Some people have multiple cars, or multiple homes. We have multiple child care centers.
We didn’t set out to do things this way. Due to a recent change in my work arrangements, we’ve bumped Nicholas up from two days a week of child care to five. Unfortunately, his terrific center doesn’t yet have space for him on the other three days, so he is now at a different center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. (We have been completely transparent with the folks at the new center; they know we’re seeing other people, so to speak, and are fine with it.)
The new center is a great place in its own right, and Nicholas quickly settled in there. We were concerned that it might be too much upheaval for him, especially given our recent move – when we shake things up around here, we really shake things up – but on the very first day he was excitedly telling Eric about a new friend he’d made.
“Is it a boy or a girl, buddy?”
“What’s his name?”
“I dunno his name. But he wears girl socks.”
“Yeah, girl socks. And he have teeth like a beaver.”
Now, you’d think this kid would be hard to miss, but several more days went by with us unable to figure out the identity of “Girl Socks.” We did, however, all start to refer to him this way, e.g., “Did you play with Girl Socks today, Nicholas?” “I was sad because no Girl Socks was there today.”
Finally, this past Friday at pickup, Nicholas pointed out to Eric a photo of the “Kid of the Week.”
“That Girl Socks,” he definitively announced.
As it turns out, Girl Socks is a little girl – with short hair; hence the gender confusion – named Amelia. And she does not in any way, shape, or form have teeth like a beaver.
(We later found out, upon further probing, that she once pretended to have teeth like a beaver. If parents of small children were subject to the same restriction on leading questions as that suffered by trial lawyers, we would seriously be in the dark about everything.)
The jury’s still out on whether we will continue to refer to her as Girl Socks in the privacy of our own home.