It was supposed to be a joke.
Let me just dive in: My son’s nickname for my boyfriend is, “Sugar Daddy.” There I said it. If I am forced to look at one positive of having to mostly stay at home during this pandemic, it would be that that, at present, I can’t be seen out in public with my 7-year-old son, Holt, because he now calls my boyfriend “Sugar Daddy.”
It’s mortifying. But in a way, it’s so mortifying it’s actually hilarious. What parent hasn’t been out in public when their kid says something totally inappropriate?
Last, week, on a beautiful day, as the three of us were walking on a pretty busy street downtown, I was actually happy about social distancing, not just for health reasons, but my unfiltered son who was ahead of us yelled out, “Sugar Daddy is walking too slow!”
So, of course, I did what any mother would do, upon hearing her adorable young offspring yelling out, “Mommy! Tell Sugar Daddy to hurry up!” I just looked up in the sky and pretended he wasn’t my kid. (Wouldn’t you?)
My son uses the nickname “Sugar Daddy” with such frequency that I’m worried that, when this pandemic is over and my son has to re-enter the real world, he’ll say things like, “I played Xbox with Sugar Daddy!” to his teachers and other adults. It’s also terrifying to think that when my son is with his father he may say something like, “Mommy and Sugar Daddy were kissing!”
Obviously, my 7-year-old does not understand the true definition of a Sugar Daddy. Nor would I be able to, or want to, explain it to him. (Let me just add, if you want a Sugar Daddy, and a Sugar Daddy wants you? Whatever. You do you. Plus, it’s a reality that Sugar Daddies are actually becoming more normalized, as more and more like being in that type of relationship, but I digress.)
Let me also be clear: My boyfriend is NOT my “Sugar Daddy.” We have consensual sex and, after, I don’t get a fur coat, a car, a luxury vacation, money deposited into my bank account. I don’t even get a chocolate bar.
I blame My Guy for this highly embarrassing nickname. He always carries around a plastic bottle of regular Pepsi and because I grew up with a brother who had juvenile diabetes, I don’t allow regular pop in my house. So, when my boyfriend walked in one early evening, holding a bottle of Pepsi as usual, my 7-year-old asked him, “Can I try some?”
Before I could jump in and yell, ‘NOOOOOO!!!!!’ and throw myself in between that bottle of Pepsi and my son, my boyfriend had already said, ‘Sure!’ (Clearly he hasn’t raised a 7-year-old in a long time!)
Two things happened: I realized a sugar rush, or sugar high, is a real thing. My son had maybe four sips, and he might as well have eaten an entire birthday cake he was so amped up. I think I may have even gotten whiplash watching him run around, and bouncing off walls. I also forgot that kids have ears and that, even if you don’t think they are listening, they are totally listening.
So, as a joke, while my kid was doing headstands on the couch, screaming “Watch me! Watch me!” after his first real introduction to so much sugar, I nodded toward my wild child, and said to my boyfriend, “Thanks A LOT, Sugar Daddy. You just added on two more hours before he’ll fall asleep now.”
The nickname stuck. It is still sticking.
“Can I have some more Pepsi Sugar Daddy?” my son asked him, the other day. It was shocking to me because more often than not, my kid doesn’t seem to listen when I ask him to do something, but of course, he heard me saying that. I guess it’s called selective listening?
I blame myself, too, because I did the worst thing you could probably do when a little kid says something so inappropriate that you think of sending them to their bedrooms to think about what they’ve done. What is it that I did?
I laughed. I laughed really, really hard, as if I was with Dave Chapelle, and not a tax lawyer. I sort of managed to get out, “Don’t call him that!” in the midst of my giggling fit. But once my son saw me laughing, I knew it was game over.
There is nothing my son likes more than making me laugh. I also suffer from nervous laughter syndrome, which doesn’t help.
“Can I have some more Pepsi, Sugar Daddy?” my son asked, again and again, as I laughed so hard, my ribs ached the next day.
My nervous giggle did not go away, as my mind raced to think of all the inappropriate places that my son may now say “Sugar Daddy,” which includes, but is not limited to, teachers at school, to his grandparents, during playdates. Oh, and our neighbours.
“Sugar Daddy? Sugar Daddy! Can you get the ball?” my son screamed out, a few nights ago, making me, again, burst out into 75% nervous laughter and 25%, actual laughter. Or maybe it was 75% actual laughter and 25% nervous laughter? It doesn’t matter. My son had yelled it out so loud, I’m sure my neighbours heard, and now, thanks to my boyfriend, I just may have to move!
Admittedly, to me, it IS funny, when a cute little kid says something so not appropriate in public, like when my daughter was three and announced in a crowded elevator, “My vagina is itchy!” I laughed hard, out of nervousness, wondering what everyone else in that elevator thought. I also just thought it was super funny.
When my son asked, “Why can’t I call him Sugar Daddy? He is a Sugar Daddy!” it really is because of the Pepsi my boyfriend carries around. So, how do you discipline a kid, while you’re laughing at what they do, but can’t explain why they can’t say that word, and definitely not yell it out in public?
Well, for the VERY first time as a mother, I resorted to the sentence, “Because I said so!”
And, then, of course, I laughed.