Thursday, May 6, 2010

His Thoughtfulness Stuns Me

Captain Underpants and I were having a quiet moment together in the kitchen last week, while I was making my usual pitiful attempt at rustling up something vaguely edible for dinner.

I was a little pre-occupied...lots of muttering under my breath while repetitiously opening and shutting the fridge and various cupboards in search of an elusive ingredient that might magically inspire a complete meal.  In between the huffing and puffing and general tutting I endeavored to answer Captain Underpants Questions of the Day.  The subjects ranged widely from "why is it possible to eat carrots raw but not potatoes when they are both vegetables and have both grown in the ground?" to "if Jet Ray has a battle with Luke Skywalker, who do you think would win?"

I consider all of my answers thoughtfully.  I know from experience that my 6 year old revels in having his questions answered with a certain level of brevity and seriousness, regardless of how far-fetched and winsome he is being.

Then one of his questions stops me in my tracks.

"Mummy, when will I have another daddy?"

I pause and try to gather my thoughts, knowing that it's important that I don't try to fob him off with a flippant reply.  But what to say?

"Darling, why do you think you're going to have another daddy?  You have your wonderful daddy, don't you?  And he loves you and sees you all the time and he will always be there for you.  Daddy will always, always be your daddy - even when you are all grown up.  Just like my daddy, Grandad Bagpipes and daddy's daddy, Grandad Chelsea.  They're our daddies forever - just like yours is."

My thoughtful child considers my answer before replying, quite lightheartedly:

"I know I have my daddy forever.  What I meant was...when am I going to get another daddy?  You know, a daddy that will be here for me every day?  The daddy that is here to love you and look after you, mummy?  That's the daddy I am talking about.  Another daddy.  The daddy that is here for you."

He gives me a big smile.  His expression is open and innocent...and totally filled with love.


I am so stunned by his words 'to love you and look after you' that I can't speak.  I go up and give him a hug and a kiss.

"I don't know the answer to that question, sweetheart.  But it is a really great question and I am glad you asked me.  Right now I have lots of friends and family that love me and help to look after me - and you and your brother too.  Including your daddy.  I'm very, very lucky.  Maybe one day things will be different, but I can't tell you when because I just don't know myself.  Is that okay?"


Mummy, how come all cats look quite the same and never get taken for walks...but dogs can be very small or very big and they all get to go out on a lead?  And are we going to get a dog?  You said we had to wait to get a dog until Johnny Drama was four - but he is over four and a half now, isn't he?"

Questions of the Day continues on somewhat safer footing.

But our conversation stays with me for days afterwards.  I'd hate to think that the responsibility of looking after me is weighing on his mind.  Maybe it's the fact that he is enjoying weekends with his dad and his girlfriend - and wants to replicate something similar at home?  It could be he is simply processing the fact that both Ex and I effectively have two sets of parents each - as both of our parents are divorced and with other partners.  It's possibly a combination of all these factors.

To a six year old the future is so simple.  Hey!  Let's get another daddy to live here with us!  That would be great, wouldn't it?!

I still can't see it myself.  But in an ideal world...that would be great, wouldn't it?


  1. Oh my that left me with a lump in my throat, I dont know what to say, but I think Luke would win hands down!

  2. Oh the sweetie. The adorable, darling sweetie. I think you handled it perfectly.

    And yes, that would be great. And I think it could happen, too...

  3. What a sweetheart! You must be a wonderful mummy to have a son who says something like that.

  4. I read that with tears in my eyes, what a little sweetheart. He gets that thoughtfulness from somewhere y'know. You're doing a great job.

  5. what a lovely, lovely boy.

  6. So heartbreaking and so sweet! What a perceptive and loving thing to say for a small boy.

  7. So sensitive and perceptive. He'll grow up to a lovely man.

    I see something similar in my nephew, he's so protective of my sister after his Dad upped and left, and at Christmas he even told ME that he'd always look after me. I think six year olds understand far more than they let on sometimes.

  8. He is such a sweetie and I can so see his face with those gorgeous eyes, looking super big as he talks about having 'another daddy'.
    I have had questions about my special friend and that its ok to have one.
    Our children are amazing.

  9. Yes, but what did you finally rustle up for dinner? Was it edible? Or did it stop at the lump in your throat?
    CU is such a sweetie. How lucky I am that he wants to marry me. Please tell me that he hasn't changed his mind...

  10. Bless, bless, bless! Bring him round here and the pup can lick him to bits.

  11. He's a sweetheart, isn't he? What a lovely boy. And that's a darn good question about carrots.

  12. He is a real little sweetie. Bless him! They are far more perceptive than we think. And the answer is definitely Luke. Much better name than Jet Ray.

  13. Very perceptive & sensitive. And actually Ilove ALL his questions, they're just great! I wish my brain hadn't stopped working in that way!

  14. I had the same question from my 7 yr old a few months ago. I was shocked too. Lovely posts, lovely blog.