Apparently two and a half is just about the age where kids start trying to figure out what labels to put on people in life. Dormouse is almost obsessed these days with who's a girl, who's a mother, who's a daughter... that type of stuff.

We've actually gotten a few months past the point where she says something like "When I was little... and I had short hair... and I was a boy...."

"No baby, you were always a girl... girls can have short hair and boys can have long hair, that's not what makes them a girl or a boy." The rest of the conversation is just a little too mind boggling for a toddler to take in. "You mean boys and girls have different bodies? Now that's just strange and complicated and ooooo... JoJo's Circus is on Disney channel and Goliath is going to brush his teeth!" A two-year-old can only focus on the difference between the sexes for so long, I guess.

What she's trying to take in now is the whole mother / father / sister / brother / daughter / son thing. When you think about it, it's actually a way more complicated concept that we adults give it credit for being. You mean that lady is A mother but she's not MY mother? Back the truck up! "Momma" and "Mother" are the same thing but "Daddy" and "Father" are also the same thing? Ridiculous, this English language! Plus our family is not all that easy to break down. She has a half-brother who doesn't live with us but visits and talks to her on the phone. She has an older sister she hasn't met who is no longer living but whom we consider very much a part of our family and don't want to ignore the existence of, so we occasionally tell her about her "big sister" in a way that we think she can understand. Then there's that whole we-call-everyone-brother-or-sister-at-church thing that further complicates the matter. So even when they sing the We Are a Happy Family song in Sunday School, I can imagine they're not really sure whose family they're singing about. Which is all to say she hasn't quite etched in stone what to call people, when to call them that and whether or not to call them that to their face. (This last one might have more to do with her parents' inability to be nice than anything else.)

Here's the discussion that resulted the other day:

"Daddy, are you my father?"

"Yes, baby, I am."

Pause, then earnestly, "Daddy are you sure you're my father?"

"Well baby, unless there's something momma's not telling me, I'm sure."

It's nice to know my husband has so much faith in me.