Wednesday, August 30, 2006

by any other name...


Next Sunday our younger child, Shaila, will be turning 3. She's a bright child for her age and she's been behaving pretty well lately despite her primary source of entertainment (i.e. her sister) attending school.

Now Shai is my biological daughter, but not Chris's. Shai doesn't remember much about her biological father (which I am grateful for) but she understands that Chris isn't her "real" father. Her sister Rosie used to have massive Daddy guilt, and so made it perfectly clear to Shai that Chris isn't their "Daddy".

Today Shai disagreed.

Wednesday is poker night where Chris, John, Kommander, and a lot of other friends are off playing free poker at a local pub. The guys meet up at the house beforehand since we only live 1/2 a mile away. Since they were leaving before the girls went to bed, I had the girls say goodbye before I gave them their bath. As the two girls made their rounds to the three men, Shai got to Chris last, and called him something he's been wanting to hear for a long time.

Shai called Chris "Daddy".

Two months ago when I told Shai it was all right to call Chris "Daddy", she disagreed with me, saying that "Chris isn't Daddy, he's stepfahder". The kid definitely has a good grasp of her terms.

So this was completely unexpected, and completely welcome. I was afraid that when other kids came on the scene in another couple of years we'd have a naming crisis, with two kids calling Chris "Chris" and the others calling him "Daddy". That no longer seems to be a problem.

Hopefully Rosie follows suit soon. She's given up on her biological father, but she still feels guilty. Maybe when she sees her sister calling Chris "Daddy" she'll understand what a real Daddy is, and that Chris is it. She certainly didn't correct Shai this afternoon.

But in the meantime, I'm certainly happy to have one child who understands who her real parents are. I'll probably never know why Shai decided it's now okay to call Chris "Daddy" but I'm glad she decided to all the same. After all, that is the sweetest name she could have ever given Chris.


Just call me Mel, everyone else does. Except for my kids of course.