Today, as my just two year old daughter was happily playing with a 4 year old classmate of hers, the little boy innocently asked "does Maggie have a daddy?" I was stunned by the question. I don't know why I wasn't more prepared to answer. I knew this kind of thing would be coming, but somehow I wanted to believe she was still too you to have to deal with the issue.
This little boy is a smart, persistent little guy, probably a future prosecutor. After looking to his dad who was on the phone and hadn't noticed the question, I finally mustered up "no, Maggie doesn't have a daddy, she has two mommies." The standard, gay textbook answer, right? Nope, not enough for the little guy.
"Why doesn't Maggie have a daddy, he said." He never questioned that she had two mommies, as he only has one. Not knowing what his parents would want me to share with him, my head was all jumbled up. Tripped up by a four year old...
Thoughts of Maggie's adoption, poverty, the complexities of gay baby making, and all sorts of other random stuff ran through my head.
I didn't know what to say next, so I just repeated myself "Maggie has two mommies. She doesn't have a daddy." The bright four year old looked a little perplexed, but let up on the prosecution as my daughter distracted him with a game she was playing.
I am sure the topic is just beginning as my daughter and family are growing closer to her classmates from mostly straight households.
Will I really need to talk to all these parents about how they want me to handle it, or do I just say what I think should be said? Probably the former, as I would want parents to talk to me first about what I would want said about other topics.
Oh, the work and joy of parenting...