The D word

It’s so exciting when your child starts to speak. Life generally gets a little bit easier once they begin to communicate and a lot of frustration from the parent and child disappears. Oscar has been churning out words for a while now and just recently has begun forming short sentences. I can’t even explain how cute it is to be in another room and hear his little voice call out, “Mummy, where are you? Come back!”. It absolutely melts my heart.

So all of this has been great.

Except for one tiny thing.

About a week or so ago, I was picking Oscar up from daycare. As I walked into the room, there was another parent, picking up his daughter. As he entered the room, I saw Oscar point and turn excitedly to the girl and say, “Daddy!”. I didn’t really have a chance to say anything as he saw me come in behind the man and started yelling out “Mummy! Mummy!” So that was fine, a little awkward but not a big deal. But ever since then, he’s saying it a lot. The next day when I picked him up, we were saying goodbye to one of his carers and he said, “Bye Hannah”. Then a male parent walked past us and he yelled out “Bye, Daddy”. I corrected him, telling Oscar that he was a man, to which Oscar repeated me, saying “Man! Daddy!”

I went home with a weird feeling in my stomach. I couldn’t make sense of my feelings. At this point in the story it seems necessary to mention that this day coincided with the day Trump was elected. So I was already feeling disheartened and fragile. I sat down and had a little think about it and decided to donate a handful of Oscar’s two mum/different families style story books to his daycare room. He spends 5 days a week there and loves story time however all of the books he is exposed to, that have families in them, always have Mummy and Daddy characters. His daycare was thankful for the books and I have requested that these particular ones follow him into the next room when he moves up to the next age group.

Other than that, we’re really just correcting him by telling him that it’s a man when he point one out. So far it’s not really working but it’s only been a couple of days. The other night I was out at dinner with my Mum and sister. My Mum took Oscar to the baby change rooms to check his nappy and as they were walking away he called out “Bye Mummy” and then waved at a random guy sitting at a nearby table and said “Bye Daddy”. I was mortified. I’m not even sure if anyone else noticed but I certainly did. What has surprised me is how I don’t really want to talk about it with people who aren’t same-sex parents just in case they give me that concerned look. The look that says, ‘Hm, maybe you’re really going to screw this kid up by raising him with two mums’.

I have asked Candice how she feels about it, wondering if it was just me overreacting. She’s feels weird about it too, she doesn’t like it at all but can’t really explain why. I mean, it’s just a word and it’s clear that he just thinks that all the men he doesn’t personally know must be called Daddy. He doesn’t call any of the men in his life Daddy, only the strangers. I have to constantly remind myself that he is only TWO. At the rate he learns, by this time next month, he will know to call them ‘a man’. At least I hope so.

I guess it’s just not something that I thought we would have to think about yet. It has also made me start to wonder how we will handle things when he reaches the age of 4 or 5 and throws out that big question of “How come I don’t have a Daddy?”. We have our answers prepared and have spent so much time thinking about it and how Oscar will feel, how to ease his confusion, how to validate his feelings. Something I hadn’t prepared for however, was how it would make Candice and I feel. How we will have to be very careful to not take it to heart. To understand that he is just curious.

Reading back over this I feel like I am definitely over reacting. Perhaps I’m simply looking for reassurance. Has anyone else dealt with something similar when their child was this age? Two seems far too young to really be able to explain it to him. Does it just blow over?



5 thoughts on “The D word

  1. He’ll grow out of it. My baby sister used to call all the women in the household (mom, grandma and sisters) ‘mama’, and now she only calls 1 lady mama and no men ‘daddy’, as she also used to address my uncle by that. He knows you and Candice are his moms and he’ll know how special it is, that his family is one that is beautiful because it is different. I don’t think its something to worry about. He is a loved boy and it definitely shows in the way he is. I believe he is just calling other men that because he is associating the word ‘daddy’ with men. Soon he’ll probably wonder why he doesn’t have one, but he’ll know its cause he has two moms, and that its okay. After that realization I’m sure he won’t be feeling empty because of that. He will be far than okay. You guys are great and I admire the way you both are raising him: fearless and loving.


  2. I think it may be related to daycare. All these kids yelling out Daddy when they get picked up so, as you said, he thinks that’s what men he doesn’t know are called.
    I think kids understand more than we give them credit for so I am usually upfront – That man may be someone’s Daddy but you don’t have one, you have Mama and Mummy.
    Definitely blows over. These kids keep changing so fast, keeping us on our toes. Just like the banana eating method or cup colour preferences this will change before you know it!


    • I have to admit I’m looking forward to it changing. He was rambling away in the back seat on the way out this morning and I heard him say “Mumma, Daddy, Mumma, Daddy” so I said “Mummy, Mumma, Mummy, Mumma” to which he then replied “No Mummy”. Ouch! I know he doesn’t understand so I won’t take it to heart but I hope he grows out of it soon.


  3. OmG .. im glad I found this blog!!! I’ve been super nervous about all this… You know in Mexico, were we live, lesbianism is not so accepted yet, this year we are trying everything for pregnancy… But then I wonder, how are those kids with two mummies doing ? What does mommies tell them when they ask ? Do we need therapy as a family to get to know how to explain them ? .. how are things going to be at school ? Will kids ask them in their classroom ? And gets me so nervous.. even thou we are just starting with this process… So I’m grad to read you experiences and the way you guys manage all this situations 😬😂… I bet I’m the end we get really nervous about every single detail, because we want everything to be perfect for them, but is just some stages in life that have to happen for them to understand and grow, but eventually with love and patience.. things will be OK in the end…
    Thank you guy for sharing your experiences for the ones that are some steps behind you… Is lovely to read your thoughts….

    Alejandra from Mexico


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