Conversations With A Three Year Old. About Fathers. When He Has Two Moms.

I’ve been watching “Tidying Up” on Netflix. I like her style. I took her method to my son’s closet and dresser. I took all the clothes out. Packed up two massive garbage bags for goodwill and one plastic container for Summer stuff that will still fit them. Then refolded all their shirts, Tidy style, and I was feeling very proud of myself putting all the shirts neatly folded into their dresser. Declan was in the room with me, chatting with me and playing intermittently.

He took a toy and pretended it was a phone, he was whispering, “Hi, is Mama there?” he wasn’t looking at me. I was chuckling to myself still putting clothes away, “Okay, bye,”. The one sided dialogue was cute, and I turned to look at him when it was over, “Who were you calling baby?” I asked. Thinking I already knew the answer. Me. Mama.

His answer floored me.

“My Father,” (But it sounded like My Fawder because he’s three and talks funny).

Me (trying to act very casual and not freak out): “Who?”

Declan: “My Fawder,” he smiled.

Me: “Oh, uh, who’s your Father baby?”

Declan (takes a moment to ponder this question): “Uhhh, Mommy!”

Mommy is my wife. Who was not home at the moment. Declan was all smiles, glad he figured out who his Father is and resumed playing.

I sorta sat there for a minute with my perfectly folded shirts and wondered how or if I should pursue this line of thinking. Then I thought. Fuck it. At least he knows I’m not his Father. I mean sheesh. I’m Mama. My wife has short hair and no boobs hence I’m sure the confusion. Three year old’s don’t get gender and he probably just thinks she’s the male-ish figure.

I know other lesbian couples where the kids call one partner (generally a more butch-y partner) Daddy and they just let it ride. So that’s what I do.

I told my wife when she got home. She thought it was hilarious. She asked Dec who his Father was, and he smiled shyly and said, “Mommy,” and she smiled and gave him a hug.

Declan is wicked smart. I’m not just saying that because I’m his Mom. I’m brutally honest. Trust me I would say if my kid wasn’t smart. His brother, Jackson, also wicked smart, but lazy. He can do as much and say as much as Declan he just chooses not to unless or until it benefits him. Potty training. Didn’t do it for M&M’s or chocolate chips. Wasn’t the right motivator.

He did it when we started not allowing him to watch any movies until he went on the potty.

Jackson is a cuddle bug. That boy will cuddle with me at any time of day or night that I sit down. He’s attached to me. Declan will snuggle occasionally. And it’s not because he doesn’t like to snuggle. It’s because he’s so damn busy. He’s always taking toys apart and putting them back together. The other day I went into the other room and he had half of a jumbo 24 piece puzzle together. It was hard. It was the jungle. It all looks the same. The kid did it by himself. I’ve never even shown him how to do a puzzle and he wasn’t looking at the picture on the box to guide him.

But I digress.

My point is that he figured out kids have Moms and Dads. Mothers and Fathers. Then he tried to fit his family into that social construct. Mama is a girl obviously. I have long hair and I breastfed him for a year. I wear necklaces and he’s always touching my hair telling me he loves it.

But Mommy, that’s debatable in his eyes. Short hair. Dresses like she works at a paint store (because she does) and wears work boots and no jewelry.

So there you go. She fit the Father mold a little better than Mama (which is fine but for real I’m the one that uses the power tools). Then he assimilated that into a fact in his head and bingo bango a Father is born.

My wife doesn’t care. In fact we’ve talked about utilizing Father’s Day as her day and Mother’s Day as my day so we have separate days to celebrate one another. My kids sure don’t care. But there’s something niggling at me (yes that’s a word).

Why are society’s constructs so rigid that a three year old gets them better than he does his own family composition?

Sometimes people get mad when I reference heterosexual privilege. But I’m going to do it. Because hetero’s have privilege. EVERY movie in existence that is mainstream and three year old appropriate has hetero families and love interests. The boys love Disney movies. Guess what. All male/female. Everywhere. And when, God forbid Disney had Lafou dance with a man, there was moral outrage from every homophobic twat in existence. It was a dance. Not even a long dance. I wouldn’t even have recognized it as a gay moment if I hadn’t been looking for it.

Our society makes a two mom family seem less than, unequal by not giving my sons the same opportunities to see two mom families as hetero families in everything from the media to books to magazines to movies to filling out forms for freaking vaccinations. It’s always Mother/Father. What about Parent/Parent?

My three year old shouldn’t think he’s supposed to have a Father. But he does.

He’s just also smart enough to realize he has two parents who love him, and one of them obviously would fill the Father role better than the other one. Touche Dec-man.

(The picture is Dec reading to all of his doggies. I heard chairs scraping and came into the foyer to find the dogs lined up and him reading. He is defying gender stereotypes by reading from the Disney Princess Encyclopedia)

The 24/7 Shadow of A Homophobic/Transphobic/Racist/Sexist Administration on One Lesbian Mom.

I feel like every day there is so much happening that is appalling and terrifying. Today #45 lied about the “caravan of migrants” headed toward the US boarder and announced that his administration is pursuing discussion around getting rid of transgender definitions. Which is mind-boggling to me. It’s like saying we are going to get rid of the label female or male. You can’t just get rid of an entire population of individuals.

There is not a moment in my day that the shadow of a homophobic, transphobic, sexist, and racist administration running my country is not hanging over me. The worst part, and why those shadows never fully leave me, is because I don’t know who supports them.

Sometimes I do. I mean the big ass #45 sign’s give it away some times. But then there are surprises. The farmer across the street who is in the heart of Republican country put a lawn sign out for a Democrat. I was always scared of engaging too much with him because I thought he would not be accepting of our family. Though he has been nothing but kind to my family. Then I feel bad. Because I’ve missed an opportunity to engage with my neighbor due to my fear that he was another conservative farmer in my town.

Then I drive by a person’s house I know and see a Republican sign out front. And I’m thinking, wow. What. The. Fuck.

In the past I have always tried to be open and understanding of people’s views even when different from my own. But there is something different in the air for me now.

The further polarized the Left and the Right become the more I cannot ever agree with the Right. There are a few issues I consider non-negotiable: LGBTQ rights. This isn’t just about the right to be who we are, this is now about protecting my family. There are faces to this LGBTQ rights- they are my two sons, my wife, my niece, my sister-in-law, and my sister. These are real people. People I love and us all having full rights equal to heterosexual’s is 100% necessary and non-negotiable. For any one who thinks otherwise say it to my face. Please. Because to date, no one has. Say it to my two almost three year old son’s faces. Look into their eyes and say they don’t deserve rights and protection.

To hide behind religious rhetoric honestly just pisses me off. “Well they shouldn’t pay for the sins of their parents.” “I don’t hate you I just cannot accept your lifestyle.” “If you were just roommates it would be fine.”

These are things people have said to us. So basically because we have lesbian sex in the privacy of our home we should be discriminated against? I mean clearly they’ve never had lesbian sex otherwise they would definitely think otherwise;).

The other stuff I’m non-negotiable on is abortion and the right to choice, birth control being accessible to women (you know in order to avoid abortions. Freaking morons), immigration, increasing access to healthcare, decreasing the control pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies have over healthcare, and the tiny matter of gun control.

I stated “immigration” as if every one would just know what I mean. It’s a hard topic. I see refugees brought here through programs that only offer support for 4-6 months then plop. Deal with life in the USA. Then these individuals have to have jobs and pay rent and navigate society when they can barely speak English, look like they are from the Middle East, and face instant discrimination. Do I think this is the right way? No. I’ve seen it totally backfire and cost our states and federal government thousands of dollars. Is there a perfect answer? I don’t think so. I think the United States of America is this huge melting pot of imperfect shitheads who are all descended from immigrants and/or native Americans. So to block out more shitheads when we have built our country on their backs? That doesn’t make sense to me.

I am descended of Irish and Swedish immigrants. My Great-Grandmother came from Sweden in her teens and my great-great grandparents on my Dad’s side came from Ireland. Both sides of my family worked to integrate into America and here I am. An Irish-Swedish-American-Lesbian-Wife-Mom-Nurse. Take that #45.

Abortion. I couldn’t have one personally. But I firmly believe in a WOMAN’S choice.

Birth Control. For real. I can’t even believe this is a topic for debate.

Guns are bad. Keeping it simple because we have stupid people running our country. Our ancestors who made the constitution were not thinking of machine guns when they said a right to arms. They were thinking of the freaking Revolutionary War they were fighting and England’s intent to take away their defenses. They were thinking of single load rifles. Not M16’s. They were thinking of war. Not classrooms full of our babies. They would be ashamed of the way guns have evolved and that we are one of the few countries to not protect our citizens from them.

Healthcare. That’s too much to tackle today. Maybe tomorrow. Suffice it to say our system is broken and is run by millionaires on the backs of people living paycheck to paycheck.

These are my non-negotiable’s. These make it very difficult to meet in the middle with any one who identifies as a Republican. Because they do not come to the middle either. The argument could be made for us to both meet in the middle. But as I said. These are non-negotiable for me and I don’t see that changing. And I would never give up the rights of transgender individuals in order to keep the LGB rights. We are all on the same side, same team, and I will stand for everyone who identifies anywhere within the LGBTQ spectrum.

So this is where we stand. A divided nation. Right and Left. Nurse. Farmer. Millionaires.

These thoughts and shadows feel hopeless. But then I have moments. Watching my son’s learn to ride their bikes this weekend. Laughing with my sister as we put the bikes together. Watching my niece with my son’s. Seeing that they don’t know that their families are “not normal” and having hope that our children can do better.

That’s one of my son’s in the picture. Kissing his bunny. Because all he knows is love. Thankfully at this age he has yet to encounter hate. Love is innate. Hate is learned. One day he will know it. I’m sure. But for now I relish in his kisses, his snuggles, and their endless, positive, and hopeful love.