Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Traveling through time

Charlotte likes to ask a lot of questions.  A lot.  It feels like hundreds and hundreds every day.  She also likes to talk a lot.  If she has nothing to say she will simply narrate whatever she is doing just so she can keep on talking.

Today and yesterday we had a couple of interesting conversations.  Yesterday we got into an argument (in Walmart parking lot, of all places) about what my "real" name is.  I told her it was Jennifer [Married Name].  She insisted that it was Jennifer [Maiden Name].  She would not believe me when I told her I changed my name when I married her Dad and that I was actually, legally Jennifer [Married Name] now.

When Richard got home from work last night I told him the story and he commented on what a strong Feminist our girl is, even at her young age.  I also thought that she might think she lives in Quebec, where women keep whatever name they are born with, married or not.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  After spending time with me at the hair salon getting cut and highlighted she helped me stir up a lovely pot of turkey-corn chowder for dinner.  I tied one of my aprons around her to keep her clothes clean while she was helping me cook.  Well, that retro-style apron went straight to Charlotte's head.  When Richard got home from work she set about adding a comfortable pillow and blanket to his spot at the dining table and set out a place mat for his after-work coffee. That seemed like a very sweet gesture from a little girl to her Dad.

Things took a sinister turn when I asked Richard to help me out by ladling out soup for the kids while I finished up something else I was making. She told me he shouldn't have to do any work because he worked so hard all day.  (This was met with  snickering from behind the newspaper)  She then decided that it should be my job to do all the bathing and tucking in of children at night (usually her Dad's job.) She started to say something else but I halted her diatribe after that.  We didn't need any more re-defining of gender roles happening!

Yesterday a staunch feminist, today a stereotypical old-fashioned housewife. 

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


EmmaNadine said...

Tomorrow: A gerbil.

Also, why is Quebec different? Well, with regards to the last name thing. Is not changing the last name something that happens in France, too?

Not Jenny said...

Taken directly from Wikipedia because they say it much more eloquently than I could:
Quebec law is unique in Canada because Quebec is the only province in Canada to have a bijuridical legal system under which civil matters are regulated by French-heritage civil law. Public law, criminal law and other federal law operate according to Canadian common law.

So, to answer your question, French women do not change their names when they get married.

Quebec is an interesting part of Canada and very fiercly protective of its French culture and traditions.

Anonymous said...

Well, I mean, you don't HAVE to change your name in the other provinces and territories, right? And I know some French women who have changed their names, but now that I think about it, I think most were fairly religious or of an earlier generation.


Not Jenny said...

Oh no! Whether or not you change your name, no matter where you live in Canada, is completely up to you. Not changing it sure saves a lot of paperwork! I do think that even if your old French Mamere was called "Madame GrandperesLastName" she never filled out any paperwork to make it official. Of course, I could be wrong, though.

Carolyn said...

Oh, that first paragraph hit me right between the eyes... I'm having the exact. same. issue. with a certain three-year-old. Shamefully, I have moments when I turn to her and just say, "Please stop talking", and then remember with fondness the days when I had non-verbal children!

I love how Charlotte is trying on different roles, however, while exploring her identity.

kitten said...

That is one smart little girl you have. I'm glad things are going so well for you! It is so good to see you after such a long time. Hope you have a blessed day!

April said...

I love this post.