not the daddy
I have always insisted that I am not the daddy. The point of being a lesbian couple is that we’re 2 women. There’s no ‘man’ in our partnership, and no ‘father’ in our family. So when people ask ‘who’s the father’, we smile as politely as we can muster and say “our kids have 2 mommies” and move along, quickly, before the ‘well, but…’ can catch us and reel us in.
The subject of my last post was an article that says the presence of a baby triggers the desire centre in the female brain akin to the way one might salivate at the sight of a piece of chocolate or mug of chilled beer or … one’s beautiful not-so-new maroon Kona Dew. It suggests this might be a way of ensuring a mother’s attention and it goes on to say that fathers are unaffected by this phenomenon (straight men parenting with straight women that is – while the study may mention gay men and single dads, the article doesn’t).
Obviously, I am NOT a dad. I AM affected. And I can prove this because I exhibit the same exhausting sleep pattern as my partner. According to a co-sleeping study described in Bunchfamily.ca, straight fathers, unlike their female partners, are not impacted by the negative side of co-sleeping, which includes a profound lack of sleep and a mountain of stress. I’m a mum! (Yes, my partner is mom, I’m mum.)
All of this leads me to my observations on our first visit to our Lileith’s public elementary school. To help our little ones navigate the classroom with parent(s) in tow, the school had organized a scavenger hunt and provided a list of things to do, such as finding the child’s favourite play area, finding the cloak room. The first line surprised me, “Show Mom and Dad…”, until I read the second, third, fourth…. I think you get the idea. Bristling, I picked up a thick kid-grade pencil and scratched out ‘Dad’, replacing it instead with ‘Mom’. So now it read “Show Mom and Mom…” all the way down the page. It was quite satisfying, temporarily. My partner and I agreed that if we were going to raise the subject of Lileith’s 2 mommies, now was the time.
It’s a sticky subject in a multicultural environment with a high percentage of religious affiliations, but as I pointed out to Lileith’s teacher, it’s not sticky for our little girl. She knows who her mommies are and she needs to see her family in her school environment; in what she reads, when she plays, and from the most influential person in her class. Thankfully, our child’s teacher was quite apologetic and completely understood our concerns – he also pointed out that other kids in the class might be living with grandparents, foster families or in single parent families. By the next day, he had followed up with his colleagues and brought books into the classroom that introduced families of all sorts of stripes, including 2 moms or 2 dads. I’m impressed!
I’m not the daddy. I’ll take the lack of sleep and the challenges to come because being a mum to my 2 amazing kids … rocks!