Lee and I were discussing how the concept of marriage is sometimes difficult for young children.
Laurel, and sometimes Bethel (2 and 4) will ask a lady, “Where is your dad?” when they are looking for her husband. Occasionally we’ll ask questions about relationships. (eg., How is Uncle Bryan and Uncle Mark related to Daddy?) When we ask about how mommy and daddy are related, they don’t always know what to say.
Now, it’s possible that they know that there’s a difference between the relationship between mom and dad, and parents and children, even though their vocabulary doesn’t reflect that knowledge. However, Lee and I noticed that when we talk about ourselves, we tend to talk in third person from the perspective of the child: Mommy is cooking dinner right now. Daddy is going to the hospital to check on a baby. That’s because we’re usually thinking out loud for the child. It’s not a bad thing at all.
But what if the relationship we’re talking about is not from the perspective of the child, but the adult? Mommy is going out on a special date with Daddy…. Daddy likes spending time with Mommy…. Worded this way, that’s no different than when Bethel goes on a special date with Daddy, or than Daddy’s enjoyment of spending time with his children.
What we were wondering is whether it might not be wise to at least some of the time refer to each other as a spouse. Your mommy is going on a date with her husband… Daddy likes spending time with his wife.
Maybe I’m cracked up a bit, and I’ve had a little too much introspection lately, but I like this approach. It’s possible that this is something we’re thinking through because of the specific ages and personalities of our own children. But it’s been an interesting discussion.