Splitsville: ‘Two Daddies Makes Me Special, Duh.’

Welcome to Splitsville. This weekly column will focus on parenting after a divorce, break-up or one-night stand that didn’t end like a Katherine Heigl movie.

Blended families have a notoriously difficult time with the titles for each parent. Even more confusing can be explaining those pet names and relationships to those outside the family. My husband and I got engaged when my daughter was a year old. She was young enough that it doesn’t seem odd for her to have two dads in her life. We decided early on to let her figure out the names and how she wanted to address everyone.

At first, she started calling both my husband and her father, “Dad.” It was easy and simple. But then she would get frustrated when I didn’t understand which dad she was referring to. So my smart little child amended to give us, “Daddy Scott” and “Daddy Father.” It’s her way of distinguishing the two, but still allows her to call both guys, “Dad,” which seemed to be what she was set on doing.

At home, my daughter’s naming system seems so straight-forward and easy to understand. Apparently it’s not so simple at daycare. My daycare provider recently shared a story about another little girl asking my daughter about her dad. My daughter looked at her confused and asked, “Which daddy?” The girls stared at each other a minute before the first pre-schooler clarified, “The one that lives at your house.” Well that made it simpler, my daughter lives with my husband and I full-time. “I live with Daddy Scott,” my three-year-old proclaimed.

About an hour later, my daughter’s biological father showed up to get her from daycare. Her friend looked at him and said, “Hi Daddy Scott.” Before he could comprehend or correct, my daughter interjected, “No! This is Daddy Father!” Her friend was even more confused. As she sat there looking puzzled, Brenna continued, “I have a Daddy Scott and a Daddy Father. I have two daddies.” The other little girl was still perplexed and glared at my daughter, finally asking, “But why?”

And in a move that kind of made my heart melt, our little girl responded, “Two daddies makes me special, duh.”

It’s true. We’ve always explained to my daughter that she just has lots of people who love and care for her. When she asks who my second daddy is, I’ve always tried to explain that all families are different, but that the important part is how much we love each other. When she asks if she’s going to get another mommy, I tell her that maybe someday she will, and maybe she won’t. Either way, she’ll always be loved and that’s the part that matters.

We’re committed to selling the positives of a blended family to our daughter. I agree with her that having two daddies makes her special. But no matter what she called them, her family will always be unique and just right for her. My daughter has two daddies (and one mommy!) who love her very much and she knows that. As a mom, that makes me feel pretty special too.

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