Monday, April 23, 2012

When Wilbur Met Henry

“You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." -Friedrich Nietzsche

Peanut's first lesson in what is a hot-button issue in this country (but shouldn't be) came as a result of another one of my ridiculous antics.

She was playing with some Lego stickers that were in the goody bag from the birthday party she had attended that day. As Peanut made little men and women on the page - bodies, heads, and hats - I began to line up her farm animal figures that were still on the floor from a play session earlier that morning. (I had also included Luna's lamb toy, "Lamba," for added comedic affect.) After all, Peanut needed a bigger audience:


Then, mostly because my efforts weren't getting nearly the attention they deserved (you can't interrupt Peanut during her creative process), I made the pig and goat kiss each other.

"Look, sweetie. They love each other."

Peanut grimaced. At first, I thought it was because a pig was kissing a goat. Then I realized that it could be because both of these animals are boys. (I knew she had named the pig "Wilbur," after the character in Charlotte's Web. And my years of zoological study brought me to the conclusion that the goat was also a boy because it had horns.)

So I asked her what the goat's name is, just to see if my ingenious hypothesis was correct.

"Henry," she answered.

I knew it. "Wilbur and Henry love each other," I said.

The happy couple
"But boys are supposed to kiss girls. Not other boys," she insisted. Uh, when did my sweet little Peanut become a homophobe?

"Sometimes boys and girls love each other," I explained.

"And they get married," Peanut interjected.

"Yes. Just like mommy and daddy. But boys can love other boys and get married. And girls can love other girls and get married."

Then I looked at My Director for reassurance. Not that I was correct, but that we were actually having this conversation all because I had made a pig and goat kiss. She gave me an affirmative nod.

We then gave Peanut examples of same sex couples we know, whose children she knows and plays with. She seemed satisfied with all of this and returned to her stickers.

And this concluded our first lesson in same sex relationships. The complexities of the politics can wait.

This instance reminds me of one of my all-time favorite posts, where I tackled the topic of gender. You can read it here.

14 comments:

  1. Great post! Funny how those little moments can turn into life lessons.

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    1. I know. Totally unplanned. But necessary.

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  2. Aside from the great learning opportunity I liked how showed you and your wife working as a team.

    I think Wilbur and Henry make a cute couple.

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    1. They do seem happy. And they have the support of all of their friends too. That helps.

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  3. Please know that I'd drink a pretend toast at Wilbur and Henry's same-sex inter-species wedding... however, I hope you are prepared to write a follow up post to this detailing what happens when she repeats what you said. Whether its to a teacher, a parent who disagrees or to the child of a parent who disagrees. There is no shortage of close-minded people on this topic.

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    1. I think it's safe to assume I'd fire off a rant about the first bigot who tries to tell my daughter what I told her was wrong.

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  4. I like the way you said just enough to cover the basics, without getting into complicated details... my problem is I often don't no when to stop:)

    Consequently, when I look across to my 'director' (albiet too late) she's making desperate looking 'cut' motions with her hand. Thanks for the timely lesson.
    Adam.

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    1. Oh, MY Director gives me that sign quite often. And she also calls for many retakes.

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  5. Is Wilbur really Henry's type? I mean Wilbur's pretty short and Henry's got the horns going on.

    In all seriousness, I'm glad you tackled that topic with her rather than just brush it off. Sounds like you handled it perfectly. Good on ya!

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    1. Thanks... and I think Henry pulls the horns off rather well.

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  6. I've learned the more difficult the topic, the stronger the lesson learned. You and the Director did good. Tell Wilbur and Henry I wish them the best.

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    1. Will do! The wedding is next month in Vermont.

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  7. Just a side note: all goats have horns ( we raise goats and my daughter is an expert and if i didnt mention that she would be highly offended) that said that is a very cute way to explain this! a very close friend of mine id a lesbian and she has a son a little over a year older than my daughter, she has also had a couple girlfriends after her same sex marrige to my daughters biological paternal grandmother ended...yea that conversation was interesting! so she has always knowen about it...but i sorta wish i could have explained it with animals instead!

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    Replies
    1. Add goat anatomy to the growing list of things that Daddy Knows LESS. I intend on filling a book with things I don't know. ;-)

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