My Daughter Thinks I’m Gay (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That)
There are two disturbing trends in my otherwise-perfect daughter’s speech development:
1) She has some kind of mental block that prevents her from calling me “daddy.” She calls me “Danny” instead. I am aware of the fact that that is my name, but I don’t expect that kind of formal reference until she’s entered college and learned how much fun it is to subvert authority wherever possible.
2) She has not yet learned to pronounce the “L” sound. When she wants to say a word with that sound embedded within it, it is her common practice to drop the “L” altogether. For example, she says the word “butterfly” like this: “Fuhfy.” Interestingly, that’s also how she asks for french fries --- “fuhfies, Danny” --- but if Hot Wife knew I fed our child McPoison like that she’d kill me, so let us never speak of this again.
The other day while we were driving to the gym, the convergence of these two speech irregularities bore catastrophic consequences. My daughter saw a large American flag flying from a pole in front of a large bank building. She said this:
“Danny! Fag! Fag, Danny!”
“Honey,” I say, forcing calm, “daddy is not a fag. And we don’t call people names. It’s not nice.”
“Fag, Danny! Fag!”
“What did I just say, baby? Name-calling is not nice and even though daddy is not gay, there’s nothing wrong with being homosexual. Do you understand?”
“Thank you, sweetheart.”
I roll my eyes, conceding defeat.
“Thank you, honey. I think you’re pretty, too.”