The Best Way To Explain Where An Absent Dad Is
May 5, 2011
I worked from home on Tuesday, so JD and I met our friends at the park. It was more exciting than usual, because my friends Amy and Ed, brought along their two-week-old baby girl, Audrey Marina (squeeeee). JD and their older daughter, Lily, have been buddies since before they started walking, when I met Amy at the library for Mommy & Me story-time. On the way to the park I prepped JD for the event.
“We’re going to meet Lily’s little sister,” I said.
“No mommy, it needs to come out of Amy’s belly?” JD said.
“It came out!” I said.
“It did?” he asked. “How.”
“Amy had a new baby girl at the hospital and everyone brought her balloons and flowers,” I said.
This satisfied him. Thankfully, I did not have to answer the where-do-babies come from question. Yet.
At the park JD met Audrey. “She is little and I need to be gentle,” he said. (O.M.G—the cuteness!)
And I held Audrey the entire time (I forgot how tiny an 8 pound baby is). I only gave her up when she needed to be breastfed—actually when Amy noticed her going for my boob.
After two hours, we called the kids over and they completely ignored us and kept right on playing. I got up and tried to get them. “Come on guys!” I said. “Time to go home.” JD came running over to me. “Come on, Lily, Mommy and Daddy are leaving,” I said.
“No, mom, that’s Lily’s grandpa!” JD said.
He associates most men as grandpas and uncles. I think this is sweet and speaks volumes of the men in his life, but I also think it’s important to correct him.
“No silly, that’s Lily’s daddy!” I said.
JD didn’t ask where his daddy was, but if he did, I would say (per direct advice from a child psychologist I consulted), “Indiana—but remember, some kids just live with their mommies—like you and me! Then I would change the subject to, “What should we eat for dinner?” Simple, quick and then distracting. It's all a three-year-old needs right now.