Parents by other names may not sound as sweet.
Prince has learned to call Joy "mother", but only in certain circumstances:
"I'll do it your way, mother."
"I'll obey you, mother."
Joy: It's always with a tone of resignation. Probably going to hear a lot of that during his little life, hunh?
Part of the reason of course is that on those rare occasions I have to come in and law down some Law, it is usually to remind him that he needs to "obey his mother." Mother is someone you Respect and Obey.
Yesterday morning, Joy was feeling very tired and wanted a short nap in the morning (blame the Princess). I had to go to work. Prince exclaimed, "I don't you to leave me all alone. Mommy is asleep, so she leaves me all alone. If you go to work, and I am all alone. I don't want my parents to leave me all alone." I empathized, particularly since it was the first time he called us "parents." He was very sweet about the whole thing and did let Mommy sleep another 15 minutes when our neighbors came over to play with him.
On my way out the door every day, he calls out, "I hope you come back, Daddy." I do not take this as a sign of any actual trepidation on his part, as if my coming home were in any doubt. He probably really means, "I look forward to when you're home again."
Joy also reports that he occasionally refers to me as Derrill. When I rarely hear him do it, it throws me. What did you say?? But he's usually3-4 sentences further on by the time I realize it, so it's too late to respond. But mostly, he refers to me as Derrill when speaking to Mommy, but again only in certain circumstances. "Let's ask Derrill." "Where is Derrill?" He asks, "What is daddy doing?" but he wants to know where "Derrill" is.