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Who’s Your Daddy?

This is a question I ask my daughter a lot… not because I need genetic confirmation, but because we didn’t teach her to call Billy “Daddy.” Since her birth, he has always been her Papa.

Still, she seems to have picked up on the English term and added it to her potpourri of parental labels. I guess it works in our favor, then, that she still seems to be figuring out who we are.  Mama, papa, daddy, mommy, papi are all interchangeable to address any person that she loves.

I was grateful today, though, that she recognized me knocking on the front windows. Billy was vacuuming the steps (I know, what a cool husband), so she alerted him to my need to be let in by shouting, “Mommy!” We’re getting there…

We are trying to correct her any time she calls for her “Daddy,” but she has hung onto that name tightly. It makes me a little sad. Her English is still surpassing her Spanish, but Papa is an important label for Billy.

Has your child ever latched onto a name you didn’t care for? How have you handled it? Do you tell caregivers how to call family members?

6 comments

  1. That is one of the things I wonder about with our little one, how they will sort out all the family members names. The way children learn language is so interesting, isn't it?

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    1. It's for sure been fun to watch. It seems like she's occasionally called her grandparents "bue" as a part of "abuelos."

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  2. I just found your blog from Jamie: The Very Worst Missionary. I'm also in a multi cultural marriage, bringing up two kids in Brazil and watching them learn two languages. I am Canadian. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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    1. Hi Taara! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. So glad you are here, and I look forward to checking out your blog as well! :)

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  3. So far my kids call my husband papi. I have noticed the older ones (in 2nd grade) referring to him as "my dad" when talking with other kids, but so far to him it's only papi! For the Spanish-speaking grandparents, my kids call them "ito" and "ita" :) because when they were little they couldn't say "abuelito" and "abuelita." That has totally stuck! A year ago they were telling someone that they only had 1 grandma and grandpa. My mouth dropped open and I said, "No, you also have ita and ito, they're your grandparents too!" They were shocked- they just thought their names were ita and ito or something!? We were laughing so hard that they didn't make the connection:).

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    1. That is so hilarious! And I LOVE the names "ito" and "ita." That's precious. That's encouraging to know that kids can distinguish for English-speaking friends that their papi is "dad." Amazing little brains! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Becky!

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