I’m pretty sure my dad and I never talked about periods. Like, ever. We still don’t (and I’m okay with that), although we did take this photo with Cuterus together a few years back at a GladRags party! My dad and I may not talk about menstruation, but he is 100% behind my period business endeavors. Thanks, Dad!
In honor of Father’s Day, we asked our Facebook followers to share their favorite dad + period story. Here are some of our favorites (there were SO many good ones):
“The first time I ever had menstrual cramps, I was 15 (I had been irregular and spotty for a couple of years before that). I woke up in the middle of the night and thought my appendix was about to burst. I crawled across the house to my parents’ room. My mom said, “It’s just cramps. Go back to bed.” (I realized later we must have been ‘lined up’, so that’s how she would have known.) My dad got out of bed, got me the heating pad and some ibuprofen, helped me back to bed, and sat up with me until I could fall asleep again. Then he just went to work. He took being a father very seriously, and I will always be grateful.” – Amanda
“My first period happened on a trip to New Orleans when I was 13 while driving there. We stopped at a hotel near Memphis for the night. When I announced it to my parents my dad ordered margaritas at dinner to celebrate. I really wished that a.) I could have had one, and b.) he hadn’t announced it to our waitress.” – Kathleen
“The day after I got my period I went to a birthday party where we went swimming. That night, in and out of sleep, I heard my dad come into my room a few times and put his hand on my forehead (I was not sick). Finally, on one of his many trips, I asked him what he was doing. He told me that he was checking to make sure I was ok, as sometimes tampons can absorb water and make you feel bad.
Even though the risk of me acquiring toxic shock syndrome from a chlorinated pool was seriously impossible, looking back on it now the gesture seriously warms my heart. My dad has always been a worrywart, and I’m sure he read about tampons and toxic shock syndrome once and tossed and turned all night long at the thought of me getting sick. Even though his worries seemed irritating at the time, I now realize he does what he does because he loves my sisters and I so much. He is a really good dad!” – Jennifer
“I’ll never forget this: The first time I got my period in school (5th grade), the nurse called home and was letting me leave school. My parents weren’t home so she left a message on the answering machine. A short while later, I was told my dad was there to pick me up. YES! MY DAD! Completely and utterly mortified, my dad started teasing me as we walked to the car.” – Tiffany
“Got my first period summer after 6th grade. Sister and mom were not home. My dad waited outside the bathroom door, calling in periodically with concern ‘you okay?’ and ‘need help?’. Thanks dad. I miss you!” – Kristin
“When my dad had to start buying me tampons, he got frustrated after like, two months and just bought two of the biggest economy packs of tampons he could find so he didn’t have to go back to get more. I only had a period every 2-3 months so they actually lasted me from age 13 to about age 19.” – Veronica
“When I got my period for the first time I was at my dads house for the weekend which was in a very small town and 3 hours from home and my mom. The grocery store and all other businesses were closed. My dad called the owner of the very small grocery store. He met us doen there and let us in. My dad and the owner both stopped at the end of the aisle and pointed down to the pads and tampons. I think my dad said something like “just get whatever you need”. I was on my own!! I was so embarrassed but those two grown men seemed just as embarrassed!! I’m sure every person in that small town heard about it. I will never forget that!” – Jennie
The story below sparked a discussion about what dark purposes one might have for menstrual supplies. I’m still convinced that her menstruating mama just wanted some alone time:
“I remember that when I was really little, when my father would run to the store to pick up pads for my mother, my mother would insist I go too. Like I was proof he actually had a lady at home, and wasn’t just stockpiling menstrual supplies for some dark purpose.” – Saundra
“My dad was a single parent so when I got my first period he was the only one there to explain it all to me. He took me to the store to get some pads but when he walked into the aisle he was blown away by all the choices. He asked me what I needed. I had no idea. So my dad randomly grabbed a few boxes of tampons and pads and we left. After we got home he laid everything out on the table and started trying to explain it to me. He got a glass of water down and tried to tell me how tampons work. He shot the tampon out of the applicator into the water where it swelled up quickly. My dad looked horrified and said “that looks like it hurts”. He then called his mom and had her come and explain it all. Good try Dad!” – Angela
And a bonus Dad story from George:
“I grew up in a house with my Mom and 4 sisters. I had a vague situational awareness of this subject. At around 12 I realized that the linen closet held a couple of boxes of things that were meant for my Mom and older sisters. Bored one day I explored these boxes and was intrigued, especially by the box of what looked liked torpedoes to me. Torpedoes were launched by submarines so I decided to employ the nearest body of water, the bathroom across the hall. When the content of the torpedo exploded and bloomed in the toilette I was amazed and continued to launch a volley that would have taken out every U-Boat lurking the oceans of the world.
When the supply ran out, I moved on to exploration of other mundane household items I knew nothing about. That night, there was a level of distress among Mom and elder sisters. Apparently synched up by proximity, they all realized at once that they were out of product!
Dad was sent on a supply run, the usual milk, bread…and something muttered by Mom which seemed to irritate him. He turned and looked at me. I had forgotten about the afternoon battle in the toilette, but had the feeling I had done something wrong. Dad told me we were going to the local Bohack’s supermarket for some things. When we pulled into the parking lot, he explained that he would wait in the car and I would fetch the items, not unusual. What was unusual, when giving me the list of items he included “get yourself a candy bar or something”…..? That just never happened! We were not a wealthy family by any means and extra was not in our vocabulary…..He followed with one last item. “Get a box of those lady things for your mother”.
I sat a moment trying to decipher his cryptic message realizing his expression said no questioning…with no clue I had to ask. Before I got the question out he said “ask a lady clerk” and shoved me out of the car. I gathered the items, spent a moment choosing my reward but still had not gotten the “lady” things. I had gleaned from his discomfort it was something to be modest about and approached the lady clerk cautiously.
As I explained in whispers and blush, she quickly caught on and escorted me to a section previously unknown to me in an aisle I had never been. She made some seemingly random inquiries to narrow the search leaving me baffled until she described what sounded like the torpedoes to me. My crimson face must have lit up and she pulled a box from the shelf. We proceeded to check out. I suspect she smiled through the entire transaction, but I can’t be sure. I could no longer make eye contact with her, the source of my shame unclear. I returned to the car.
Dad asked if I had gotten “everything”. I replied that I thought so, and told him I had gotten 2 candy bars, a serious breach of contract, and challenged his obvious annoyed stare with a steely return of my own. He hesitated, then drove home. I suppose the lady clerk was correct in her choice as I never heard another word about it. I no longer cruised the family toilette torpedoing the enemy however.”
Tell us your best story in the comments!