What is THAT in the toilet?

Warning:  This post touches on the "birds and the bees"
Our oldest is ten.
He is a boy.
He is curious.
He finds things.
Recently he found a tampon that hadn't gotten flushed floating in the toilet.
He was of course concerned about why there was blood in the toilet and what that thing really was that he had used as a cannon with his army men a few years back.
His Dad explained that it was a tampon.
He also explained about a uterus and how it had (and I am using his Dad's terms here) "a mineral rich lining to feed a developing baby.  When there was no baby, the body shed the lining.  In order for there not to be a huge mess women use pads -you've seen those in Mom's bathroom right? and tampons to catch the blood." 

According to Dad there was nodding, acceptance, and moving on.  I imagine Dad brushing his hands together with a satisfied grin that he got out of that one pretty easily.  I think Dad did really well with that, but that raised the question of when is it time to start talking about - you know - S. E. X.? 

I remember being in fourth grade and someone wrote on the board "sex".  Everyone snickered and so I knew they shouldn't be writing it on the board, but I had no idea what it meant!  My son is in fourth grade!  There could be kids in his class that have a vague idea of things I didn't learn about until I was married!  I actually heard some boys giggling in the corner of the library while looking at a magazine in school.  I heard the word, "boobs" mentioned.

Ugh!  You mean to tell me that soon my sweet innocent little baby boy will begin puberty?  You mean that instead of searching his pockets for live critters I will have to search them for other scarier things?  You mean that I will no longer be the most important woman in his life? (ok, maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, but that's where this all leads right?)

I don't know if I'm ready!!
How do I get ready?


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