The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Looks Just Like His Father

It happened the first time I ventured out alone with my firstborn.

“What’s your husband?” the lactation consultant asked as she scrutinized my two-week old’s face. “Huh? Oh, um… Chinese,” I stammered, wondering what this had to do with breastfeeding.

“Oh, mixed babies are so beautiful!” She went on to tell me how her cousin married a Japanese woman and they have the most exotic-looking children. Sleep deprived, I just sat there, nipples burning, with no idea how to respond.

As I left the appointment, the woman at the front desk took a peek. “Oh, he looks just like his father,” she commented. Since she’d never meet my husband, I was a little confused. By the time I got home, my initial confusion had been replaced with sadness. Would navigating insensitive comments become as much a part of my new mothering experience as sleepless nights and painful nipples?

The comments happen everywhere -- the park, vacation, at preschool, restaurants, the pediatrician’s office, and waiting in line at Starbucks. There are the well-meaning strangers, who without even saying hello, ask, “Where did you get him?” like my child is a miniature horse in a 4-H exhibit.

Other questions I’ve been asked include, “Is he Oriental?” like he’s a rug. And, “What’s his nationality?”

Then there are the comments about the supposed special beauty that “mixed” children share. If I was to approach a random Swedish mother and gush about how beautiful Swedish children are, she’d round up her kids faster than you can say “creepy.”

I have become proficient in the smile-politely-and-change-the-subject routine. However, there is one question that always gives me pause.

What is he?”

Yes, I really have been asked this question. It happens infrequently enough that I never remember to answer, “A hyper Labradoodle.”

Strangers don’t see the ways my son is like me. His toothy smile curves to the right just like mine. The similarity of our hair color and texture amazes our hairdresser. We gross out Daddy by wiggling our double-jointed thumbs. We share a passion for books with interesting characters, dark green treasures and baking (and eating) “yummy stuff.”

It doesn’t matter that strangers don’t see these things. What’s important is that I navigate the inevitable questions confidently and help my son build a healthy self-identity. But, I think it will be awhile before ethnicity becomes an issue.

For now, I’m just trying to convince him that boys can play with pink toys.

By Maya Creedman


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Great, insightful post -- thanks for sharing! I was laughing my head off and nodding it at the same time. Very well done.

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