31 July 2007

Introducting Mr. and Mrs. Yummy Mommy

Gender is often discussed at our dinner table.

Bella wants affirmation that it is okay to like more so-called "boy" things, such as catching bugs, and still be a girl. She often tries to balance her masculine traits with her feminine traits in a mathematical equation so that the scales don't dip too far in favour of girl over boy or boy over girl. She's seeking equilibrium as a reassurance of some kind.

That same search for gender equilibrium also carries over to us. Even though the kids have two moms, they frequently have gendered discussions about who is more like a dad or like a mom. The way they explore gender is through activities which are easily categorized as boy or girl. To a degree, they try to uncover the essence of a father-figure in each of us so that they're not really missing out by not having a Dad.

While Wifey and I have never had a butch/femme relationship, or one that has been predominately defined by gender roles, during my parental leave how we decided to divide roles has definitely left us with a more common or stereotypical division of duties. I'm the primary homemaker and Wifey is the primary breadwinner. For now.

When discussing us over dinner one night, Bubaloo stated that I was his "Yummy Mommy." His rationale for this was that I did all of the cooking, was always working in the garden and was around during the day. Oh, and the yummy part came from agreeing with Wifey that I was cute.

Now that I was the "Yummy Mommy," Wifey inquired as to what she was.

"You're Mr. Yummy Mommy," Bubaloo said proudly. And she's, pointing at me, "Mrs. Yummy Mommy."

When asked why Wifey was Mr. Yummy Mommy, Bubaloo explained that was because she works, works and works, and fishes, too.

So there you have it. The Mom and Dad gender division in all its childlike simplicity. Moms cook and Dads work. Moms garden and Dads fish.

I do, however, wonder what the kids think when I mow the lawn or when I paint the house. I can tell you that their jaws dropped to the floor the first time that Wifey cooked them dinner. They were shocked to learn that she knew how to cook and vocalized huge disbelief when I explained that before they came to live with us Wifey did most of the cooking.

Just wait until September when I go back to work and their whole ordering of the universe is thrown on its head.

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