What’s in a Name?

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? It may not, but in my household, it is certainly funnier.

For those of you who are not familiar with my family’s situation, let me fill you in. My older daughter is from my previous relationship. Her father is very involved in her life. In fact, she spends half of her time with him in our joint custody arrangement. So, it stands to reason that she fondly calls him “Daddy”. She identifies my current partner, whom she once referred to as her “uncle stepdad”, by his first name. And this has not been a problem until now.

Enter daughter #2. In her case, the monkey-see-monkey-do rule seems to have taken effect. Although she does get excited and yell out, “Daaay,” when her father comes home from work, most of the time, she copies her sister and uses a garbled version of his first name. He, of course, corrects her, but she hasn’t caught on yet. (Or maybe she has and just does it for the attention.)

This was the interchange between the two of them at breakfast this morning:


“No, I’m Daddy.”


“Call me Daddy.”


“It’s Daddy. I did not wait 40 years to hear my kid call me by my first name.”



“D—” (turning to look at me) “Mama.”

I don’t think either one of us have ever laughed harder.

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