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Are Those Your Children? - Page 6

post #101 of 222
I was not asked if I was my son's nanny. It was assumed. Okay, so I had pink/purple/blue hair, but we are both Caucasian, and he looks just like me.

With my daughter (AA), I am only asked, "Is she yours?" by children (almost always other AA children), and that does not bother me.

If anything, in my very PC area, people assume (or pretend to assume) that I birthed my daughter. She was adopted.

But while the people in my area try to be very PC about issues of race, I found them to be very ageist.

Around here, it is more accepted/encouraged/typical to be a multiracial family than to be a mom under age thirty-five.

I would have gotten my son that shirt back in the day. Now I guess I look old enough to be his mother. Great.

L
post #102 of 222
People ask me this question all the time about DS. He is biracial, but I don't think that's the reason why they ask. I am quite a young mother. People will ask me if he's mine, and then they'd look at my hand in what they seem to think is a covert manner. I've gotten asked if I am babysitting my nephew or my baby brother.

As for people asking me if he is biracial, yes... it does happen every once in awhile. When my family went to visit the Philippines a couple years back, it was the topic of conversation for every new person my son was introduced to. As for the whole thing about calling biracial children "mixed", I guess it just really doesn't offend me. He IS mixed... it's just a term that people use. It's relatively harmless, it's not like they come out and ask, hey, is your son a half-breed?
post #103 of 222
Just peeking in---

When I was in grad school I was a nanny to a biracial baby girl. I am white. I was carrying her in a sling and as I walked down the street ("gentrified" area of DC) a woman came up to me and said, "she's so beautiful! Where did you get her?"

I explained that I was the nanny... but when she walked away I got pretty sad. This baby's mom was white! I would hate for someone to speak to me about my baby.

Granted this woman was a lesbian and may have been in the market to adopt a child. It was a perfectly honest sounding question. It just made me sad. And the whole idea, of "oooh! that country's babies are really cute, maybe I'll adopt one of THOSE makes me sick to my stomach.
post #104 of 222
imo, it is perfectly ok to ask what ethnicity someone is...I live in Hawaii, and people are always inquiring about that... Almost everyone here is mixed in some way, and people use that as a conversation starter! My son who is white, Japanese, and Indian is often remarked on, and I feel proud rattling of his different ethnicities!:
post #105 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogafeet View Post
Just peeking in---

When I was in grad school I was a nanny to a biracial baby girl. I am white. I was carrying her in a sling and as I walked down the street ("gentrified" area of DC) a woman came up to me and said, "she's so beautiful! Where did you get her?"
Hmmm, now I almost wish someone would say that to me so I could say, "from my uterus!" LOL
post #106 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnybee View Post
Hmmm, now I almost wish someone would say that to me so I could say, "from my uterus!" LOL
I actually remember saying "From her womb" and pointing to my mom when people would ask "where I came from". I think I was about 7. My mom would stage-whisper my name in an absolutely horrified tone.
post #107 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
I actually remember saying "From her womb" and pointing to my mom when people would ask "where I came from". I think I was about 7. My mom would stage-whisper my name in an absolutely horrified tone.
What a beautiful response!
post #108 of 222

I'm white, my kids are white and people ask me too!

When my oldest kids were young, I chalked it up to being young and looking young, but I'm 38 years old now - certainly I look old enough to have a 2.5 year old and a baby! People just don't think before they talk all the time so I'm never all that surprised by what ends up coming out 1/2 the time.:
post #109 of 222
It happened to me more when DD was younger.....now, I am rarely asked that question.
post #110 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
I guess I just don't see it as being a "loaded" question. It's just a part of who each of us is, right? Why should it be a big deal?
Maybe it would be more of a big deal to me if I were more "visibly" a minority? Of course, I kind of get offended that people assume I'm "white" because I look the way I do, so...
Just my two cents:
I think that its a big deal to ask someone "where are you from" because that assumes a cultural identity or affiliation that might not exist. Two examples:
1. A family friend (caucasion) adopted a baby girl from china. She only lived in China those first few months of her life, and when she was 3 or 4, and didn't really understand the concept of nationalistic affiliation, people would ask her "where are you from?" She would answer with the name of her midwestern town where she lived. "But where did you come from?" and she'd say "the library" or "the backyard" or wherever she had just been. She was born in China, but is a US citizen and has no affiliation to China other than it happens to be where she was born. The assumption that she must not be "American" is hurtful to her.

2. In college I had a friend who was born and raised in Maryland. Her dad is white-Irish and her mom is Puerto Rican. My friend has light brown skin, lots of freckles, and big curly "ethnic" hair. She speaks spanish, visits her family in Puerto Rico, eats and cooks puerto rican food, and loves her Abuelita, but for all purposes identifies as "American". For her, when people ask her "Where are you from" and "Where did you come from", or other probing questions, she responds "Do you mean why am I brown?" It is loaded because it assumes that if you don't fit a particular physical stereotype, then you must not belong in America.
To me, "American" is a nationality, not an ethnicity, and to assume that if someone is not white, they must not be from America is just not accurate, and can be offensive. Think about kids who live in a setting where their looks make them stick out already, where they might feel like they don't belong. To then question that they "belong" to their parents or their country could be terribly upsetting. This obviously doesn't apply to every person who looks "different" and it probably doesn't bother some people if you ask them questions like that. But I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to insulting strangers while making small talk, so I try to just stick to normal, non-personal topics unless they are raised by the other person first. (not trying to attack anyone- just my POV)

I started reading this topic because I am pregnant with my first baby. I am white- dark hair, light complexion, green eyes, but tan pretty easily and people always ask me if I am Italian, Puerto Rican, Argentinian, Spanish, etc. (could be the Cherokee in me) and my husband is Peruvian- he has very Andean features- broad forehead, prominent nose, high cheekbones, dark hair, eyes and skin, and I always wonder what it will be like when I go out in public with the baby- will people assume its not my kid? Can't wait to see what this baby looks like!
post #111 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
To me, "American" is a nationality, not an ethnicity, and to assume that if someone is not white, they must not be from America is just not accurate, and can be offensive. Think about kids who live in a setting where their looks make them stick out already, where they might feel like they don't belong. To then question that they "belong" to their parents or their country could be terribly upsetting. This obviously doesn't apply to every person who looks "different" and it probably doesn't bother some people if you ask them questions like that. But I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to insulting strangers while making small talk, so I try to just stick to normal, non-personal topics unless they are raised by the other person first. (not trying to attack anyone- just my POV)
The area of Canada in which I grew up, "white" people were actually in the minority. I realize that might be difficult to believe, but it's true. The majority of people were Aboriginal Americans. I actually always assume that people are from this continent (unless they're rather obviously not, like they have an accent so thick you can barely understand them). It's been questioned all my life if I'm my mother's daughter and if I'm Aboriginal at all. I've had other Aboriginal people tear sacred objects off my person because I "was white and dared to defile their objects". If they had asked me before hand "what are you", I'd have been far less hurt and insulted than them simply tearing MY sacred objects off of me.
post #112 of 222
thats an awful experience. I guess I was trying to make the point that people should just avoid making (or at least voicing) assumptions based on appearances (which would include people who made assumptions about you) and just let people be people, independent of race, nationality, etc. - does it really matter who is what?
post #113 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
thats an awful experience. I guess I was trying to make the point that people should just avoid making (or at least voicing) assumptions based on appearances (which would include people who made assumptions about you) and just let people be people, independent of race, nationality, etc. - does it really matter who is what?
I think that voicing the assumptions are important in order to break down cultural misconceptions. I would far rather be insulted once by a stranger and have them learn something from me and take that home to their children than to perpetuate the wall of silence that has overtaken this country regarding racial and cultural identity.
Does it matter who is what? No. But racial and cultural diversity is, imho, one of the most important and wonderful things about our species and our planet. Why can we not all embrace that without becoming pariahs by so doing?
I love the cultures of my ancestors. I love the cultures of your ancestors too, "what"ever and whoever they were. Is it wrong for me to embrace them? Is it wrong for people to be curious about others? Children, in their innocence, ask questions that we, as adults are taught are "taboo" without insulting anyone. Why can it not be assumed that every question is asked with the innocence of a child, simply to gain understanding? It's not. Why? There is so much dissension regarding race, so much pressure and taboo. Unfortunately, it just leads to more fear and misunderstanding which leads to more dissension, pressure and taboo. It's a vicious cycle and it must end somewhere. How is it to end if we do not learn? How are we to learn if we cannot ask?
post #114 of 222
I really don't understand the hostility about people asking questions like "are they yours?". I never make assumptions about whose child/parent belongs to whom. Of course it partly comes from when I was 20 working in a children's activity centre at our local museum, and I asked the child if they were having a nice day with granddad, to be told coldly by the "elderly" gentleman that he was the father. I was mortified, so from then on I always ask. Especially now i have kids of my own - it's a way of making conversation with other mothers, to make comparisons and to wait for them to ask about by Beautiful Boys.
Don't sweat someone asking if they are yours - answer proudly, so that your kids don't see it as a bad thing.
On the other side (I'm bi-racial) I remember when my sister (who apart from hair and eye colouring is very fair-skinned (white), mother and I met her then sister-in-law to be for the first time and the SIL said in front of mum and I "Is that really your mother?" "Yes" "But she's a Maori?" "Yes" "but..." "Yes?" "nothing". what more needs to be said?
post #115 of 222
Interesting thread...

I'm asked too, the weirdest thing is that my daughter is a little clone of me, except that she has lighter hair, but she looks a lot like me. She has my nose, my eye shape, eye color, even the freckles are in the same place and oh let's not forget the ears, she got my big ears too but DD doesnt mind
But well, i don't understand why i'm asked if i'm her mom, are people blind or what?
post #116 of 222

Happened again!!!

Today I was asked if I was her babysitter...and haven't heard anything back on the iron tests that were requested citing "how much lighter" DD is than me as one of the reasons!!!!
post #117 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by luciiesmommy View Post
Interesting thread...

I'm asked too, the weirdest thing is that my daughter is a little clone of me, except that she has lighter hair, but she looks a lot like me. She has my nose, my eye shape, eye color, even the freckles are in the same place and oh let's not forget the ears, she got my big ears too but DD doesnt mind
But well, i don't understand why i'm asked if i'm her mom, are people blind or what?

Yes, people are blind when it comes to color. So many people say that my DS2 looks like my DH. Uh, no he doesn't. DS looks more like me and my side of the family.
post #118 of 222
I wish I had read this first...I am constantly being asked if I'm the sitter or where are their parents. I now carry a copy of my childrens birth certificates ( my now 3 year old was having a major meltdown in a store and a woman came to "help"me. She was very kind but I later realized that she was trying to keep me there until the police showed up...not to mention that she refused to believe that he was my son. Anyway, the officer believed me and I guess he just didn't feel like getting involved with a toddlers tantrum. At least daily I hear " how many kids do you watch" or my favorite "his mother doens't mind that he calls you mommy?". What's wrong with people...doesn't anyone watch My Name Is Earl?

gerlassie
mommy to my 7 and 3 year old boys and my lovely little 8 month old girl
post #119 of 222
I would like to add my 2 little stories. First off I am white my fiancee is AA. I have a 6 yr old from a previous realtionship who is white and a 3 month old with my DF who is (obviously) bi-racial. So about 2 yrs ago when my Older son was about 4 he went to the grocery store with DF and shopped. Upon leaving the store there were 2 policemen there to stop them. Someone called 911 to report my son was being kidnapped. Mind you DF was pushing him in the cart and did a whole grocery shop! I can kinda understand that because he is so young and could not help him self. But the COPS!! UGGH...they grilled them. And when they asked my son who he was he naturally responded...thats MY DAD! He said the cops felt pretty bad after that!!

So just the other day, My Mom had just got back in town and was getting her hair done. I decided to take the kids to surprise her at the salon since she hadn't seen them in a while. So we are in there an older woman in the chair next to her remarked how beautiful the baby was. Then she really looked at me, my other son and the baby again. She then said, 'WOW...you should really put some sunscreen on that baby next summer..he is entirely too tan.' she honestly thought I had tanned my baby!!! I let out a little chuckle so did my Mom. Now we just laugh about it!!
post #120 of 222
That's funny that she would think that you tanned your baby. But, I don't think it's uncommon...young cheerleaders and pagent babies ( with parents permission) get the spray on tans. I AM NO ONE OF THOSE MOMS!!! and for the record, it's none of my business if anyone chooses tanning for their children but, I was surprised to read that mothers will do this.

gerlassie
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