Daddy vs. The Pad Aisle
Contrary to what my kids think, I'm not stupid. I know that my little girls are growing up. I notice little things like when they grow out of their clothes. I notice when they start asking questions that, a couple of years ago, they had no interest in. It's a great feeling. Generally, its a good feeling for any parent to see their child grow and mature, and develop into good young people.
On the other hand, I hate it.
My oldest daughter is 12. And over the last couple of years, I've noticed her grow up, out, and around into more of a teenage little girl body. She got parts on her that she didn't have before. And what's worse, on more than one occasion, had to shoot back looks of pure death to little boys (and grown ass men) checking my daughter out. "Keep it pushin' bro, she ain't the one..." are the looks that I have to give these fools.
Let me tell you a story about the first time I had to buy my daughter pads.
Side note, my kids read my blog. I told them about it. I told them that I would be writing about them. For the most part, they think its cool that I write about them. I gave a heads up to Ayanna that I would be writing about this. The conversation went like this:
Me: "I'm going to write about the first time I had to buy you pads."
Ayanna: (Rolls her eyes) "No, Daddy. Don't do that."
Me: "Why not? It's a story about our lives, and maybe other guys had to go through it."
Ayanna: (Rolls her eyes again) "Daddy, OMG you are soooo extra."
You know that you're doing something right when your kids call you "extra".
Now to the story!
Last year, my daughter was at her Mom's house visiting. It's the weekend. I'm home chillin. Playing Xbox. Call of Duty to be exact. I was having an exceptionally good video game day that day. I was able to chill all day, in my underwear, with food and drink. It was a glorious day.
All of a sudden, I get a call from Ayanna's Mom. It goes something like this...
Her: "Umm, Jamaal, your daughter started her period. You need to go buy her pads."
Me: "You don't have anything there for her? "
Her: "No, I don't use pads. Go get her some and bring them here."
So now I have a bunch of thoughts running through my head. "Pads?!?!?!, wtf!" "Ain't she too young for her period???" (She was 11.) "Is she scared???" "Is she crying???". All these thoughts are flying like bats in my head.
But the overall number one question that was running through my head was...
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PADS DO I BUY HER?!?!?!
Bro' I had no clue. I also knew that living in 21st century America, this would be the land of options. And when I pulled up to Walmart, I had a general dread of what I was to encounter. I get out of my car and walk nervously, but briskly to the door. I enter, make a left, and head straight to the feminine section of the store. I had seen this section before, sitting there in all of its glory. I never had to venture down it's aisles before.
I muster enough confidence to walk down there like I had been there before. But as I had feared, there were options. Sooooooo many options. I stood there in front of all those options of pads dumbstruck. Pads for light days, medium days, heavy days. Pads with wings, pads without wings. Soooooo many different brands. I didn't know if it was like hot sauce. I like Franks Hot Sauce, but if I had my druthers I would go with Louisiana Hot Sauce everyday. What if pads were like that too? I didn't want to just get good enough. I didn't want to get my little girl the Franks Hot Sauce of period pads. I wanted to be the best!
I had to hurry. My little girl is over at her Mom's house bleeding in parts she never has before. But I was paralyzed by fear and doubt. Then, my friend's girlfriend came down the aisle as well. I looked at her with a wild look in my eye and asked her what I should buy.
"Sorry Jamaal, I don't wear pads. I don't know what to tell you." she said. I could tell she really wanted to help but she was as lost as I was.
So I did what any man would do when faced with a problem like this.
I grabbed a bunch of different kinds. I think I spent like $50 bucks in pads that day. I bought all the different kinds that I could. It was a smorgasbord of feminine products. I hurried out of the store, flew to the other side of town, and knocked on my daughter's Mom's door. Ayanna answered with a look of just disdain on her face.
"Baby, baby are you ok???" I said frantically.
"Yes Daddy, I'm fine." She said calmly.
"Ummm, okay. Well here you go." I said. And I handed her three Walmart bags full of pads. She had pads for days. She enough pads for seventeen periods. All different kinds. I told to find one she liked. She took the bag and walked in the house.
I went back to my car and took a deep breath. I was fighting back tears. My little baby was growing up. For real, for real. I felt as if I had turned a corner and I wasn't going back. From now on, there was no denying the fact that I would have to eventually answer questions, fight off boys, deal with female emotions, and grow with my daughter. But it was all good. I had to step up to the plate like every other challenge I had as a father. I'm good. I'm at peace.
But I promise you, if I keep seeing grown ass men staring at my 12 year old daughter, I'm going to beat a fool down with a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce. In Jesus name.
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