Wednesday, October 5, 2011
First Blood Pad Cake
I had my First Blood in a very public manner... I was 13, the 7th grade was just turning to end, and the school had a bicycle trip. I had white pants and my brother's bicycle, so when I lift my leg over the rod, the red shone to the whole world - except me, of course. I found out only when I came home and went to bathroom. Nice. I have had cramps through these 30 years, post menstrual migraines about 20 years, mood swings, depression, anxiety... my husband talks about his dragon wife. I have PMDD and it's only getting worse as I age. PMDD is "premenstrual dysphoric disorder" and sort of super-PMS. I'm 42 and childless. You could really say I have been through hell once a month for nothing.
Menstruation is just bothersome, an obstacle in living an active life and it makes it really difficult to feel clean.
I suppose the only thing I think menstruation is good for, is that you get "free" blood, without anyone needing to die, for magical purposes, to be used in blood magic and spells and as offering to Gods.
Anyway, I don't like the fact that I hate the natural functions of my body. I wish I could be more proud of that, of being a normal, natural woman, a member of the Bleeding Society, which is about 1/3 of world's population, the one thing that connects most women. I wish it wasn't such a taboo, that the ads would show menstrual blood red as it is, that we didn't need to hide and feel embarrassed and grossed out when speaking of it.
I don't know how the rites of First Blood work for other Pagans. I didn't have any and I'm glad for that. I'm glad I had three elder sisters, so that I could steal their pads and things, that I could tell my mother to buy me pads too, when it was time, and she didn't make a fuzz about it. Maybe I would have different relation to my menstruation is she had...
Red Tide Rising Stories
Blessed by the Moon - Initiation to Womanhood
My Little Red Book
Go our beneath the naked night: Bloody April
So - I have been thinking about the diaper cake, but building this with reusable menstrual pads and such.
The pictures are about diaper cakes, because I haven't seen a pad cake before and I haven't got the time or resources to build one just to illustrate this blog entry, and I don't have kids and my nieces are too old already, so there's no need for this right now, but perhaps I will do that one day.
What do you need?
To build a present cake you will need 3 groups of things:
- the "diapers" - or towels, pads, washcloths, study material or what ever it is you are using.
- the core and building aid, like rubber bands and such
- the decoration
Here's a picture tutorial for "unique" diaper cake. I think the Champagne bottle core is a great idea.
I know, if the girl is 12, it's not a good idea to give her alcohol, but this is her body saying she's an adult... adults do drink. She doesn't need to cork the bottle. She can save it to her 18th birthday or something. But it's a very clear way of telling that she indeed is becoming a grown-up, and to remind her of that it's not only bad things. Not that alcohol is a good thing per se, but it is a symbol of her responsibility of herself and her choices and her body, and what she does with it, and the freedom this responsibility includes. So, don't spoil the gesture by using non-alcoholic champagne or these "funny" champagne bottle bubble baths.
You also need a tray as the bottom for the cake. If you don't glue anything on it, or drill holes in it, you could get a tray the girl will be using in her future home. Trays are nice. Or cake plate
1) the reusable menstrual pads. Why not give the girl a starter kit plus; a dozen of everything, except two dozens of regular menstrual pads. Pantyliners, regular pads, extra liners and night pads. Don't forget the dry-wet-bag.
2) cleaning products. You need some eco-friendly washing detergent and stain removal. A box of salt works miraculously on blood. ;-) Also, add a pack of wet wipes. You can make those yourself.
3) ibuprofen. This was the only thing that gave me any help. Then I got fibromyalgia, and was ordered ketoprofen, which made it dangerous to use any profen at all, and now there's nothing that helps me. But - add a package to the pad cake, just in case.
4) pampering products. Nice soaps, creams and such. Be sure to avoid any antibacterial deodorant soaps for private parts. That leads to nothing but trouble and uncomfort. You can wash the outer area and hair the same way you wash the rest of your body, but never, ever wash the inner labia.
5) pretty underwear.
6) woman things. I don't know what the girl in question sees as things women have, but what ever it is, try to include some in the pad cake. It could be make-up. In my family there was a couple of rules: the kids were not allowed to drink coffee, or use make-up before they had their Confirmation. Now, Confirmation is a Christian thing, and Pagans don't do that, but the First Blood rite could (and should) be seen as the Confirmation.
You will need things like rubber bands, ribbons, flowers and such to keep the cake together and to decorate it. Choose a theme and stick to it. Red is a good idea :-D So is moon. Or choose both ;-)
How to make roses out of washcloths
Face cloth bunny or duckie