07 July 2010

Accuracy At All Times

I have trouble with language sometimes - I'm too precise or it is or we both are but at cross purposes. How do I refer to my husband, who happens to be the father of my child? "We" means her daddy and I, or, my husband and I, or really both of those things. If I call him her Daddy, it sounds like we're not married; but if I refer to him as my husband, it can sound as though she's not his child. So complicated, this language of ours.

9 comments:

susan said...

I have, on a couple of occasions, had people assume I am not Curious Girl's mother if they hear me--or her--discussing "Mommy." The night the fire dept responded to our carbon monoxide incident, we were outside and I was soothing her about what would happen next. When I said to her, "Don't worry, we'll call Mommy and everything will be OK," the firefighter stiffened up and said, "Oh, you're not the mother?" which of course made CG stress in the moment.

All of which is to say, I feel your pain.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I guess it was easier when everyone assumed that the father of your child was also your husband!

Imperatrix said...

Sure, if you say "my husband took the girl to the zoo", some folks might wonder what is being implied. But if he had a moniker on your blog (oh, I don't know, how about the Cooking Genius?), and you said "The Cooking Genius took the girl to the zoo", well, implications don't seem as strong then, do they?

Solution!

(And you can call him a regular name if you prefer, of course...)

de said...

I tend to use the singular possessive so much, my husband gets hurt, eg., my kids, my bedroom. Of course they are ours, but does that necessarily make them no longer mine? It's because I am lazy.

I suppose the languages with more descriptive words (sixty different words for snow?) remain in societies with more restrictive social rules, reducing the necessity for separate words for kinships. Perhaps the next generation will come up with some slang words; I couldn't come up with anything that was less cumbersome than my existing method of using context to figure it out. Spo-genitor? Fas-band?

I'm surmising from Susan's comment that Curious Girl has two moms. Every same-sex couple I have met has handled the parental monnikers differently.

The family that throws me is the one in which the daughter calls her father "Papa," which to me will always mean grandfather.

YourFireAnt said...

How about just calling him [say his name is Sam..] "our Sam" ?

YourFireAnt said...

...or ask the girlie to come up with a term.

;-)

Furrow said...

Z has decided that it's fun to call me and her father (my husband) by our first names because she hears my niece doing it. Sometimes I call him by his name to Z, and he will do it about me, just for fun. Now that'll really get you some puzzled looks, but it's precise.

The Library Lady said...

Depends on whether I want to take credit for my child or blame it all on my husband's DNA :D

eeekievonkane said...

Yeah - well get this - my language confusion is so severe I didn't know how to answer the customs officer at the US/Canadian boarder when he asked the three of us returning home from a visit to Montreal, "What is your relationship?" I explained that she and I are in a relationship and the girl in the back is our daughter. My love, girlfriend, wife, significant other, main squeeze, turned to me as we passed the boarder test and said, "Family, you could have just said we're a family." Uggg . . .