So my kids say some pretty funny things sometimes.
This morning, after my toddler woke up and I had removed her overnight pull-up but hadn’t yet clothed her, she pops up and says, “Ha ha! I’m make-ed!” And then proceeded to dance around the room, wearing nothing but what she was born in, and sings, “Do do do do do-do… HA HA – I’m make-ed!”
Naked babies are funny. Singing naked babies are really funny. At a similar age, my older daughter’s favorite non-clothed line was, “Chicken Naked Baby! Chicken Naked Baby!” All sung while dancing around sans clothes and often in front of her mirror.
I don’t know. I didn’t teach them that, I swear.
Kids are just funny. They are their own people so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the come up with this stuff, it’s just fun watching them come up with it and learning just how goofy they really are. (And really, my kids never had a chance in the goofy department – they come by it honestly.)
Sometimes the things they say aren’t so goofy, though. Yesterday, while the girls were sitting in the kitchen and waiting for me to finish cutting their PB & J’s for lunch, my six year old says, “You’re white.” And I’m all like, “Do what now?” (really just proving her point, right?) Then she went on to tell me that I am white and so is her sister. So then I asked her what she was, and she said, “Brown.”
Lordy. She’s six. What’s the right way to continue this conversation?
She’s not wrong. I am white. And really, her sister’s complexion is more like mine. My husband is hispanic, and my six year old does look more like him when it comes to skin tone. This conversation isn’t going away any time soon. And I don’t think it should.
|Our multi-shaded family.|
When we are out and about, often people comment how much she looks like my husband and how our toddler looks like me (though a few folks do switch it around to keep it interesting). And we always joke that she is our Latina child and the two year old is our Gringa child. We joke because that’s how we are – it only seems natural to us to bring levity to any situation, especially when it comes to our respective skin tones. But maybe we need to hold off on the jokes for a bit and hear what our daughter is saying. She’s at the age where she is really beginning to make connections and trying to make sense of her world in a more mature way and we need to respect her discovery process.
But what does that mean? How does that help us continue the conversation?
Well, yesterday it meant I asked her (after some careful thought), “What does that mean?” That question was probably a little too advanced at this stage, but her answer was enough for me to know that – to her – it doesn’t mean anything; it’s merely the observation of a six year old. Another observation of a six year old? How a friend of hers at school “called” another friend of hers an “Indian” (her parents are Indian, she was born here). It caused her friend to retort, “I’m Indian AND American!” This was at a private preschool. My daughter starts first grade at public school in the fall. This conversation is definitely NOT over.