The Guncles' Blog: Call Us... Dad???
January 26, 2012
© Courtesy of the Guncles
Celebrity guest bloggers The Guncles, from Oxygen's reality show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood and dads to toddler Simone, open up about what Simone calls each of them and just who they’ll turn to when Simone has questions about “girl stuff.” Read their earlier posts about how they chose open adoption, all about their birth experience in a small Southern town and the nail-biting moments before they could finally leave the hospital with their baby in their arms.
Dads... We have to smile when we write this word. The mere sound of it is magical to us because there was a time we weren't sure if anyone would ever call us "Dad." As you now know, being called Dad was indeed our destiny. But what we're about to share with you never occurred to us until we started getting asked it daily... “What will Simone call you guys?”
Daddy? Da Da? We don’t think of ourselves as being different than any other family, so it didn’t cross our minds that people might ask that question. And once Simone was born, nearly every single person we spoke with asked THE QUESTION... almost to the point of annoyance. We had already discussed and settled that when she could speak, she could call us whatever felt natural to her, but that Bill would be “Daddy” and Scout would be “Da Da.” Looking forward, that is what happened, by the way! It's just one of those little extra things that we are faced with, being a gay family. After all, it doesn't seem to us that many people are concerned with anything like this in more traditional families, like if the child will be calling the mom "Mother" or "Mommy", or the dad "Father" or "Daddy." But it is one of the very first (and most frequent questions) we got asked. We suppose maybe people are just plain curious.
It never mattered to us what Simone would call us as far as names go. After people started asking us more frequently, we did for a moment start wondering if she would be confused by calling us both a version of Dad. But then after a split second we remembered that this is her (and our) normal. Simone’s speaking skills and vocabulary have always been impressive. We believe she is a super smart little girl. From birth, we spoke to her like an adult...skipping that dreaded baby talk. Whether true or not, we believe that us speaking to her on a more adult level has helped her have an advanced vocabulary. For example, a few months ago, there was a day we were both totally amazed. Simone was saying “Da Da” and we thought she meant Scout, so he said, “I’m right here,” and Simone replied “No, the other Da Da”. We then knew that even at that early age, she had a level of understanding of having two dads.
While we’re on the subject of our little non-traditional family... We also get asked a lot what it’s like to raise a girl and if we have concerns on whom she will speak to with her “female issues.” There’s an obvious point there, we indeed don’t have a female body. We do know the basics of how it works, though! Of course, yet another question we weren't prepared for!!!!! Call us crazy, but we just didn't think about these things with all of the excitement of finally having a daughter of our own! We suppose that it’s a valid point or concern that people may think of asking. Let's think about this though... How are we different than a woman or single mother raising a son? Or a father left to raise his daughter alone?
Although most people are supportive & truly wonderful, there are some people we've met along the way that just can't get past the fact that we're men—gay or not. A woman who raises a boy certainly doesn’t have a penis of her own. But we've personally never heard of anyone concerned about a woman raising a boy and being there for him to answer his “body” questions. We’re not saying this in a defensive tone; we get it. Even in 2012, many people view a gay family much differently than one consisting of a man and a woman. We’re confident enough about our parenting skills and knowledge that we’ll be able to comfortably discuss with Simone the important issues as her body is blossoming into a young woman. Yes, we indeed don’t get a “period,” and by the sounds of it... we are truly grateful we don’t! So to answer this question, if we need a little extra help in that part of the parenting department, we do feel like Simone has a great support system within her family. And she has one amazingly fabulous auntie/godmother named Tori. :-)
-- The Guncles, Bill & Scout