, I'm sure. Just good old-fashioned fun.


  1. Anonymous10:24 AM

    You are indeed most odd.

    I love and accept you, nevertheless.


  2. Thanks for clearing that alcohol scene up a little, because I was seriously beginning to wonder... :)

    I agree about the tampon thing - I had to finally stop using them because of that very reason!

  3. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Try the "Diva cup" instead . It takes a little getting used to, but I hated tampons and pads which always seem to overflow just on the sides.

  4. Anonymous10:49 AM

    You know, tampons are seriously in need of an update...but don't get me started on all the "new" products like the diva cup someone mentioned here. That would truly be my last resort- I'd rather go spend my week in a hut somewhere and let it flow into a hole I dug in the ground like I'm sure our pre-modern peasant ancestors did. On the drinking topic- We know you and Michael would have a designated driver system. You both love your kids too much to be stupid.

  5. Oh, man, have I got a discussion for you to read. Jonniker started discussing Feminine Products, and within seconds there was one of the best comments sections I've ever seen:

    So, so funny and interesting.

  6. Or, hey, what if I were to make that an ACTUAL LINK??

    The link to the discussion

  7. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Yeah....after all you've written it seems likely that you are JUST the sort of mother who would be fine with Michael driving through a snow storm a little tipsy. You know let him put you and your kids in danger and then write about it with a shrug. Thank GOD you clarified...I loosing sleep there.

    Oh...didn't someone in your house turn 4 a few weeks ago??? HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIRDY!

  8. Catherine,
    I am hoping you will address this question -- perhaps on your blog. Your annual camping trips to the cape with children in tow are well documented in your writing. I am considering taking my three children (ages 6,4,2) on a two night camping trip to ocracoke island, but I am terrified I don't know how to do this right. Not that I think you are here simply to dispense advice or anything, but what are your tips and tricks to camping, at the beach (all that SAND!) with small children? Help?

  9. I already have a gag feminine hygiene product- I call it "Barefoot and Pregnant." You'll never have to soak those bikini briefs again, girls!

  10. Ah, yes, the wick phenomenon is what led me to choose a feminine hygiene product that makes me giggle like a tween anytime anyone refers to a new boy/girlfriend as a "keeper". Sigh.

    dh: Now there's a suggestion. I imagine it doesn't decrease the amount of laundry you end up doing, though.

  11. And are we all, in the blogosphere, cycling together now? How did that happen?

  12. You're hilarious, Cath! Not for a moment did I picture you huddled in the corner with a bottle...or Michael driving home plastered in a snowstorm. *lol*

    The tampon? Seriously?? Oh my!

  13. Anonymous5:11 PM

    "The Keeper" is AWESOME!! No kidding. I've had mine for 12 years (two kids later) and it's still AWESOME!! Hygenic, cheap (you only buy it once) and easy to use. OK, it takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do , it's so much better than a tampon, pad or a patch of moss.

  14. Yes, cycling with you as well, and now going to google "The Keeper..."
    PS, I am soooo envying the weekend documented on Wondertime - mine totally sucked. Imagine the tampon scenario - on an airplane. Fun.

  15. 'Kay, The Diva Cup and The Keeper look an awful lot alike. But I just don't know. I just, don't know... though those ladies in the ads are all smiley.

  16. I've had that happen. It stinks, but I'm not feeling the "Keeper" love either.

    Its better than the cheap tampons they used to sell in tampon machines where the string only removed the bottom half of the tampon, leaving the top half to be retrieved (several yucky weeks later) by an MD.

    I'm so glad I have a place to share that story.

    PS, your weekend sounds lovely and now I've got to try Asiago Fresco between tortilla chips. Sounds good.

  17. Tampons and nookius interruptus and hospital issue postpartum spray bottles - you are amazing and hysterical and exactly what we need to be reading!

    I can't stop laughing at the "hospital-issue postpartum spray bottle!" Mine is a bath toy now too, but I always feel slightly "cringey" when I see my son with it! Like, "Did I get it clean enough, with 2 turns through the dishwasher?"

    And the only thing more annoying than that tampon wicking thing is when (I believe to use your word) the diaper tab yoinks off before you even hook the diaper, leaving you no choice but to throw that $.18 worth away...

  18. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Ok--I just read your "why I'm not a drunkard and Michael is not a DUI'er" blog, and then your Wondertime journal, and I was feeling pretty solid with the reading.

    Catherine, la-lah, Catherine. Not going to make me cry today. This is all lovely and sweet, but not going to make me cry today.

    And then I read the last line:

    "When Ben goes to write in his journal he literally scratches his head like a cartoon wonderer: "Did we even do anything today?" And I don't say it, because it's too weird and he's just a kid, but what I think is: our hearts were beating."

    And now I'm crying. You're like a magician.

  19. Well thank God you cleared that up. Snort. I was wondering if you would bite and reply. Please know your regular readers wouldn't even consider this and I should know. I just knew though that it would get under your skin. It was not very nice to start with.

    Let me say the Diva Cup is not for me. I have one that I have used precisely once and as fast as I got it in (not that fast let's just say) I was frantically trying to get it out. It was so uncomfortable I could barely move. I usually resort to the tampon/pad or liner combo so I am covered in case of such emergencies.

    As my blog buddy Sage pointed out what is with all of us "cycling together". Here is something scary. I went to an all girls high school, imagine hundreds of girls on the same cycle - the PMS week was insane. We had very few male teachers and I can imagine their horror each month over the drama of it all.

    I am off to Wondertime...

  20. Anonymous12:02 PM

    on the tampon: TMI! TMI!

    Although I suppose it had to be said somewhere.

  21. I am "cycling" with you all too. How odd!!
    and you said it all, with the wicking. i wish I could go back to the days or pre-pregnancy periods. Post pregnancy periods are enough to make you want to get knocked up again.

  22. lol... Oh man, Catherine, that just killed me, because I soak my underwear in our bathroom sink as well. I mean, I'd hate to do it in the kitchen sink, because its not so easy to hide... lol and upon reading that, I thought of how back when hubby and I were just dating and living in our own apartments, I'd tell him my period had started (some months, it was more of a notification that we weren't pregnant as opposed to the whole "Hey, thought you should know" lol) Now, married with a two year old, its more of the situation where he knows based on seeing the hot water in the bathroom sink with a pair of panties soaking in it.

    Here's my household hint: Soak them over night in HOT water with a huge scoop of oxyclean, rinse them out in the morning, and if there's any staining left, clorox bleach pen to finish it off.

    Still loving your writing!


  23. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Ok, I've been a long time reader of yours (I think I've read every word you've ever published!) and I did not question whether Michael was drinking and driving. Come on people- after all the soul bearing and honest writing C has done, let's just go ahead and presume the best...
    I love late storms too- it's like, bring it on- it can't last long now. Here in MN, anthing above 40 degrees inspires spring fever...

  24. Anonymous4:35 PM

    Ok, I was the from MN commenting before (can't figure out how to sign in, sorry). Hayley's Mum, as far as being naked- I guess I don't understand the problem. Children do not equate nudity with anything sexual or even anything remotely close. Until they reach puberity, they are not sexual beings. So being naked for them is just pure and innocent fun. Bathing together is the same. It is adults, with all of our big ideas, that taint it into something it is not. So if a child is raised in a home where nudity is common and normal, they will grow up a)knowing what the human body looks like and b) having a healthy respect for their bodies. It is my belief that until they themselves are feeling modest, nudity is not a problem. My 4 yr old twin daughters routinely see my husband and I naked, but always in context- like they catch a glimpse coming out of the shower or whatever, but they are not "harmed" by this. In fact they don't even notice it. When they start wanting privacy, we will take our cues from them, but until then I don't see the point in making them feel ashamed of human nudity.

  25. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Hayley's Mom - I don't want to jump on you or anything, everyone has a right to comment and express their opinion, but it's not your job to "condone" anything Catherine and her family do in the privacy of their own home.

  26. Oh HILARIOUS!! Ok, how about getting up at 2am because there is a sense of leakage and you JUST changed the bed sheets, which doesn't happen often enough as it is so you really enjoy the feeling, and you are desperate not to spot them, so you are in the bathroom totally exhausted, running your undies under the freezing cold water in the sink because your mom told you that hot water sets the stain, and while you are standing there naked with numb fingers you look down and notice a giant red spot on the white (also just washed) bathmat. Maybe if you just sort of grind it down with a damp piece of toilet paper nobody will notice? Let's hope so! Nobody has said anything so far...

    And for what it's worth? We all run around naked - we're not ashamed and there's nothing weird about it at all :-)

  27. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I think you forget that most of us have brains so fuzzy that even if we wondered why Michael was driving drunk in a snowstorm, 10 seconds later, the question had vanished from our heads forever.


    This ability to quickly forget what is none of our business anyway is one of the perks of parenthood. Don't you think.

    I still haven't explained to Rachel why she once saw red pee, so if I admire that you're at the level where it's a fun family horror show/circus. Cool.

  28. yeah, we're nudie patooties in our house too. Both of my kids love being why not? It is what you make of it. Definitely not weird or shameful. :)

    Reading what you write makes me feel normal. There are days when Eddie says "no school today mommy? then I don't want to be dressed." Who can fault the kid. So he runs around in his undies all day. Who cares? Personally, I wouldn't care if he was on the front lawn in his Spongebob underwear.

    (this reminds me that I took a picture of him over the weekend in just undies, and wearing the goggles that came with a tool set he got for Christmas. Total blackmail someday.)

    Ok, I'm done blowing up your comments section now. :)

  29. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Well, if Catherine's tampon is TMI and a lot of folks don't seem into the keeper, I suppose you all don't want to hear about how sea sponges work well as reusable tampons? Seriously. Google it, it's a real thing.

  30. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Oh Lord,
    Thank you for throwing me into menopause at the age of 49, immediately upon weaning my youngest. And yes, I was 47 when he was born. Just lucky, I guess.
    And tired.

    The things I learn from your columns, Catherine. Diva Cups and Keepers and Moon Cups. Y'all are too young to remember "sanitary napkins" and the belts we wore to keep them in place.

    So chic. Ah well, it got us out of gym class once a month.

  31. Anonymous9:12 PM

    My kids would be naked all the time if we let them. We often walk into thier bedroom in the middle of the night and find the 5 year old naked. When we ask him about it the next day he always says, "it feels so comphy on my body." We are one naked family.

    I think I have said before that I am a prosecutor, and one of the crimes that I prosecute is DUI. It never even crossed my mind to question whether Michael had been drinking and driving.

    Your explanation of what happened gave me an odd picture in your head. My husband is getting high on the fumes from shining his shoes for work, meanwhile I am getting high from the Sharpie marker I use on the 3 year old's potty chart, while I am sharing a bottle of wine with you as Michael huffs ether in the corner. What? It could happen!

  32. Hah! This has SO happened to me... and thank you for clarifying the potential drunk snow storm scenario..

  33. Anonymous11:19 PM

    It is so much fun to not only read your post, Catherine, but to check back a few days later and read all the comments! I loved the Wondertime old friend of mine once confessed she and her husband would sneak out to their van it...and I remember thinking that was Soooo strange. Of course, when my first child was little, I was a celibate single mom, so I guess I just couldn't grasp the whole concept!!!
    Oh, and to everyone with advice -I think that by now, we all know how to get blood out of our undies. We've been doing it for decades!

  34. Anonymous2:22 AM

    I never worried about the drinking and driving, either. My memory is exactly five minutes long, and I had completely forgotten by the time I finished reading it. And wow, more info here on choices than they ever taught in school! I still haven't figured out what to say when my 5yo asks about my bum bleeding, or when my 2yo says I have a booboo!

    Catherine, Love ya babe! When's the NEXT BOOK coming out?


  35. Anonymous5:48 AM

    I second the recco to try the Diva cup. A bit awkward the first few runs, but once you get used to it, so much more convenient and comfortable than pads or tampons.

  36. A hippy friend had the Diva Cup and SAVED all of the blood for her garden. She was always offering me zucchini, and I'd be like, um, no thank you.

  37. Wow... I cannot imagine saving blood, other than, you know, in donation to the Red Cross or something. It makes me think of that book "The Red Tent." Did she also have a special period tent in her backyard where she sat on bloody straw and chatted with other menstruating women once a month?

  38. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Try spray-n-wash oxy soaking required!

  39. who knew menstruation was such a topic? I am nearly 40 and this is the first time I ever heard there were even alternatives...where have I been?

  40. Good grief, Catherine! You make a few harmless wine, tampon, and bathtime references, and now your blog is awash with comments on, but not limited to: alchoholism, Diva Cups and/or Keepers, who's cycling with whom, blood-fed zucchinis, nudity and children, and now, apparently "Celia" here is trying to sell us all bongs.

    Did you ever expect you'd be such an Internet phenomenon?

    P.S. We refer to it as "Naked Time" at our house. A phrase borrowed from an old Dana Carvey stand-up routine.

  41. Anonymous11:37 PM

    on throwing away diapers...

    you don't have to throw it away if the tab rips, don't you know that duct tape fixes everything? seriously. packing tape works, too.

    But EVEN BETTER... use cloth diapers. No pins anymore, they velcro and don't leak and are so much safer for the baby and less stuff in the landfills etc etc etc. check out It's not so bad. I swear. Even my husband and my BABYSITTERS didn't mind. (flushable or disposable liners are the way to go to handle the poop, though)

  42. It never occurred to me that you and Michael were sloshed driving the kids home. I don't think anyone who reads this blog, or your columns regularly would think that.

    As far as people freaking out about the kids being naked... C'mon. I mean- condone? Really? Someone is bringing their own issues to the table. I have a seven year old daughter who is predisposed to shuck her clothing at a moments' notice. I always think that, especially for a girl, it is such a *small* window where they feel supremely comfortable with their bodies. I love that she doesn't think twice about it. It reminds me of the Dar Williams song, "When I was a Boy."

  43. Anonymous11:06 PM

    I must admit, in the other post it did sound like the two of you were tipsy on the drive home, and then I thought about it for a whole two seconds, which sounded something like this: "Catherine? Kind loving Catherine... would never permit drunk driving, what's going on?" So I re-read and suddenly the post was completely different. It made me feel vile that the thought had even entered my head.

  44. I used to hate tampons for this very reason. Tampax Pearl, for some reason, does not do this to me. I am hooked on them now.

    BTW, Oxy Clean totally gets out the stains.

  45. Anonymous11:58 PM

    Ha! I've never checked out this blog before but I'm glad I did. I seriously thought I was the only girl in the world who somehow can bleed down the string of a tampon but not on it. How? Why? I've never heard any of my friends complain of this so I assumed it was just me.

  46. Anonymous4:04 PM

    I love my DivaCup!! Should have been using this years ago. The best price I found is at South Coast Shopping for only $17.99 and arrived in only 2 days! Model 1 and Model 2