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He’s had a tendency lately to ask questions simply to ask them; he knows the answers, he’s just looking for conversation. So:

“It’s a punctuation mark. The dot at the end of a sentence.”

“No, not that period. I mean a period.”

“Um. Like…ah…it’s when…you see…there’s a…uh…where did you hear the word? How was it used?”

“In a movie. I think a girl was talking about it. Her long period.”

“A movie? What movie?”

“Am I in trouble, Dad? You let me watch the movie, you know.”

“No, you’re not in trouble. What movie?” Did I inadvertently let him watch The Blue Lagoon? When? While I was busy writing my Dad Of The Year acceptance speech?

“No, you’re not in trouble. What movie?”

“Uh…I think it was Iron Man 2.”

“Iron Man 2? And they were talking about periods?”

“Yeah. Black Widow! She said she was having a long period.”

“You sure?” Well, major PMS might explain this.

“Yes. A long period of time!”

“Oh. Of time. Well, a period is just that – a block of time. Like a few minutes, or a few days. Like the two halves of a rugby match. Or a weekend.”

He paused to process. The 6-year-old mind has little sense of the enormity and persistence of Time; everything is right around the corner, or will never happen at all. “So a period could be like now, before Halloween?”


He considered this. “So, a period is also a certain time of the month.”