Friday, June 04, 2010

Can a girl be a daddy?

Tonight's bedtime conversation started out a little challenging, and ended up beautifully.

Charlie asked if a girl can be a daddy. I explained that mummy and daddy were essentially just the names for girl parent and boy parent, and so no, a girl can't actually be a daddy. Charlie impressed me with his next question: "Can a girl call herself a daddy?".

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy - Yes, a girl can call herself a daddy, I was please to be able to say. Thinking of Lesbian Dad for one, I explained that if a family has two mummies, one might call herself daddy so there aren't two people called "Mummy" in the one house, or for whatever other reason - a girl can call herself whatever she wants.

Because these kinds of conversations never end here, Ben asked if there had ever been a daddy involved in the parenting of the kids with two mummies. Well, yes, because biologically, technically, a baby needs egg and sperm from a woman and a man, but they don't have to actually live as a family. So Ben says "So they don't have to get married, they can just go together for a while to make the baby?". Well, yeah, but since you can freeze sperm, you don't even actually have to meet the man if you don't want to, but there are a number of options. Some people also adopt children into their family.

BUT, I carefully explained, you need a man and a woman to make a baby, but you don't need them to make a family. A family can have a mummy and a daddy, or two mummies or two daddies, one parent or even three people. I know a family, I told rapt faces, with two daddies and a mummy (taking some poetic license with the story - I doubt they would ever have used that description of themselves). Ben, ever the pedant, asked if you could also have two mummies and a daddy. Indeed, I told him.

Then Charlie announces, in earnest:
I want to have two mummies and a daddy and no babies and no toddlers.
So this is his plan for adulthood - he's not asking me to find another partner. He's made it clear recently that he's not planning on having kids when he grows up.

Ben follows this logically and says: That means you have to marry two people.

Charlie: Do I have to marry people?

Me: No, you don't have to get married, lots of people don't.

Charlie: How do I get married?

Me: You have a ceremony and a party.

Charlie: Naaah, I'm not going to anyway.

Ben: I'm not getting married either.

Me: You don't want to get married?

Ben: No, well, I don't want to do the stuff before it.

Me: What stuff?

Ben: You know, the dancing.


I loved it all. So far my boys have aspired to be homosexual, poly and asexual - one of them wants kids and the other doesn't. Sadly for him, the same one wants to be asexual and have children, but I'm sure he'll change his mind again before the reality bites. I hope we can keep this openness and total lack of judgement alive for a while longer.


  1. I knew there was going to be a punchline but I so did NOT see that coming! I seriously love Ben :-)

  2. Well the Boy is unco, dancing would be a concern. Hehe

  3. Your boys make me happy and hopeful. :)

  4. @Mim - no, I didn't see it coming either.

    @Nerida - well, yes, although not being Southern Baptist, I didn't realise dancing was a prerequisite for marriage.

    @Aphie - Hi! :) Ben intends to save the world - morally and practically, so the future is safe. :)