We have had a wonderful Christmas of all the wide-eyed delight I’d hoped for. Finn’s Christmas wish of being cold came true at the delightfully down-at-heel Snow City, even though its snow was too icy to build a snowman or even a snowball. His shy but hopeful request from Santa for a Transformer was also granted.

I have been very conflicted about Santa. My inexplicable puritanical streak makes me loathe to lie to my child; this fear is worsened by a child from my first-grade class, looming in my memory as a proud but ultimately tragic figure, declaring that Santa must be real because “my parents would never lie to me”. On the other hand, I have fond memories of the MAGIC of Christmas, and don’t want to ROB my child of MAGIC, or be turned on by an angry mob when my child tells his friends that their parents are indeed, all liars.

Adding to my worries, now, is his precocious understanding of reproduction, which is entirely my fault. He is doggedly fixated on the why of gender, and there are only so many genuine yet evasive answers in my repertoire. In the end, I had to tell him about two cells that join together, and one of them can be a boy or a girl cell, depending on who’s swimming fast that day. I refused to gift him the term “sperm”, again for fear of other parents. I had always anticipated pride in my matter-of-fact and scientific explanations when the time came to explain reproduction; that’s gone out the window now I realise I have to do it at age three.

Part of the interest in why he is a boy and Anika, for example, is a girl, is driven by dissatisfaction. On Finn’s part. In the past week, he’s said, “I don’t want to be a boy”, “I want to be a girl”, “when I grow up, can I be a lady?” and more pragmatically, “how am I going to be a girl?”. Once again, I find myself tongue-tied in a way I hadn’t anticipated. A normal parent would just say that you can’t be a girl, you will always be a boy. Probably, he’s just being a normal three-year-old demonstrating Kohlberg’s stage of Gender Stability acquisition (due by five years, by the way, in case you were concerned). But my neuroticism is such that the extremely tiny possibility that ACTUALLY he is voicing genuine nascent gender identity issues prevents me from making this appropriate response. So far this week, were you a fly on the wall, you may have heard such ridiculous answers as “perhaps you will like being a boy, later” and “well you can’t really usually change from a boy to a girl… I don’t think”. I sincerely hope that no Freudians, gender politicians, or sensible people read this blog.

But it doesn’t end there. This week we also introduced Finn to the idea that he could get married to a wife one day. And have a child. He declared that the child would be a boy, and his name would be Purpley-pink. He then named his wife (Jenna, from pre-school), but the following day said he would get another wife, from a different country (Charisma Man, watch your back!) and would in fact have five wives. As I’ve never exposed him to any examples of this, I can take some pride in the fact that he single-handedly invented polygamy.