“Ima, do you have a dad?” Leigh asked.
“Yes, your Grandpa F_______ is my dad,” I answered.
“Mama, do you have a dad?”
“Yes, your Grandpa C_______ is my dad,” she answers as I began thinking fast in preparation for the next question.
“Do I have a dad?”
Ouch. I knew it had to happen some day, but was very afraid of saying the wrong thing. “No, sweetie. You have two moms, but you don’t have a dad.”
That was it for that day. She thought for a little while about it and then wanted to talk about other things.
Today, we had part two. Leigh was talking on the “phone” (her hand, I think) as we were all walking to a restaurant to have breakfast. “Hello, Dad?” she said into the phone. I gave Lyn a meaningful nudge.
“Who are you talking to on the phone?”
“Oh, whose dad?”
“Mama’s dad.” This then led to a round of phone calls that started “Hello, Ima’s Dad” and “Hello, Mama’s dad.”
Then she gets down to it: “But which one is my dad?”
At this point we stepped over to a conveniently placed bench to talk.
Then I said something like the following (only less eloquently), and hoped it was the right amount for a three-year-old: “Honey, you have two moms and you don’t have a dad, but you do have grandfathers. Lots of people have a dad, but some don’t. It’s kind of like how you have a brother, but Mama doesn’t have a brother and Ima doesn’t have a brother. Some people have brothers and some don’t. It’s the same with dads. Some people have a dad and some don’t.”
She seemed to understand and wasn’t upset about not having a dad (at least, not that she showed us), but we’re waiting for the next conversation to see where she goes with it.