Father Has Left The Building
My daughter began calling her dad "Father" when she was around 2 1/2. One day she asked me a question and I said, "Go ask your father." So she turned on her heel and said, "Father . . ." Since that day, he was Father. Occasionally I have been called Mother, but I've mostly been simply Mama.
You get a lot of odd looks in public when your child is shouting, "Father! Look at me!" I can only guess what they must be thinking. Wow, those people sure are formal with their titles. At least she never took it any further than she did. I can just imagine her saying, "Excuse me, legal guardian? Please can I may have a fruit snack?"
In June, A moved into the four-year-old room at Kindercare (she turned four in May). You would not think there would be a big difference between three and four, but there is. The four-year-olds get to go on field trips and engage in more activities. Also, I've noticed that the girls are more clique-y. There's a lot of talk related to "so-and-so said she's not my friend anymore!" Although my daughter won't admit it, I'm 99% sure that someone in her class made fun of her for calling her dad Father. She quit cold turkey and started calling him by his new moniker, Daddy.
It's bittersweet, I guess. It had to end sometime, but it was darned cute. It was different. What really made me smile was how good-naturedly other people played along. One time I was in my car with my niece and A wasn't with us. I called A and then handed the phone to my niece so that she could talk to her cousin. I heard my niece say, "Oh, what are you and Father doing today?"
The more sobering part of this tale is the realization that she is now falling under the influence of others, and my own impact on her is shrinking. She knows who Hannah Montana is. She knows that some of her friend at school have dark skin and noses that are different from hers. There are still plenty of other concepts, though, that she simply thinks she knows.
The good news is that her dad and I still have some leverage. We are the only residents in our household, for example, who can reach the fruit snacks.