Saturday, July 30, 2011

it's complicated

Two completely unrelated things happened today which are worth noting. Punkin likes to talk about "dad" and even calls respite workers, summer school employees, and perfect strangers "daddy" with a great deal of enthusiasm. This is not embarrassing in the least. I'm sure he's picked up the word from seeing other children with their fathers at school and from seeing father figures on television, most recently on Word Girl.

I've been trying to figure out the best way to approach this subject, as he doesn't have any relationship with his father at all; therefore the concept of what a dad is and what a dad does is difficult to explain, especially to someone with limited comprehension skills. Do I just keep saying, "No, he's not your dad; he's so-and-so" and leave him wondering "Well, then who is dad?" And then if I talk about him more often, is he left secretly wondering where the heck this guy is and when he's coming over to play? Bottom line, I don't want to leave him hurting. And then, of course, maybe I'm just projecting my own feelings onto the situation; maybe Punkin doesn't give a hoot.

So this morning he's playing with some paper kites that he made at summer school with one of the most patient young women I have ever met in my short life and he says, "Where's the dad?" We found the dad kite; I grabbed his baby book off the shelf and sat down, "Here's Punkin's dad. Here's your dad. This is Dad."

"Ya. Dad." He smiled.

"Ready to go?"

"Let's get outta here."

So we went to an outdoor festival in the city to watch some friends play in their band, which brings me to the second even worth mentioning. He saw an older friend go dance and wanted to join him. So I got up.

"Sit down!"

"Honey, I have to come." I walked a few paces.

"Stay right der!"

"I will just watch."

He practically ran away from me, stood and twirled in front of the stage, and then noticed the growing line of people grabbing each other's backs to form a train. He hopped right in -- with mom. When we joined Oma after the song his first words were, "I DID IT!"


Jennie said...

Aww, what a sweetie he is. And I am going with the projecting theory (no offense). Don't worry about him - he's doing fine.

Kristiem10 said...

I think you have handlded the situation perfectly. Showing him the baby book is a good idea. You are doing a wonderful job with him, Erika, dad or no dad.

Miss Megan said...

You're by far the best mom I've ever met and I can only hope to have as much courage, patience, and love for my child as you do for yours. Love you both :)