The Slow Inevitable Change from Daddy to Dad

My eldest daughter started high school today. It happened to coincide with another change I noticed in her. She has started calling me ‘dad’ more often than ‘daddy.’ It’s surprising to me how much I think about this minor shift in language. It perhaps means a change in her view of me; a change in our relationship. Daddy, with it’s cute ending, denotes a certain closeness, a certain childlike affection. Dad, in comparison seems adult in its usage.

The younger two girls still call me ‘daddy’, but I know the end-life of the word ‘daddy’ is closer because as the older one uses it more so too will the younger ones. It’s not just word usage that the younger two copy the older one. Anything the older one does the younger two push to be given the same rights. This is good. All three are expanding their individualism, pushing boundaries, challenging authority and growing, as all children should.

When the eldest was allowed to stay up later the younger two revolted. I reminded them that when at their age their older sister went to bed at the same time. Think I was successful? Nope. The unfairness of it all bolstered their anger. Finally, I asked when she turns 16 and learns to drive should you two be allowed to drive at the same time? At ages 14 and 11? That gave them pause. With age comes more perks, but it also comes with more responsibilities. That is something my wife and I are trying to instill into our daughters.

It’s All in The Demographics

In a sense the age demographics of my household have shifted. Yes, I know each year the age demographics change, but with the threshold of adulthood on my eldest, and the middle daughter going into grade 7, junior high, and the youngest now into grade 4, the change seems quite palpable this new school year.

Their likes and hobbies are changing. This is good, too, as their experience and education expands their mental horizons. What this means, and I’m going to be a Dad here, is our household expenses are going to go drastically up, especially for beauty products. Oh boy. Lego was expensive, but electronics and phones are nuts!

I Remember When…

I find myself comparing how I was at 14, 12, and 9 and trying to relate to my daughters. This is easier to do now than when they were in kindergarten. All I remember at that age is the first blurry day sitting on the floor and that’s it. Now that they are older and I remember more of my life in grade 4, 7 and 9 I can compare what they are going through with what I did.

Of course the comparison is not one to one. There is FAR more technology in the school than when I was their age. In grade 9 computers where just starting to become a thing in my high school. They are girls and I was a boy. But, there are universal truths to adolescence. It is a time of change, of yearning, of failing, of trying to fit in, and of trying to figure out who you are and how you fit into this world.

I know parents always beam about how their children are better than them, but in my case it is true. (I know parents say in their cases it’s true as well, but no really, in my case it is… {I know parents say that… must get out of feedback loop…})

At any rate, they are all in french immersion (I wasn’t), they all play the piano (I don’t), and they all have more experience playing high level soccer than I ever did. They have more confidence than I did at their respective ages. And they are far more witty than I was. It is a house of mirth at times.

We are blessed and fortunate.

Photo by denise Clark from FreeImages

8 thoughts on “The Slow Inevitable Change from Daddy to Dad

  1. Peter Martuneac

    My daughter just started first grade, I can’t even imagine her going into high school! It’s true what they say about parenting: the days are long but the years are short.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No kidding. I happened to be sorting all our digital pictures on the computer to back them all up. Going through those pictures, even though they’re only two to three years old I see the change. A brief twinge of nostalgia. Thank you for reading and for your comment Peter. Cheers, A.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexandra

    I’m still in my early 20s so I can’t relate to any of this, but it was very touching. My dad once pointed out that I stopped calling him daddy, and I didn’t get it then. This was really sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I noticed something about my 12yo daughter. I’m rarely mommy anymore…but if she is anxious or scared, she reverts to both mommy and mama, by voice or texting. I think she does this subconsciously…and it puts me on high alert. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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