It’s Saturday evening, and I’m making dinner for the kids while singing “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” — because Thing One informed me that he and Thing Two were bears. Of course, I had to alter the words a bit, as when I finished the first round: “At six o’clock their mummies and daddies will come to take them home because they’re tired little teddy bears,” he objected, “No, we’re real bears.” So the song is now “Real Bears’ Picnic.” For good measure, I edited the “mummies and daddies” to “you know that their mummies,” to avoid any confusion. It’s bugging me how much heteronormative two-parent family representation dominates the mythology of early childhood. But it was too late.

Thing One: “Our Daddy Bear is sick.”

(long pause) “Even though he is sick and doesn’t see you very much, he loves you very much and he wants to be a good daddy.”

Thing One: “But he doesn’t love you.”

This last was not said to hurt or challenge (though Thing One is totally capable of that), but as if to rebut my assertion.