One of the most frequently asked questions we received when M was born was “how will you cope with questions about his dad?”. Being new parents we had our own ideas of ways to respond. Explaining he doesn’t have a dad, he has a donor and that to be honest it’s quite a personal question that shouldn’t just be blurted out on first meeting.
But over the last 5 years we’ve adapted to questions in our own ways. Sometimes the questions come with genuine sincere curiosity, sometimes they are out of the blue and too personal and other times they are aimed directly at our little man.
Since M started school it’s only normal that the curiosity of children has lead to him learning to answer the “dad” question. At Beavers a confused chap asked M why he called me Mama and that other lady over there Mummy. Which M responded with well she’s my Mama and she’s my Mummy, which was met with a “oh ok, shall we go play”. Another child asked why he had two mums instead of a Dad, which M replied with “Well I have a Mama, no Dad”. Then this week I got to witness how he responds to adults that make assumptions about his parents.
Whilst attending an appointment at the doctors a very lovely nurse referenced how tall M was and with me being almost Hobbit like she remarked that “you must have a very tall dad”. Without missing a beat M replied with “I don’t have a dad” and went back to playing. He wasn’t fussed by her assumption and was happy he’d cleared that up. A couple of minutes later a medical question caused me to refer to my wife and her expression changed, she was so apologetic to have made an assumption and commented on how well M dealt with it and seemed quite unperturbed by the remark.
As we left the doctors I praised him on how well he dealt with the situation and then started to consider how often he must respond to people’s assumptions without us being aware of the event. We’re not doing a bad job in raising a boy that thinks on his feet and deals with unpredictable questions. His parent set up may be different to all his friends and may create an opportunity for curious pals to question whom his parents are, but it doesn’t seem to have any detrimental impact on his life.
How can you not love that smile! he melts our hearts.