As Nolin picked up his George Foreman children’s book (a literary classic…I know), I realized the game was over…he simply looked at the picture of George senior smiling on the cover and began asking for Pap Pap. Yep, that was it. That is the moment that you second guess everything you have done as a father…because I was officially off the radar for ever being known to Nolin as his daddy. Slightly dejected, I immediately decided I would no longer try and push the issue.
No more trying to coach Nolin into calling me Daddy. At one point I even tried Papa since that was close to Pap Pap (petty I know), although I could only imagine the strange looks I would receive if Nolin went around calling me papa. Anyway, I just continued to smile as he happily called out for Grammy, Mamma and Pap Pap.
This past Friday night I came home from work early in order to pick Nolin up in time to meet our friends Cathy & Jodi, their three daughters (including two twin 6 month olds…) and Jenn down by Universal Studios. As we were sitting in traffic, Nolin (equipped with his Shamu bath toy and his favorite books…George Foreman conveniently missing) began to call out for Grammy. I simply said, “Nolin, I’m not Grammy, what’s my name?”.
“Bus” he replied…really?! I thought to myself. You see your grandpa Bus every few months, you see me every day…heck you have seen Shamu like two times and you eagerly call out Orca Whale and I can’t even get called by name…awesome!
Then without prompting it happened…”Daddy” he said with smile. Well I don’t really know if he said it with a smile because I couldn’t see him in the back seat, but I imagine that it made him very happy to call me daddy. That was quickly followed with an angelic “Hi Daddy“. Why couldn’t someone else be here to witness this…but the traffic quickly became less annoying and I couldn’t help but feel excited…I was in the club!
Saturday continued with a few more “Hi Daddy’s“. This time in front of Jenn and Teresa. Don’t worry, I didn’t waste any time letting Teresa know that there was a new kid on the block and her days as number one may soon be coming to an end.
While it was exciting to hear him finally calling me by name, nothing compared to Sunday. After a very terrible Saturday night Virginia Tech game, I slowly made my way downstairs Sunday morning while Nolin slept. As we were sitting eating breakfast, Nolin finally decided he was ready to get out of bed and come downstairs.
“Hi Daddy…Hi Daddy…Hi Daddy” I quickly made my way to Nolin’s room as Jenn said…”Isn’t that the best sound ever?!” It was. So what if Nolin thinks my name is actually Hi Daddy…I’ll take it because when he says it, it sounds perfect!
I enjoy every one of your blog posts and always find them to be moving and/or entertaining but this post is really special. It’s wonderful and generous that you take the time to share these moments as well as your thoughts.
Nolin is the luckiest little guy in the world and there isn’t the smallest doubt in my mind that he’ll understand that as he gets older.
By the way, when Anthony (my older son) was about three or four years old, for no apparent reason he started calling me “George.” We never said anything about it and after a few weeks he reverted back to “Dad.” Hard to know what he was thinking.
Thanks George! I never realized how fun this all would be. I went back a few weeks ago and was looking at some of the old posts, and you can quickly forget everything that has happened, so I hope this continues to be a nice documentary of this time for us.
It’s funny that Anthony started calling you George…for a little while Nolin was calling me “Patrick”, he had heard Jenn say my name and he always said it like I was in trouble…luckily that also passed on its own. I did start to get nervous though when Patrick was replaced with Mama…