I’m now back to work (again) after being on parent leave since the end of the summer. I’ve loved to be a stay at home dad and the bond I’ve created with my child is precious. But it was time for her to start kindergarten to be able to play and explore things with other kids. We’ve found a lovely kindergarten close by with awesome pedagogues that allow the kids to grow in their own pace and explore the things that interest them. They are so sweet to the kids and the kids are so sweet to each other! If someone’s unhappy they hug each other or give them their favorite toy!
The first two weeks when I was with my daughter in preschool, a way to ease them in to the routines there, one of the pedagogues asked me how she should title me – if I wanted to be called daddy Fredric or just daddy. She wanted to ask me so she said the right thing to our daughter and to the other kids since they know that I’m not her biological father. She did it in a nice way, but the question baffled me anyway. I often forget that the things we think is normal and the things that are part of our everyday life is unusual, exotic, strange and new to most other people. For us it’s given that our child has one dad and one donor, it’s our reality and sometimes I forget that most kids just have a biological mum and dad (and siblings and relatives…).Since our daughter is enjoying kindergarten it was time for me to go back to work too. Even if I’m just back halftime at the moment, I know my colleagues are happy to have me back. With no substitute during my leave my colleagues have had to cover for me and work has piled up.
This is the first time I’m really back as Fredric. I’ve been back before for a day or two and for a few months this last summer so my closest colleagues all know me as Fredric, but the teachers, principals and other staff in the school district that we work for/with don’t.
My colleagues have taken great joy in answering people’s questions about when “Ess will be back” with “she won’t”… The follow up questions about wether I’ve quit or if something has happened to me has been answered in the same fashion with a single “no”, just to enjoy the confusion it creates (chuckle, chuckle).
I work mainly over the phone or by email and I’ve noticed that staff I have had a lot of contact with in the past treat me like a new person now. They don’t recognize that it’s still me, with the same (unusual) last name and the same voice. They hear a different name and that’s it. It’s equally fun and disturbing. It’s like starting fresh but at the same time it can be annoying when they try to “update” me on a subject we’ve discussed over fifteen times.
I had to buy a new mug for work too, my colleagues kept bugging me for “stealing that poor girls mug” (it has Ess written all over it), and I struggled to find an acceptable one. 90% of the mugs in the store were too feminine and the rest were just plain white or ugly, or both. After some agonizing I settled on a mug with blue stylized flowers/crosses. It’s not as masculine as I would have liked, but at least it’s not ugly and it doesn’t have pink flowers on it.