Why “Mama non Grata”?

When Rowan, my older son, was two, I went away for a few days on a business trip, and when I returned, he liked his other mother better than he liked me. And so began my career as the second-class mother, or mama non grata, of the household.

How do two moms have a baby?

Well, dear, when two mommies love each other very much, they ... well, they have lots of options should they choose to test that love by bringing children into the equation. Some adopt, some foster, some have children from previous relationships, some use anonymously donated sperm to get pregnant, and some enlist the help of a known sperm donor. Which is what we did. And then I co-edited a whole anthology on the subject.

Who’s the “real” mom?

The one with bags under her eyes and spit-up in her hair and fruit leathers in her bag. The one who can recite from memory the names and personalities of all the Thomas the Train characters, and build a multilevel, figure-8 train track around the coffee table. The one who was there at conception, at birth, for a thousand sleepless nights and early mornings and the times in between. The one who makes doctors’ and dentists’ appointments, goes to parent-teacher interviews, walks wakeful babies up and down the stairs at midnight, kisses boo-boos and changes diapers. The one who plays chase, reads bedtime stories, makes macaroni and cheese, and scares away monsters.

Oh. What I really meant was, who gave birth?

Isn’t that sort of irrelevant?

Why do the supermarket cashiers in Thunder Bay talk so much?

I don’t know, but my irritation at their cheerfulness is proof that you can take the girl out of Toronto, but... well, you know.

Don’t you think that sleep training is cruel?

No. I owe Drs. Ferber and Weissbluth my firstborn, except then I wouldn’t have needed their services.

* "Frequently Asked Questions” implies that dozens upon hundreds of you are just dying to know. In reality, it’s more like six of you, if you count the voices in my head. But just in case anyone was curious...