29 October 2005

Conversation on the Phone

Another shared topic of conversation between Curious Girl and a Scrivener girl. Politica is out of town, visiting her ailing father, and Curious Girl had this to say when they talked this evening:

Curious Girl: Mommy, what are you doing?
Politica: I'm at the grocery store getting some medicine.
CG: Mommy, you're a daddy.
P: Curious Girl, that's silly. I'm a mommy.
CG: No, you're a daddy.
P: Can I be a daddy and a mommy at the same time?
CG: yes

When I asked Curious Girl why she wanted Mommy to be a Daddy, she just said "I don't know" (but then, she's a little younger than Ella, who articulated a more specific reason for her genderbending desires).

The funny thing is, years ago we had friends with a probably 3 year old son who divided all pairs of animals and people into mommys and daddys, and he definitively stated on more than one occasion that Politica was the daddy in our family. Go figure.


Scrivener said...

How funny that CG and Ella keep working on similar wavelengths!

I didn't know how much to try to push Ella to articulate what she was thinking during our conversation. I mean, she was also clearly being silly and joking around and I was trying to be careful not to cut off her humor by trying to analyze it too much.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I wish grown-ups had as fluid a conception of gender roles and family structure as kids do.

Genevieve said...

J. has friends at Hebrew School who have two moms. At Yom Kippur, one of the aliyahs was for all non-Jewish spouses, to honor them for the work they do raising their kids Jewishly. I told J. about this, and how one of the moms (the one they call Eema [Hebrew for Mom]) went up. He said, but Mama, that's weird! They call her Eema, but she's not Jewish! (I explained that since the kids were Jewish, they could certainly choose a Hebrew name for one mom.)

My husband and I thought it was cool that _that_ was the only thing J. thought was weird. He's completely accepting of the two-mom thing, even though this is the first family like that he's met. Guess our comments over the years sank in!

Yankee T said...

I totally love Curious Girl!

susan said...

She is one loveable kid, for sure! It is always a tough call as to how to respond to some of these sorts of conversations, since too many questions can definitely stop her talking, but at the same time, I'm usually dying to figure out what's going on inside her head. I usually try to give her enough encouragement so she knows it's OK by me that she's experimenting with whatever kinds of relational thinking, so if she wants to play at being or having various kinds of parents or other relations (babies, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers), it's all good. (One night she said to me, while caretaking one of her teddy bears "I being both the mamas." And once when she told me I should be the daddy and she would be the mama, I said "OK. What does a daddy say?" and she dropped her voice down low and said "Hi, Curious Girl.")

Genevieve, your story reminded me of what Politica's father said to one of our friends at our wedding reception. Politica's dad is an interesting mix of open-mindedness and clueless conservatism (he votes Republican but used to call us and say "so, any progress on the gay marriage out there?" in a tone that suggested he thought that any day now, despite the people he kept helping to vote into office, the midwest would change marriage policies). And while he's not at all religious, he thinks that people should either be not at all religious, or be mainline Protestant (anything else is weird). So our Quaker wedding with no minister, no church, no bridesmaids, no aisle, no hymns etc was definitely not what he thought weddings were all about. But at the post-reception dinner back at our apartment he said to one of our friends, "I just don't understand why they didn't have any meat." So all the other weirdness was fine, but the vegetarianism!!! too much.

Natalie Bennett said...

A long time ago when I was a (very bad at it) teenage babysitter, one of my charges, aged about four, piped up suddenly one day to announce that I was "now a mummy". Further enquiry revealed that it was because he heard I'd got my driver's licence - and that was what "mummies" did - drive people around.