Topher is actually Donald Christopher. Up until recently, he has always gone by Chris. He hates the name Donald, as kids have teased him about being Ronald Mc- ever since he was little. But, as I explained to him, "Chris" around my house was taken. By my wife. About the only person more important to me than my kids. End. Of. Story.
Knowing he hated Donald, I just started calling him Topher. This went on for about a week, and then he snapped at me about it:
"That's getting old!"
"Umm...What is?" (always, always play stupid ... just in case you are)
"The Topher thing." (aww, crap)
"Sorry...Was trying it out. Didn't mean to make you mad."
And there it sat, for a bit, until another conversation came up. You see, Topher has been struggling with what to call me. "Dad" isn't working for him because he has a lot of negative history around that word. Most of the men in his history that he's called "Dad" have ended up abandoning him or hurting him or both. But we were getting close enough that "Doug" wasn't working either. We googled words for Father ... and there's fewer than you think. I liked "Matua". He flashed on "Pops".
"Umm...that doesn't work for me..."
"Why not?" (now he's playing stupid ... damn)
"Let's just say I feel about 'Pops' about the same way you feel about 'Topher'" (get out of that one, punk!)
"hmm ... fine ... I think I can live with 'Topher', Pops!"
at which point he giggled and texted all my other kids that have cells that I was now Pops.
If it wasn't such a big step for him to trust me that much, I'd be
Why did it have to be "Pops" ?!?!?
There are worse things...I guess. I'll survive this one.
aka: goofdad ... and now, Pops!