Are parents delusional? Do I put on rose coloured glasses whenever I look at my daughter?
Missy is not a boy – mainly because she’s a girl. When she was a baby, I was constantly angered and confused with people who mistook her for a boy. Clearly she was female; it was so obvious that I was incredulous that anyone could make such a glaring error.
Looking back at baby photographs, with the clarity of distance, my daughter did sort of look like a boy at times. All babies, up to a certain age, could conceivably be either gender. Women are smart, they dress their babies in gender appropriate apparel so other women can instantly recognize and respond accordingly.
Men, however, are vastly different. Men – who can open the fridge door and be unable to find the butter, which is sitting at eye level on an otherwise empty shelf, can’t be expected to discern a child’s gender from obscure references such as pink or blue clothes. We need a sign, all you mothers. And I’m not talking about a sign like a hair clip indicating the baby is a girl, or a green T-shirt with a truck on it pointing you to a boy, I mean an actual sign. “I am a boy” stuck on a baby’s head would do, as would a baby carrying a mini placard “I am a girl”.
Fathers, of course, won’t generally need this for their own children, although my wife was somewhat worried for a time, when I kept calling our daughter “Charlotte”. (Note: her name is not Charlotte.”)
I see my daughter as the cutest, cuddliest little girl on earth, which she clearly is. But as with the whole boy/girl dilemma, what if other people see her differently? What if other people don’t see her as I do – a gentle and beautiful angel?
Well she is, people, OK! She is gorgeous, and I won’t hear another word about it! Good. Settled. So what about other children? Maybe their parents just don’t see them the way others do? The truth is, it actually doesn’t matter. Cute, crass, smart, not so smart, tall, short, big or small – my daughter is mine and my wife’s, and whatever her talents or shortcomings, she is loved, regardless. As a parent, what’s so wrong with thinking your child is wonderful? My friends with teenagers assure me there will be plenty of opportunities then to clash with brooding adolescents, so enjoy I this time when parents and toddlers are consumed with mutual love and adoration. As long as I recognize she has strengths and weaknesses, and accept them as being part of a balanced life, I am helping her become a rounded person.
Just like she helps me. The other day in the car, I hear a little voice… “Daddy, be careful of that taxi, don’t drive too closely please…”
Wise words from a 2-½ -foot tall back seat driver, and many more to come, I am sure.