Father’s Day for a Girl with Two Mommies
June 15, 2008
Suppose you are four years old, and it’s the last day you will be attending your current pre-school, and it’s the week before Father’s Day and the children are scheduled to have a “picnic” (even though it’s inside) with their Dads and you have two mommies.
Random Granddaughter knew it was the last day she would attend this pre-school. She seemed to take it in stride, neither excited nor fretting. She knows her [dad/sperm donor], having figured out when she was three years old the man (with his partner) who visits her from time is her Dad. (So don’t try to pull any fast ones on RG, because she’s very alert to what’s going on around her.)
Anyway, [dad] lives in Chicago, so though he visits regularly, it isn’t just a half hour’s drive like it was from Grandpa’s work location that day who took a half day of vacation to be RG’s Dad for a day at the request of her mommies.
I was a little worried about being late (even though RG can’t really tell time yet), but I was the first Dad to arrive. RG brought in a mat for the picnic and several bags of snacks. She flipped the mat in the air so it would land properly on the classroom floor; it took about twenty flips until it landed to her satisfaction. She sat down across from me on the floor and handed out the picnic snacks: we got pretzels, goldfish crackers, edible-prodded peas, some grapes, and an individual package of grape juice.
Gradually, other dads and children wandered in. Kayla’s Dad sounded like he had an Australian accent. Monica and her Dad looked East Indian. Annika and her Dad were black; a tall slim man, her Dad looked remarkably like Barak Obama. RG interacted the most with Annika; they engaged each other in “Can you top this?” flights of fancy.
One little girl, Alexandra, drew my attention in an unnerving way. The combination of hair cut with a mature flip and a strangely adult-looking face created the appearance of a small 15-year-old teenager with a typical adolescent supercilious expression. The effect was so strange that I kept casting covert glances at her, but after watching her for a while I satisfied myself that she was talking and behaving like a normal four-year-old child.
The dads didn’t interact with each other very much. I suspected if there had been a group of mothers, there would have been quite a bit more chatter among the adults. However, all the dads seemed to be attentive and pleasant with their children.
RG presented me with an attractive Father’s day card she had created and illustrated.
I had been strictly instructed to make sure RG gathered all her belongings to bring home with her. She seemed pretty much on top of things, bringing along her school shoes, two coats, and various other paraphernalia and artistic creations. Unfortunately, I neglected to get her “emergency pack.”
“It’s pretty expensive,” Mommy (RG’s birth mother and my daughter’s out of law partner) lamented later. It holds enough high nutrition food and other essential items to help RG survive a serious disaster, such as a major earthquake. Mommy will have to stop by the school later to retrieve it.
After several days of rainy weather, it was pleasant to walk home in gentle sunshine. RG maintained a running monolog which I tried to follow as well as I could as she padded along beside me in her sandals. However, with many references to people and events unfamiliar to me, I was left a bit bewildered.
When we reached the far end of the block leading to her house, RG decided to lie down in the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street. She lay on her face in the grass and told me that she was tired and going to take a nap.
After a few minutes, I suggested we continue going to her house. “No, I’m staying here,” she replied. I walked about 30 paces and looked to see what she was doing. She was looking at me, but immediately put her face down in the grass.
I sensed she was working on provoking a major confrontation with Grandpa. RG may only be a pre-schooler, but when it comes to drama queen theatrics, she’s a second-grader at least.
I walked back to her and said, “If I get home without you, Mommy will be very unhappy when she gets home and finds no Random Granddaughter. She will say, ‘Where did you leave RG, Grandpa?’ I will have no good answer.”
RG was silent for a few minutes. Finally, she said, “You walk home. I will follow you in a while.”
I began walking. I did not look back. After I had passed about ten houses, I heard, very faintly, the “clippity-clip” of sandaled feet running. The sound stopped for a bit and then resumed. Eventually, I reached the little house and went in the gate. As I reached the porch, a little form appeared beside me.
“Hello, RG,” I said. “You surprised me.”
“I went so quietly behind you, you couldn’t hear me,” she gloated. I made no remarks about clippity-clip sandals giving her steps away. I don’t think I need to give her any ideas. She’s generating plenty. If by chance, RG’s future mate is reading these postings, prepare yourself for “interesting times.” Life with RG will be neither dull nor easy.