Daddy Issues

I have a beef with being called “Daddy.”

No, I don’t have anything against being a Daddy. I don’t even have anything against the affectation itself. I’m happy to be “Daddy” because I know all too soon the “Daddy” my now-nearly-eight-year-old girl uses will become “Dad” and then “Hey” and then *grunt whine* until the little goddess enters into adulthood and it becomes “Dad” again.

My actual problem is that when I hear “Daddy” from the lips of my daughter, 95% of the time it is used to usher in unnecessary communication or unreasonable requests.

  • “Daddy, I have a question.” (Instead of simply getting to the point and saying “Daddy, [insert question here]”)
  • “Daaaaddddy? (Usually precedes a request for a junky snack, an attempt to borrow my iPhone, an entreaty to get more screen time or ice cream, or a push to get her own high-tech armaments and craft-making lab)
  • “Daaaaaaddddddddyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Usually heard from her room when she was supposed to be asleep a half hour ago to summon me in so that I can pull up the covers she could pull up herself or put calamine on a bug bite she should have told me about at bath time or request another blanket when she already has a flannel sheet, knit blanket, three fleece blankets and two comforters on her.)
  • “Daddy?” (Usually heard from back seat of the SUV when I’m trying to concentrate on bad drivers all around me, and means that I have to acknowledge her, just so that she can pause for five to 10 seconds and then say something like “Can I ask you…” or “Why do…” or “How does…” which will probably be some touchy area or uncomfortable topic or something completely over her head that I will answer in terms she can actually mostly understand, which will then lead to (possibly unrelated) follow-up questions for at least 20 minutes straight without relief until my throat is raw, I am dizzy from lack of time to actually take a breath, and I nearly run into a cement mixer truck.)

Still, I shouldn’t complain. Because there are those times we snuggle to watch a movie or I give her a hug and a kiss or I bring her a treat or help her solve a problem and she says “Daddy” in that simple way that communicates all the love that is possible in the world.

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