I love visiting our family in Fresno, I really do. I like to make fun of it sometimes because there’s not much else to do there, but I enjoy spending time with my wife’s grandmother and aunts. And I’m glad that our daughter gets a chance to meet her extended family and spends time with them.
What I don’t like is the underlying discomfort they have with our relationship. Especially since it’s a seemingly low-level annoyance they have which only bubbles up in indirect ways concerning our baby.
Lest you think I’m being indirect myself, let me explain in a short sentence:
They don’t know what to call me.
Too short? Let’s try again. They don’t how to refer to me in relation to the baby. Or maybe they do, but they can’t quite believe it enough to say it aloud. Just like they have, in the past, introduced me as my wife’s “friend,” they can’t seem to bring themselves to call me our baby’s mom.
For example: “Here are some gifts for Mom and Da………”
And: “Oh, don’t worry little one, your mo….. Natasha will change you.”
At first I thought it was a tranny thing, like the fact of it precludes me from being a mom. But ultimately I think it’s a lesbian thing. It’s as if they can’t believe that two people can have the same parenting “title.” Never mind that we’re two separate people with two unique personalities, and that calling both of us ‘Mom’ would somehow negate that is a ridiculous idea. There can be only one mom, in their eyes, and the other one is supposed to be a dad, right?
I try to correct it, but it’s hard to do it smoothly without making a big production of it. (And this is supposed to be a relaxing stay with family, not Queer 101) But I did find an opportunity to talk about it when Grandma brought the subject up herself (sorta).
Grandma (holding her great-granddaughter): You know, the first words babies say are ‘Mama,’ and ‘Dada.’
Me: Well, she probably won’t say ‘Dada’ since she’s got two Moms. A Momma and a Mommy.
Sometimes I wish we had named our baby Heather just so we could hand them this book and save us some time.
This song doesn’t fit with what I’m saying here, at all. But the chorus kinda does if you change one of the words, which is what I did while it was going through my head repeatedly as I wrote this.