Usually, I am into excessive narrative, but this conversation really requires no commentary. It took place as I pushed three-and-three-quarters Zachary in the stroller home from the birthday party of a classmate. Benjamin was home with a sitter, and I was starting to feel that third trimester creeping up on me.
Zach: It’s really hard being a boy. I don’t want to be a boy and a man. I want to be a girl or a woman.
Me: Why, sweetie?
Zach: I don’t want to have to work in an office. I want to work at home.
Me (putting the break on the stroller and getting down to eye level): Zachary, lots of women work in offices. E’s mother works in an office.
Zach: But you don’t.
Me: I used to. We’re really lucky I can be home with you.
Zach: Was it before I was born?
Me: Yes, it was. We’re really lucky that we can have me home working and with you and Benjamin. But, baby, lots of mothers work. C’s mother works in an office.
Oh, sweet petunias, what are we teaching our boy?
Updated to add: He was referring, I think, to the non-Mommy work I do: the writing. He simply sees that as easier or more pleasant. But, I worry even more for what he seems to be inferring about the quality of his father’s life. Does he seem that unhappy to him?