This morning on the way to school LO asked what I thought his friends were doing.

Me: probably waiting for you to arrive, so they can say “hi LO!” I know A wants to say hi.
LO: I don’t want to say hi to A
Me: what about to N?
LO: no
Me: what about to T?
LO: no... and it becomes a game as I list another 3-4 names
Me: what about Ava?
LO: no
Me: who else?
LO: there’s two Avas
Me: two Avas!?
LO: a white Ava and a brown Ava...

As much as we talk on HB about kids and race I was a bit tongue tied. I repeated back what he told me acknowledging the way he distinguished the two Avas. Then, I said he will probably meet a lot of other Avas since it’s a popular name. I used Chloe as an example of that too because he knows two Chloes. Even at one point there was another little boy in his class with his name. He wasn’t there long so I don’t think that example of a popular name resonated.

Once we got to school I looked for the Avas’ cubbies. I knew about the white Ava, but brown Ava is actually Ava Brown. I confirmed with his teacher she is brown skin. If it wasn’t for LO identifying white Ava as white I’d chalk it up to maybe his teachers calling brown Ava by her full name since she’s the newest Ava to the class.

IDK I feel like I could have done more than just pivot to teach him a new word/concept “popular.” Then, again if I asked any follow up questions would I have inadvertently pushed my own adult crap about race and differences on him. LO is 2 yrs, 9 mos. He’s exposed to people and characters of different backgrounds, but he hasn’t been taught per se about his own. I didn’t ask him how he identified himself.

How old was your LO when they identified someone by race? What did you say or do immediately after?