It happened again. While he was talking to his guidance counselor yesterday, Tank referred to his father as 'DADDY'. She'd asked him who else in the family attended Creighton, which is where he is going to college in the fall. He told me, while wincing, that he started to say Daddy went to Creighton, but he coughed or hesitated, trying to cover up his embarrassing hiccup.
Back when Tank was a freshman he was talking to his golf coach on the bus after a tournament. He accidentally called his coach DADDY. Tank was mortified, sort of. Tank laughs at everything, including himself so he recovered quickly. The coach referenced Tank and his 'DADDY' moment at the end of season golf award ceremony that year. It was hysterical. Most parents in attendance knew Tank, or had heard stories. They died laughing.
I was loading the dishwasher just before bed when Tank was telling me about this guidance counselor incident. Mini came flying in from her study spot in the living room. She wanted to weigh in on the weirdness. The MOMMY/DADDY factor. Apparently, she once called Mr. Grand, her 8th grade English teacher, Daddy. She claims it's also an issue if she calls home while out with friends . . .
Mini: Are our parents there? (avoiding the embarrassing Is Mommy home? or Can you tell Daddy I'll be home by 4:00?, etc.)
She was poking me, like HEY, THIS IS YOUR FAULT. I was busy loading and I grabbed her wrist and said STOP JABBING AT ME. PLEASE NOTE: I'M LOADING THE DISHWASHER, WHICH IS YOUR JOB TONIGHT.
Mini: Oh, yeah, but hey - this is your fault (avoiding the dishwasher job topic). You refer to Daddy as Daddy in conversation. Daddy refers to you as Mommy.
Me: What's my fault? I've always been Mommy. What was I supposed to do? When you turned 12 say, QUIT CALLING ME THAT, DAMN IT. GROW UP ALREADY.
I understand that it isn't cool to be in high school and call your parents Mommy and Daddy. I've never threatened them if they DIDN'T call me that. Our house has always been 'young.' Did I miss a memo with a timeline suggesting when I was supposed to tell kids to call me plain MOM?
Growing up, we called our folks: Mom and Dad. I never encountered a transition, or if I did I was too young to remember. It never dawned on me to suggest the kids move to more age appropriate titles for Coach and I.
I remember Lad telling me towards the end of his high school years that he wasn't calling me Mommy anymore. Fair enough. (My heart might have broken a little bit). I didn't threaten to disown him. Ed did the same thing, and told me that it was weird that they all still called me Mommy.
I suppose it is, but it's what I've gone by for over 22 years.
One of Ed's good friends calls his dad by his first name: Huck, and always has. We knew this kid when he was 5 and he was calling his father Huck back then too.
My college roommate was the oldest of 7. She called her parents Mom and Dad, but when speaking to her siblings she referred to her folks as Mommy and Daddy, as in "Do you know where Mommy is?"
My own mom called her father DADDY, her entire life. Her mom was always MAMA. We thought this was hilarious as kids, because it was different.
Tank and Mini were all up in arms last night, like I'd done them a disservice. They were ready for a playful type fight. I wanted to go to sleep. This is how it is around here, teenagers come alive and wanna joke around just as I wanna crawl into my bed. I fall for it sometimes, staying up too late and engaging with them. This time I baled.
First I made them say: GOODNIGHT MOMMY, WE LOVE YOU. YOU'RE THE BEST.
How about you? What did your kids call you? Or what did you call your folks? Did you have friends that called their folks something untraditional, like Butch?
To all the mothers out there, or devoted aunts or godmothers, or favorite neighbors, etc . . . HAPPIEST OF MOTHER'S DAYS TO YOU!