Spice Up Your Inbox. Subscribe Today.

enter your email address:


Remember my dad? He’s the atheist guy who doesn’t believe in souls or an afterlife or anything but still wants me to drop by his grave site once in a while for some unexplainable reason… many, many years from now.

Yeah, that guy. He’s back in town.

He’s really the most inquisitive person I’ve ever met. A conversation with him can become an unintended interrogation session. He’s just super, insanely curious. About everything.

Like when we walk around New York City, a city of roughly 10 zillion gadillion buildings, he’ll peer up at a random one and say, “What’s that building?”

Of course, I don’t know. First of all, as you can clearly see from my lack of a uniform or a clip board, I’m not a city tour guide. Secondly, if you’re not pointing at the Empire State Building or the building I live in (which pretty much covers my citywide building knowledge), how the heck should I know?

Except I feel super dumb that I don’t. Like I should be spending more time studying Robert Moses and the architectural history of New York City. You know, when I’m not taking care of children or doing laundry or washing dishes.

And I’ve never come up with a great technique for slowing down his fast and furious questions…. until this weekend.

I was rummaging around in my purse for the 10 millionth time (looking for my keys that are lost INSIDE my little apartment) and this was sort of hanging out.

“What’s that?” my father asks.

“Umm… It’s a tampon,” I respond. It’s actually a tampon cleverly disguised in this cute carrying case called a TOMtote (as in Time Of the Month) by Lexie B. Designs. I feel like I just dived into the seedy world of product placement but that really was not my intention. I actually use this TOMtote thing.

“Oh,” responds my dad.

Nothing else. No follow-ups. No other questions.

Just, “oh.” And then silence.

It’s so obvious now. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

37 (crap, almost 38) years of searching desperately for the correct answers to all his detailed, obscure questions and all I had to do was utter the word “tampon” to stop him cold.

Except there is something really weird about uttering the word “tampon” to my dad. Or your dad. Or really any dad.

Despite its initial brilliance, it seems this tampon idea of mine sort of sucks.

Ok…. so now can someone help me find my keys? The last time I was this frustrated Summer’s baby doll was missing. And that runaway doll showed up after a couple days. The keys have been missing in action for a week.

I’ve ransacked the apartment and grilled Summer, the likely culprit, about their whereabouts. As usual, she’s playing it all cool and keeping mum. I’m just hoping my dad has a few follow up questions for that girl.

mama bird notes

Contributing mama Daphne Biener writes a moving piece about her baby Acadia who is off to kindergarten and perhaps a baby no more. Click here to read more.

Kelsey Kleiman is the winner of the “Sex and the City” giveaway! Ok, not really. This is Kelsey’s entertaining comment on the mama bird diaries this past week…

I would prefer not to win the Sex In The City Soundtrack so I won’t tell you which character I am most unlike.

Hmm… she sounds like a Miranda. The real winner (picked randomly) is Erin Butler. Yes, the contributing mama herself. Congrats Erin! Email me your address please!

26 Responses to q + a

  • I love your dad; I think I would ask the same questions πŸ™‚ I like the tampon thingy. At school, I use a pencil case to get from my classroom to the bathroom; works like a charm! Good luck with the keys.

  • kristen says:

    i've found the word 'moist' to be a conversation stopper, although probably not the best word to use with 'tampon'.

    fascinating and frustrating are the NYC buildings that aren't famous, but still have a name. i love when i do know one (i think it's only one that i know) and can impress friends with my vast (snort) NYC knowledge.

  • Jacki says:

    Kids can hide things quite well, don't they? Emma hid our garage door opener for a week! When we finally found it, she looked at me and casually said "oh, you found it."

  • Good luck finding your keys!

    Next time any male I encounter won't stop talking, I'm just going to blurt out "tampon" and see what happens. I think you discovered a whole way to terminate a conversation you just aren't in to, something which people have been dealing with for decades!

  • Michelle says:

    Too bad the big tampon isn't still sticking out of the building for Dylan to point it out to him!! πŸ™‚

  • JoLynn says:

    Things alway’s came up missing when my kid’s were younger!! Check all of Summer’s little “pocketbook’s”! Glad your Dad came to visit you! Sound’s like you had a nice time.

  • shay says:

    What you need along with you is my day. aka: the trivia man. He would know something about almost any question your dad could ask or want to ask or might ask. this could be almost as annoying as a dad who asks every question under the sun….almost.

    Oh and I totally want one of those TOM things – very cool!

    Good luck with the key hunt.

  • ErinB says:


    Wow- I dont even remember what the rest of the post was once I saw my winning name! Thanks KK you made my day! :-}

  • I understand. Last week when my dad was in the hospital I was oddly uncomfortable every time the nurse came in to ask when was the last bathroom visit and I eventually had to start prodding him to hydrate.

    Bodily functions, while normally funny, when it comes to parents? Awkward . . .

  • Jordana says:

    I learned early on in our friendship the three question rule. I can ask you one question about a subject – no problem, at two you started getting a bit antsy and with the third, you would answer it but be annoyed. Four was off limits. Maybe Tom-Tom never got the memo! (love you Tom-Tom!) ( :

  • Sooooo great! I remember one time when we had two Mormon missionaries sitting in our living room (we're Mormon) and my then-3YO son came down the stairs with a tampon in each hand. Another time one of my babies whipped one out of my purse in church and I didn't even notice she was waving it like a baton to every pew behind us for what must have been several minutes. Moral: it's not just dads. Tampons and religion don't mix, either!!

  • Daphne says:

    My keys are always in the fridge when missing. Also, my girls both went through a "cleaning up" stage, where they picked up everything and threw it in the garbage. Bye-bye to almost all of my teaspoons!

  • Jennifer H says:

    When she was two, my daughter tossed my husband's keys into the lake. The good news? He found them after searching for over an hour in murky, waist-deep water.

    Which has nothing to do with your lost keys, does it? I hope they turn up soon. Stuff like that is maddening.

  • Rhea says:

    The Tomtote is cute. I have a tampon case that I got online a while back…where is that thing, I should really use it. It's SO cute. It's like a pill case with a vintage cowgirl on it, just the size of a few tampons. Really cute.

    Great post! Hilarious about your dad. I always feel uncomfortable talking about tampons around any male, except hubby, which I do constantly just to torture him. hehe

  • Milena says:

    Who would have thought that answers dealing with our inevitable feminine malaise would nip your dad's inquisitiveness in the proverbial bud (no pun intended). Love it. I've got a good one for the building questions. Say you don't know what the building is but that in your estimation it looks very phallic. What do you think? Think it will work a likely miracle with your father's latent curiosity?

    Hey, I'm glad to be back and reading your words. You really make me smile if more often than not, guffaw out loud Kelcey.

  • Madmad says:

    Am I the only one cracking up at the tampon "sucking?" Hahahaha! Mine are always flying out of my bag at inappropriate moments… I should put them in a TOM thingie, shouldn't I? OK, off to google them.

  • Maggie says:

    I also have a problem with keys. I found mine yesterday in my son's swim bag, after being MIA for almost a week. I only wish I had found them before the conversation with my husband: "honey I need your keys", "why?", "so I can go to the grocery store", "where are your keys?", "I don't know", "don't you think you should find them?", "do you want to eat tonight?". Sheesh. And then this morning he had to ask me for his keys back, "uh, I don't really know where they are. Wasn't that a good dinner last night?"

Leave a Reply to Jacki Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

kelcey kintner