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.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of parenting dilemmas posts.
I saw my son with a mug of hot cocoa, piled high with marshmallows of course, concentrating furiously over his newest level of Angry Birds. As if in a mental split screen, I also saw him running around the ski lodge, frantically calling for my husband while nearby adults tried to help.
Most parents discuss a lot of firsts their kids may experience with anticipation — first steps, first words, and so on. I'm pretty sure most of us aren't counting down the days until our child screams "I HATE YOU!" at us, but I love the solution this mom came up with: if your kid says she hates you, just go out and get her a cake.
I think a lot of parents have those "I swear I will NEVER do that to my child" rules and this has always been one of those concerns for me. My experience of exclusion and embarrassment has made me want to treat every child I come in contact with as an equal.
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.
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.
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."
My son's first birthday is fast approaching, and I am debating whether or not to make him a cake. He hasn't eaten anything with sugar (other than the sugars naturally found in fruit and breastmilk) and I would like to keep it that way as long as possible.