Neither do we.
Except, as I tell my child, when we close our eyes. Then we get a good look at her, a cuddle and maybe her opinion.
Earlier this year, my sister checked in for a spot of baby sitting, while I was off sunning myself. Well, not sunning myself exactly, I was ski-ing, and in general the weather was rubbish.
Anyway, one of the mornings she dropped my son at nursery she was mistaken, by one of the other parents, for his mom.
An easy mistake I suppose, a young-ish woman at the nursery door with a toddler, two and two often make four.
However, I’d been taking my son three times a week to the same place for nearly six months.
It isn’t a big place. Last year they had a maximum of a dozen children per session.
There would often be, and I would be involved in, chat amongst the collecting/depositing line of parents, grandparents, aunties and others.
I know people’s own conclusions can be more interesting than fact. And I don’t like to play the widower card very often.
But in this regular situation, where most likely our kids are going to be chums, I’d rather people just asked.
It is an unusual situation.
One that would prompt intrigue in me if I were on the other side of it.
I mean it is a man, dropping his son off to every session, attending the nativities and sports days solo.
There’s maths to be done there.
People can be too polite, and as it happens I’ve tended to befriend the ones who are more comfortable with asking questions, and don’t appear to have hidden motives.
Interested, not nosey, if you know what I mean.
I understand that during infrequent situations people will wrongfully identify women in my company as Max’s mom. I’ve played dad to many a friend’s kid at soft play places, the zoo, in restaurants and at the odd wedding.
Wrongful identification can be a wonderful thing.
I do think it best that people ask, rather than me explaining the situation unprompted.
The best never inquire directly, or cast aspersions on a potential mother not being around or disinterested in their own child.
If I was a single mom or widow, I think the other mothers would have established my marital status quicker.
I could be wrong, I wouldn’t like that, but being the same sex does seem to make it easier to ask relationship questions of strangers.
My currently separated neighbour would probably vouch for that, he’s been on the receiving end of some investigative belters from me.
Thursday, 2 October 2008