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Friday, April 23, 2010

Dresses and Rainbows

Sometimes my daughter manages to crack me up and beam with pride at the same time. Tuesday was one of those days. The Tongginator's kindergarten teacher, Ms. Confetti, often assigns the class reading comprehension questions for homework. They are simple statements with a check yes or no option that show Ms. Confetti whether or not the children understand what they are reading.

All of the kindergarten teachers use the same sheets handed down from the county office.

Y'all, the Tongginator is just six. She doesn't know much about worldly matters and adult topics. I mean, we've had The Talk with her, which basically consisted of me telling the Tongginator that "it takes a man and a woman to make a baby ... the baby grows in a special place inside a mommy's tummy called a uterus before it's time for the baby to be born" and then holding my breath and praying to Lord Jesus that she wouldn't require a follow-up answer.

And yes, we discussed how that looks in the life of an adoptee.

But the Tongginator would totally and completely furrow her brow in confusion if she heard the terms gay, lesbian, transgendered, transsexual or pretty much anything along those lines. Because, ya know, I'm not going down that road yet... I'm still holding my breath, praying to Jesus that she won't ask more questions.

I mean, not that a six-year-old needs to learn all manner of worldly matters. I'm just bracing myself for the question "but how do the man and woman make the baby?" And yes, I know I need to move beyond praying for silence.

I have no excuse. (We even own Laaser's book.)

It's just that I? Am a wimp.

Fortunately, the Tongginator is managing to "get" the overall picture on worldly matters without me having to share specifics. Because Tuesday night's homework? Contained a little gem that the Tongginator didn't much appreciate. In fact, my little gal expressed a Rather Strong Opinion about it. (The "no" boxes are on the left; "yes" boxes are on the right.)

Tell it like it is, Tongginator. Tell it like it is.

Because - even if you disagree with people - it's never okay to make fun of them... including boys who wear dresses. Now y'all may think I'm being ridiculous, but this might possibly be one of my proudest moments as her momma. Boys wearing dresses? Not an important topic to tackle with a six-year-old. But teasing another person for being different? Very much an important topic. I adore that my little gal got this.

And now I'm thinking that maybe my little Tongginator will be a Rainbow-ist after all. And ya know? That's okay with me. Well... it's okay with me as long as she doesn't get beheaded like the Rainbow-ist theologian and reformer Thomas Muntzer.

Because that? Wouldn't be a good outcome.

(And you totally don't know who Muntzer is, do you? That's because he got beheaded. He was a peer of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther and one of the first Anabaptists. But... he got beheaded.)


Nicki said...

Ah, your six your old has better reading comprehension than my upper level adult ESL students!! I bet they wouldn't understand a few of these sentences at all.

Also, this is completely not what you were writing about, so forgive me, but please DO have the talk with her....the one where you make sure she knows what is ok and what isn't, touch-wise.

It isn't too early. Trust me on that one.

Aus said...

Thanks for the wiki links - saved me having to do the lookup!;)

Sharp kid - I'm thinkin a little parent pride is do for this one!

hugs - aus and co.

Tonggu Grammy said...

Her grammy is so proud of her too! She gets it! We don't make fun of others.

On another note, it's a good thing that we don't laugh at other people's chosen clothing OR we might have split our sides at some of her lovely, and I do mean lovely, clothing choices earlier.

Didn't have time to comment yesterday but LOVE the new site. What a great prize you won. And the designer gets YOU and Miss T.

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

I love her heart!

As for question number 6, "Will you fret if the pop drips on the rug?". All I could do was laugh. If that worksheet was given out in the deep south it would have to say something like, "will you squall and carry on if the Coke drips on the rug?".

jen@odbt said...

Good for TG - she is a smart girl! PS: I grew up in your state and I don't ever remember calling soda "pop". Too funny...they might want to update their worksheets.

bbmomof2boys said...

You must be doing something right. And I think none of us will be surprised when she does become a Rainbow-ist wearing pink flip-flops!


Dawn said...

No mean girl being raised in your house - you should be so proud!

And, didn't comment yesterday but I love the new look of your blog. I think it suits you!

Be blessed!

Debby said...

Yeah Little Tongginator. Put your teacher in time out. You are sweet and kind.

Anonymous said...

LGBT isn't so hard to explain! When parents are gay or bi their kids know it from Day 1. It's who they are and not the sex they have.

Tricia said...

That is something to be proud of! I love those moments that my children do something that lets me know what I am teaching them about how to treat others is sinking in.

"The question" didn't come for me until my girls saw two animals attempting to reproduce. They were older than most. In fact, a six year old girl standing next to them explained it all to them. They came running to me in disbelief and I had to affirm everything that little farm-raised girl said was true.

Magi said...

Love your little Tongginator! You go, girl!

Sera has been on a marrying kick for a few months. Her version of married, by the way, is that you get to have a party and dance. Who wouldn't want to do that?

Anyway, most of the time she marries daddy. Occasionally, she marries mommy. She tried to marry a boy her in her class, but he wouldn't marry her. Whenever she said we were getting married, I never told her that two girls couldn't marry. Yesterday in the car, she was talking about marrying and told me she couldn't marry me anymore because two girls couldn't marry.

This upset me because that means someone else, and I assume her teacher, told her that. She's just four; I didn't think we'd need to discuss different types of relationships yet. I told her that it didn't matter if you were boys or girls, that two people married each other when they really loved each other.

I know there are a lot of people who would disagree with me, but I think four is a little young to start limiting love.

Christina said...

That is awesome on so many levels.

LucisMomma said...

It's easier to see the links now, thanks! :)

I am amazed at T's reading.

Logical Libby said...

Wow. I don't know which impresses me more, T's forward thinking ideals, or her fantastic handwriting!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

what a great kid! (and that handwriting is fantastic!!)

Colin and Jill Canada said...

Listen to me, her thoughts are your thoughts. She is one million percent YOU.

You have taught her well Momma.

And I'm proud of her too.


Gwen said...

Well, I'm impressed with this post on a number of levels... but as a kindergarten teacher (I just teach a morning session-- not full day), I have never had a student make an "editorial comment" on a worksheet!!!
Very impressive, indeed! :)
P.S. And I love the nickname "Ms. Confetti"-- a perfect choice for a K teacher!

April said...

OMGosh I just about died when Gabe asked me in exasperation (at age 6, he is now 7)

"I KNOW! But HOW did the baby get there??!"

He suddenly realized that the baby just GET in there on it's own and I was 100% about to die right on the spot.

I told him that when you are married you and your spouse pray for a child and God decides when the timing is right and you are blessed with a child (we've also discussed adoption) and then the baby is birthed either from the vagina or the belly-like he was via c section.

I think once he heard vagina he lost interest :)

So far no more questions and we've not gone near alternate lifestyles yet. We haven't even talked about divorce-yikes!

Laurie said...

Is it just me, or are those questions really tricky? Maybe you had to hear the story to "get it". Anyway, her comment is awesome- I think it's great how she added that to really get her point across. Good job!

Georgia Peach said...

hahaha....that's so honest of her. Oh my goodness, she gets that "tell it like it is" from you TM. I can hear you saying right now...excuse me, I need to get some fresh air perfume makes me sick. (snicker, snicker)

Annie said...

LOVE it, TM and LOVE your sweet, special girl!!! I swear, that just made my night!!!

I also LOVE the new Do!!!! Are those firecrackers in the title!! Hehe!!

Sharie said...

Amelia knows WAY more than I planned for her to at this age, but the kid asks a TON of questions. I just answer her in the simplest terms possible and pray there won't be follow-ups.

We had the boys wearing dresses conversation a few weeks ago. I just told her that some boys like to wear dresses and that might be different, but it's not bad. She was fine with that. I later found out that her "boyfriend" won't be the prince when playing dress-up, only the princess:)

The Byrd's Nest said...

First of all....I LOVE your new blog look!

Second, I think these questions are not really age appropriate do you? Why do our schools want to educate our children in these areas so early in life? Why can't they remain innocent for a little while longer...ugh

I am thankful for your little one's heart and thankful she just answered them quickly from her heart.

We have already had this question from Lottie since she has been here in school. Not saying I want to keep them in a bubble but just saying I would like to preserve their innocence for a little while longer. By the way, we gave Lottie the same answer you gave little T:)

anymommy said...

That is incredible. Those questions are tricky and she is clearly getting the nuances they intend and far more. Love it.

Asianmommy said...

How sweet of her!

organicnerd said...

Totally love the new layout, by the way!

Suzy said...

I'm glad she's so compassionate of others, but I also think it's pretty natural, almost instinctive to grin when you see something incongruous. I'll give 2 examples: small kids almost universally laugh when seeing an adult dressed as and acting like a baby. And both my son and husband had a similar deep inhalation, rounded eyes goofy grinned reaction when I went from long hair to short with no warning to them. My son actually laughed. And they both REALLY liked my hair. It was just a shock to them. So, sometimes we grin or laugh inappropriately with NO malice or intent to tease - it's as if our nervous system is unable to process the "new" or "different" in time to produce the "right" response. That's where having explained the differences ahead of time allows us as parents to do - prepare their brains for the "different" so a compassionate response or no response at all can occur when they experience it for the first time. I hope that's not too long, too confusing, too whatever...

Aunt LoLo said...

I love that she's so honest!

And the blog makeover? LOVE!! I've been on vacation for a few days, and haven't been checking in on the bloggy buddies. SO so so you. Love it!

Dita said...

I HEART your daughter……and I HEART her Mama too!
Talk about proof the hard work you put into answering the even harder questions in life really pays off!

Sharon said...

That is terribly wise and insightful of her! I love the new blog look!