Three Part Post

Part 1:

I want a great list of witty retorts to questions that can feel hurtful (although they may be said innocently) when lesbians first become moms.

An example of such a question is “Who is the mom?” Or “Which one of you is the real mom?”

The problem is, I’m not so agile with the witty retorts. My stock answer is “Both of us!” I need more. I want to give co-moms an arsenal of responses. Can you help? What else would you say? What other questions fall into this category? I actually had more questions thrown at me about my son’s race when Cakie was little, since I’m white and he was more cafe au lait. Anyway, I’d love your input.

Part 2:

Cakie met baby Jo yesterday! It was a whole world of cuteness right here in my living room. Jo shared his unbridled giggles and adorable chunky leg rolls, while Cakie whipped out his big brother skills when faced with the greater challenges of navigating a seven-month-old’s more agile moves like taking toys and being swatted in the face. I was proud of Cakie’s patience and restraint. I was impressed by Jo’s yumminess. After Jo left, I said something about little Trucker to Cakie. And he said, “And big baby Jo! He’s a lot… taller!”

Part 3:

My b00bs hurt.  I just needed to let you know.  Thanks, as usual, for listening.

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10 Comments

Filed under b00b food, blogitty blog blog, My Book, my son

10 responses to “Three Part Post

  1. Witty retorts… haven’t needed an arsenal, because nobody has been stooopid enough to ask the ‘real mom’ question. A few people have been overly curious, though. I’ve found that saying, “We’re both her moms. Are you asking which one of us carried her?” puts the nosiness front and center.

    Lately, we’ve noticed that kids in her class have questions, sometimes for us, sometimes for K.

    Kid: “Who are YOU?”
    Me: “K’s mom.”
    Kid: “She already HAS a mom, over there.”
    Me: “I’m her mom too.”
    Kid: “Oh, ok.”

    [Note: the next day the same kid yelled “K, your moms are here!” when he saw us coming in the door.]

    ***

    Kid: “How come you have two moms?”
    K: “I don’t know, how come you have a dad and a mom?”
    Kid: “I don’t know.”

    [Kid and K return to playing, whilst Kid’s dad is tripping all over himself to apologize. I tell him we don’t mind at all. Kids have questions, and K’s answer was great. She’s heard our “there are all kinds of families” explanation, but that’s a mouthful for a four year old. She keeps it simple.]

    ***

    Sorry about your b00bs. Can’t empathize, but can still sympathize, right?

  2. Lo

    I don’t have any great retorts, but I want some. People always think Jo is mine, biologically, and then get startled when Co whips out the boobs. Makes for some fun.

    We loved hanging out with Cakie and Trucker!!!

  3. alli k

    THANK YOU to Bree for recognizing the difference between empathy and sympathy and using both words correctly.

    As for the witty retorts, I am not so good at those myself. In your case, however, I could see myself going for the questioning approach. “Well, that depends. How do define real”? How do you define “mom”? I can’t really answer you until I understand the question.” In my professional life, I have found that this approach usually leaves the counterparty searching for a foothold.

  4. Co

    I look nothing like my son, but if it’s just me and him, people assume I’m his bio mom.

    I once had a random woman in a bodega ask me, “He looks like his daddy?” I didn’t have a good retort at the time, but someone came up with, “I wouldn’t know.” I’m totally using that if it ever happens again. It doesn’t reveal too much detail to random bodega whoever, but it’s got the kind of shock value such nosy questions deserve.

    Although… I think having a kid brings out the nosy in people. I can’t believe how many random acquaintances felt like they could ask me if I’d had an epidural or if I was breastfeeding. (And what are the correct answers to those questions??? Just sayin’… some people want to validate their own parenting choices, so they may not like my answers. But why is it their business?)

  5. alli k

    Well, maybe it’s not their business, but at least it shows they care in some way. If you lived in a traditional village, everyone would know everything about you anyway (trust me on this one; I grew up in a town with an official population of 497, and that number was probably inflated). In the city, you get used to not having personal social interactions with people you don’t really know who aren’t trying to scam you. There is something about the presence of a child that allows people to interact in ways they wouldn’t otherwise (both good and bad). In my experience, intrusive questions abound regardless of whether the child is “yours” or a niece or the kid you are paid to take of.

  6. I have to add on to what Cakie said about Jo. My honey told me this is what he said to her, “And baby Jo… He’s bigbigbiggier. He’s big like me. And like you.”

    Woah! He must have grown inside Cakie’s head after he left, if he seemed as big as my honey. Go Jo.

    Alli K, good point. We lose sight of that village thing in the big city. I guess it is a little more annoying than if we actually lived in a traditional village, since most of these people won’t see you again. And they didn’t even bring us a goat when the baby was born. Not even a rooster.

  7. mer

    Not having been a mom for very long, I haven’t gotten the “whose the real mom” question really (esp since everyone knows I’m not boob mama). But one question that really threw me was when I told my higher up that my partner was pregnant, the first word out of her mouth was not “congratulations!” or “how far along is she?” but simply a flat “how?”!! I was pretty taken aback and at my hesitation she said, “oh is it a secret?” This of course peeved me even more. I think I said no, but then refused to engage her any more and turned to a friend standing around with us (yes, this was in a group context). I keep wishing I had had a quick rejoinder! And still hope for a moment when I can use it with her…

  8. I don’t have any helpful retorts for these questions yet. Though I have already decided that if anyone asks me who the dad is, I am definitely going to say, ‘the milkman.’

  9. Oooo! Here’s another answer to that question:
    “The cryobank won’t tell me.”

    Or,
    “Your guess is as good as mine.”

    How about, “The dad? Oh, neither of his moms identifies as the dad.”

    My honey adds: “None of your goddamn business.” She’s so sweet.

  10. When my daughter was younger (maybe five?), my sister and her partner were considering ttc. Two moms didn’t confuse her, but the process of how the baby switched from one uterus partway through to the other did… 🙂

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