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It’s been four months since I gave birth. The weather was slowly getting warmer and the promise of a lovely spring made my husband book a weekend getaway as a present for me.

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Dearest T,

The past year had gone by so quickly. Your baby phase is over and now that you are a toddler, we have a new set of struggles to overcome. I wouldn’t say that it had been a roller coaster ride because Mama finds roller coaster rides horrific. 

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I was recently introduced to the new world of Dutch day care (kinderdagverlbijf or crèche). Here’s how it sounded (to an expat mom like) me. 

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This morning, as I was sitting in my fauteuil by the window, I watched my daughter tinker with the keys of the cabinet at the far end of the living room. She turned the key several times but didn’t realized she had already unlocked the door. She push and pulled the whole thing, shaking the vase, the jewelry box and all the knick-knacks on top of it, desperately hoping (I assumed) that something will fall. She gave up after a while and wobbled towards the kitchen where my mother was washing the dishes. I could hear her giggle when she opened the cupboard.

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The first time I got my period, my mother cut an old t-shirt into several rectangular pieces, piled them on top of each other and sew them on my underwear. I was the only one who knew about it but I was so embarrassed. Why in God’s name must I be made to wear this hideous thing when you can buy disposable ones?

For a kid who’s just about to start high school, the thought of my classmates finding out that I’m wearing pasador was terrifying. I could already imagine what they’ll say, especially the girls from the well-off families from town. “That’s so old-fashioned” and “disgusting”. Imagine having to touch all that blood while washing it. So I replaced the pasador with disposable pads.

After giving birth, it took me a while to get my regular period back. But as the amount of soiled diapers piled up (even though I’m using environment-friendly ones) , reaching for a piece of disposable sanitary pad gave me an overwhelming sense of guilt.

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