1. What matters is whether or not they talk about it in the house, not whether or not they’ve personally experienced it. Do they ever have friends in the house that might of that particular stage in life?

  2. Wikipedia says Alix is ten, rather than eight. But in any case she’s a budding naturalist — she specializes in sea critters, but I recalll her also being interested in and wanting to adopt snakes, lizards, etc. So she’s probably pretty well up on the facts of reproduction, though she may be a little shaky on what the “marriage” part has to do with the biology of it all.

  3. If you spend time with Grandma, and she’s a certain age, you learn about hot flashes no matter how young you are.

  4. Are you all assuming that hot flashes stop after a while? They do for some women, but I know a woman in her 80s who’s still flashing. I personally have been flashing for 17 years now. They do diminish as time goes on, and happen less frequently, but I don’t expect them to stop.

  5. “Are you all assuming that hot flashes stop after a while?”

    Well, I mean, eventually it’ll stop, for good. So will the taxes, though that can take a bit longer.

  6. I stand corrected: Not having canvassed many complete strangers, I assumed that what was normal for a few close family members was normal for over half of the human population.

  7. As a child we were told that people got married and “showed their love for each other” – which to a child is kissing – and the mom gets pregnant and has a baby. I also learned before I was 5 that sometimes something happens and the mom is not pregnant and there is no more baby to be born. (I had always associated this with an aunt, which I now understand to be, having a miscarriage,but based on the questions I remember asking, it might have been my mom’s miscarriage.)

  8. I had hot flashes for several years. Now I get some odd version of them. Like a comic character I went from being hot all the time my entire life to freezing cold after the changes. However, even now some 5 years after, I will suddenly get so hot that my sweatshirt has to be ripped off (tee shirt under it). However, before the sweatshirt is completely off, I am freezing again and have to put it back on. Then sometimes I sit with the sweatshirt on over one arm and with the sweatshirt on that side and the other arm and side out of the sweatshirt as one side is freezing and the other side HOT. Or the one that makes me wonder if my brain is running to much and overheating – I am freezing from the neck down and my head feels like it is in a fire.

    Robert finds it all pleasantly amusing – but not in a way that annoys me.

  9. Meryl A, Yeah, there are as many kinds of hot flashes as there are women who have them. (About 80% of women, some time in their lives.)

    At present my flashes occur at night, so I fling off the covers and turn on the ceiling fan, and it feels so good I go back to sleep, only to wake a short while later freezing my… off.

  10. Chak – EXACTLY! Except sometimes in the middle of taking off the covers – I start to freeze and the go back on without actually being off of me.

    About 10 years – when getting the hot flashes were more common – we were at a St Patricks Parade our reenactment unit does (which is generally around a week before the actual holiday so it is even earlier and a often a bit colder). This was one of the colder years. I had on my reenacting clothing and a felted wool full length cloak. Not quite as warm as jeans and a heavy winter jacket. We would get to the meet up site a couple of hours early as we wanted to make sure we could get our van into the parking there as husband, the commander, was responsible for bringing the cartridges (paper and black powder) and we stored them in the van during the parade and everyone in the unit knows to met at the van. I did not want to be a wimp and sit in the van, so I was outside with the guys (and I mean guys, there are only a couple of other women who on and off come to be in the parade). I was bouncing up and down to keep warm. Then the flash hit. I said out loud to myself “oh, now I feel warmer”. One of the fellows, of an age to understand, started laughing as he figured out what I meant. Unfortunately that was the last flash of the parade.

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