How to Be a Daddy

But I don’t want to be a boy, I wanna be a girl, Mama!

 

I knew this discussion would come at some point, and probably soon. And probably a few times!  But I still found it rather hard to not a) gasp in horror and b) laugh my head off when Cameron asked me if I could … ah … snip something off.

 

No, I’m not about to get into trans-gender discussions with him. This is a normal stage. I’m told I once ran out of the bathroom with a toilet paper roll between my legs and announced I was now a boy. In front of company. It happens.  And he’s a boy with a lot of girl-friends, and with a lot of women in his life.

 

I tried at first all of the standard, “but I like that you’re a boy,” “boys are awesome,” and even, “Cutting it off wouldn’t turn you into a girl, it’d hurt a whole lot, and you’d look really silly, a boy without a penis.”  He still seemed sad and confused.

 

Okay. So I asked him why he wanted to be a girl.

 

I want to be a Mommy.

 

Ah-hah. I tried reasoning with him. He could still be a Daddy – a great Daddy.

 

Oh, yeah. But he still looked a little uncertain, with wee lines between his eyebrows and a slight pout.

 

But I’m worried Mama. If I have a son, I’m not going to be the best Daddy he could have, but he’d be the best son ever, but I wouldn’t be the best Daddy.

 

Cue tears from me … almost. I held them back.  I’d thought that this was because he wanted to be like Grace and Beth, but no … this stemmed I’m sure from dinner last night. Brianna, his friend from Karate, had a bunch of questions about why Cameron’s father was never with us. I let Cameron answer some, and the topic of how his father left because he couldn’t be the best Daddy for Cameron came up. She’s adopted, and knows about it, so this concept is familiar to her.

 

I asked him why he thought he wouldn’t be the best Daddy.

 

He thought a moment, and then shrugged. I don’t know how.

 

I asked him to think about the Daddies he did know. What did they do that made them great?

 

He shrugged, and curled up in my arms in a snuggle.

 

I gave him a moment, but nothing seemed to be coming. So I asked if they do anything different from what Mommies do.

 

This he thought about. I find giving him a moment to digest ideas and formulate his own thoughts helps a lot, far more at least sometimes than leading him.

 

A Daddy is just like a Mommy?

 

Pretty much, I said. Mommies and Daddies both love their kids, both teach them, both do fun things with them.

 

But Daddies are boys and Mommies are girls.

 

Yup. I suggested he might want to talk with Leif about this – after all, Leif is a great Daddy. And he might have some ideas that I’m missing out on.

 

I’m glad you’re a girl, Mama.

 

A pause.

 

You’d look really funny with a penis.

 

Yeah. I agree.

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