I have earned the right to be called “Dad.” I’ve supported my wife through two pregnancies, dragged myself out of bed in the middle of the night for countless feedings/diaper changes, and sang along to more “Yo Gabba Gabba” songs than the Surgeon General would ever recommend. Yup, I’ve earned the right to be called “Dad” (or even “Dada”). Unfortunately, SOMEBODY around here doesn’t seem to understand that.
Last weekend I was working in our office when I suddenly heard a little voice call out, “Mike? Mike?”
I cocked my head, surprised. “Did I actually just hear that?” Annabel then shuffled into the room and up to my chair.
I stared at Annie in shock a beat before I could spit out, “I’m not Mike. I’m Dada.”
Heather ran into the room, breathless.
“She’s calling me Mike!!!”
“Oh, I know,” Heather said, smiling. “She started calling you that this morning. Isn’t it cute?”
Cute? CUTE?!?! No, Heather. It is not cute. Annie is not even two years old. I want to be called “Dad,” “Dada,” or “Daddy.” That’s not too much to ask, is it? Especially when it won’t be long before she is calling me “Mike” in that snotty, ironic way that only a teenager can.
Heather was amused that I was so upset by this, and told me that Annie is just repeating what she has heard other people call me. She then promised me that it would soon stop, especially if we remind her that I am to be called “Dad” or “Dada.”
But then the next day I walked in on Heather pointing my photo out to Annie and saying, “Who’s that? Is it Mike? Is that Mike?”
“WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING, HEATHER?!”
“I’m sorry,” Heather chucked. “It’s just so cute to hear her call you Mike.”
Grrrr. You’re making me angry, Heather. And you won’t like me when I’m angry.
I decided later that I would turn the tables on Heather, so I showed Annie some photos of her mom and coached, “That’s Heather. Heath-her. Heather. Got it?” Of course Annie just looked at me and said, “Mama?”
I know I shouldn’t be so annoyed by Annie’s calling me “Mike,” especially since she has started to call me “Dada” again (maybe half the time), but there is something really weird/disconcerting about your one-year-old calling you by your first name.
I can promise Annabel this – if she doesn’t stop calling me “Mike” I will make her regret it when she’s a teenager by calling her “Pumpkin” or “Sweetums” whenever her friends are around. Totally by accident, of course.