By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com May 09 2014 12:10 PM ET
Happy Friday, everybody! This is my Q&A session from Twitter. Anyone can ask me a question in regard to parenting, and I will select a few and answer them here. To submit a question, tweet me @GayAtHomeDad and use the hashtag #AskFrank. Think of me as your bitchy gay Dear Daddy.
Question #1 (from @marissarenae):
Since your son has two fathers, does he call you each something different?
A: Quite honestly, I’m shocked you’re the first one to ask me this (online). In real life, we get this question all the time, and I totally understand why. I used to wonder the same thing before we had our son! The truthful answer is, we didn’t have a formal talk about who would be what. A lot of couples do “Daddy” and “Papa,” but neither of us felt like a “Papa,” so that was out from the get-go. We both called ourselves Daddy when he was a baby. I was around him more and would refer to my spouse as “other Daddy.” When he started talking, he would differentiate to me and try to say “other Daddy,” but it came out as “O’Daddy.” We both thought this was adorable, so I am Daddy, and my spouse is O’Daddy. So basically we let little man decide!
Question #2 (from @ohgirl1876):
I’m having a little boy in September, and I want to know your opinion on binkies! Yea or nay?
A: Girl, yea! Also congratulations, I’m a September baby and we’re the best. We used a binky with our son starting at birth – the cute little turquoise ones that are see-through. He was always into them, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to become a hard-core binky addict. We upgraded them and let him use one all the way through teething, and they were certainly lifesavers then. I weaned him off them when he was 2, by limiting the time I would give them to him. One day I just didn’t give him one altogether, and he barely noticed. His teeth are in perfect shape, so it didn’t have any dental effect at all.
Question #3 (from @sejhammer):
How do you talk to your kid about gender (especially with the recent rise of acceptance for trans children)?
A: We use the same approach that we do with him having two daddies, which is that we don’t draw attention to it unless he asks. In other words, we haven’t mentioned anything to him. Kids have an uncanny ability to figure these things out for themselves and typically don’t have any prejudice unless it is taught to them. He knows that boys have penises and girls have vaginas, but he doesn’t ask any more questions about that (yet). He has actually been at a function and played with a trans child (boy to girl) and didn’t make a distinction. I would like to think that he will grow up and be all-accepting because we keep him in a diverse environment.
Question #4 (from @brettfurd):
Good to have a female best friend spend a lot of time with your kid? Or would it lead to “mommy issues”?
A: Well, as it turns out I do have a female best friend, and a lot of female friends, and I have zero concern about him having “mommy issues.” I firmly believe it is important for him to have a female influence in his life, which is why I purposely sought out a female nanny/babysitter. Will he grow to a certain age and long to have a mother around? It’s possible, but if it should happen, we will approach it with a lot of communication and family counseling, if necessary. I may not have all of the answers as a parent, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that communication with your kids is crucial.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.