25

I have zero expectations about my daughter's future relationships

I think my solution is to refrain from assumptions altogether when I'm in public. I'll stop playing along with other's comments about her getting married one day, or meeting a man, or whatever. At home, I'll adopt new words into my vernacular with her. I'll illustrate differences through play — I can show her two girl Barbies kissing and two Ken dolls kissing.

20

How can we transition step-children and half-siblings into a unified family?

I married a wonderful fella and his two daughters last June. We both feel like the four of us are doing fairly well with the transitions, and now it looks like we're adding to our family in October. The girls knew we hoped to, which meant that they were not surprised when we told them. They weren't enthusiastic, either. I'm not expecting them to be, at least not yet, but I am curious about how best to proceed.

30

My 5-year-old cut off my hair and learned about what beauty really is

It is somewhat hard to begin this story because it could start in so many places. Like when I was younger and my theatre teacher told me to grow my hair out because I needed to look more "feminine;" or the countless times I have seen ads, commercials, or any other media outlet showing beautiful women with equally gorgeous, flowing hair. It could also start when we found out my mom had cancer, although she was more frightened about losing her breasts than her hair. Most recently my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Olivia, came home from her preschool and announced she needed to have long hair to be "pretty" and it wouldn't hurt if I could put her in a dress for school. Initially I didn't think much of that comment, but it bothered me.

112

Sex Ed and the four-year-old

One summer evening, I piled the kids into the car for a pre-bed ice cream run. As we're waiting in an impossibly long drive thru line, my 4 year old pipes up from the backseat, "Mommy, turn this music down. I need to talk about things."

I cooperate and turn the radio off, asking what she wants to talk about.

"Let's talk about babies."