Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What's in a Name?

Right now, Zack calls Jim, Mr. Jim. It started out as a respect thing. He didn't know him and all of the teachers at his daycare are Miss or Mr so we just carried it over into his name for Jim.

Now that Jim is sticking around awhile (or forever... if you want to be technical... at least that's what he seems to be telling me LOL) both of us feel that Mr. Jim is a bit too formal for Zack to call him forever.

So this weekend Zack and I had a little talk. I told him that he could pick what he wanted to call Jim. That he could call him Jim, Mr. Jim or Daddy Jim. Let me sidetrack here for a minute and tell you that Zack knows that he has two daddy's. His daddy that lives with his Grandma and Jim. We had that talk a month or so ago and he understands it as well as he can understand it. If he says something about daddy and you say to him which one he will tell you which one.

Ok, so back to the conversation at hand. He picked Daddy Jim. As of right now, I still refer to him as Jim around Zack. I have dropped the Mr when I talk about him but I'm letting him find his own comfort level with the rest.

So, dear people of the Internet, if you had a step-parent.... what did you call them? Do you wish you had called them something else? Did you pick the name or were you just told what to call them?

As with the money discussion... rest assured this is a conversation Jim and I have already had and a decision that will ultimately be up to what works best for our family but we would like to hear what works for other people too.


Wolvers said...

I was older when my step-mom entered the picture, but I have always called her by her first name, Donna. My younger 1/2 brothers try and correct me and say it's "mom". I tell them for them it is mom, for me it is Donna. Great idea to let him pick the name he calls Jim!

sbeardy said...

At first, I guess we were able to call him John, but after my younger (too young to know the difference at the time) 1/2 siblings started calling their own dad John, we were asked to call him Dad.
I think what you are doing is great, and if/when there are more kids, I hope that you are able to still let Zack call him whatever he decides on now, or let him gradually start calling him Dad if that's not what he decides to call Jim right now.
I know that I wish I could've called John something other than Dad, because I definitely didn't have the same relationship with him as Zack seems to have with Jim!

Jennifer B. said...

I think it will evolve all on its' own to whatever fits best in Zack's mind. I know my kids ended up calling their Step-Mom, "Mudder" - spelled out just like that. It seems to work for them and they know that she and I both love them very much.

Anonymous said...

I don't have step-parents, but I have in laws. My mother in law, who is a step-parent to my husband, has called HER mother in law "mom" for always. She expects that I do as well. I can't do it. I have a mom, and while she's still here, I would feel disrespectful giving anyone else that title. It's odd, because I feel the exact opposite about your Jim. For all purposes, I predict that he will be Zack's stability and comfort and role model in both being a man, and being a husband. Everything a "daddy" is. I know Jim isn't MY daddy (but typing that makes me laugh),,,,,if I were Zach, I'd call him Daddy J!! Sort of a lil gangster spin,,,,,hee hee. Gangster. Ha. I was SO raised on a farm. No gangsters here.

Kelly said...

I knew my stepmom (before she became my stepmom) from the time I was about 4... when she and my dad got together when I was about 6, I just continued to call her by her first name. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I dubbed her with the name "MamaRita", out of respect. She's been part of my life for as long as I can remember, and she deserves some sort of "title". My son calls her Nana Rita. He had 3 grandmothers and 4 great grandmas growing up, so attaching a name to them was a necessity!!!
Good for you for allowing your son to call the shots based on HIS comfort.

LivingLifeBackwards said...

My Step-Dad has been in my life since I was 4 and my parents got married when I was 5. At first I called him "Darrell" and then when they got married I asked my mom what I should call him. She told me to ask him. So I asked him "Can I call you 'Dad Darrell'" and he told me I could call him what ever I wanted. Eventually it got dropped off to just Dad. NOW, I will tell you this. I referred to my step-dad as Dad while talking to my "real" dad (I hate that term) when I was little and he got REALLY pissed. So just let the ex know what Zack prefers to call him as. Playing devils advocate--- what if the roles were reversed (you know if J was normal and could settle down) how would you feel if Zack came home and was like "Mommy- dumb whore" did this and that. Know what I mean... Just talk to J about it and inform him it was Zack's decision and it is by no means to be disrespectful to J.