DQ is a smart little girl, sometimes I think she is too smart for her own good (definitely smart enough to keep me on my toes). She is the product of a relationship long ago since over and her bio-father isn't really in the picture. She's always known about him, the little I would tell her but she's never had any real interaction with him, no actual interaction at all aside from a phone call or two that stopped a long time ago. I say all this, not to paint the man in a bad light, but to merely set the premise for the conversation that ensues...
DQ: I am the only one with a different last name (upon hearing me refer to us as the 'Kel' family)
Me: Not true, I have both your last name AND daddy's last name.
DQ: but why am I different?
Me: Well, mommy married daddy so she took his last name and Little Miss and Jr were daddy's children so they got his last name and you, you're special you got mommies last name because she wasn't married to daddy when you were born. If you want daddies last name, we can do that. DQ: Yeah, I want to be just like the family.
Me: Ok, but that means that Mr. 'Donor' is no longer apart of it, you would only have 1 daddy.
DQ: oh, well then never mind, I don't want to give up Mr. Donor.
DQ: Because Mr. Donor gave me a doll (which is now buried amongst her other gazillion stuffed animals)
Me: Hum, but daddy gave you a bike, what about that?
DQ: Yeah, but he didn't give me a doll.
Me: Right, but daddy gave you a computer and games and scooters and (the list is endless)
DQ: Ok, I know and those things are great.
Me: But .... you don't even know Mr. Donor....you don't even get to see Mr. Donor.
DQ: I know. Why is that?
Me: Well, its complicated and I don't really have an answer for that.
DQ: I know...its because he's really busy.
Me: Really busy? (insert long silent pause) Well, let me ask you...do you think it's ok?
DQ: Yes, he's busy mom.
Me: Really? What if mom ignored you when she was 'really busy' is that ok? What if dad ignored you when he was 'really busy?' Is that ok?
DQ: No, ya'll can't ignore me...ya'll love me.
Me: Yes, but its ok for Mr. Donor to ignore you?
DQ: Um...no, I guess not. Does that mean that Mr. Donor doesn't love me?
Me: Well....I'm not saying that, its just......complicated.
I love my daughter and I would do anything in my power to keep her from being hurt, but its tough. I have never explained the circumstances of how this nonexistent relationship came to be because she is too young and honestly, it has no bearing on things thus far. I've been able to push off the questions with simple answers of 'He's far away' or 'He's busy' and she's moved on from that subject until now....now I will not accept those answers.
These were the answers I provided many years ago, not the answers he provided, because honestly, he didn't provide any. But there comes a point, in this realm of parenting where empty answers do not suffice because in essence, what we say is what we teach our children. What I accept in my own life, my child learns as OK, what her mother says is the reasoning and allows it to be ok in their life...the child learns to accept as an answer as well.
I had never thought saying "He's busy" would ever be an answer and the logic to her reasoning, perhaps an excuse, but never an answer. I would hope I'm teaching my child that excuses are not answers and excuses are not acceptable, but obviously I have miscalculated just how many excuses I have allowed to be taken as answers.
Obviously, I have a lot more parenting to do, because ignorance - is NOT bliss.
Do you accept excuses as answers or do you seek the truth, no matter the cost?