Secret Swap: Here’s What They Call Me, and Why

photo credit: #198/366 via photopin (license)
photo credit: #198/366 via photopin (license)

Most times, we blog on an island.

At night. Under the cover of lunch hour. When we ought to be doing something else.

(I think bloggers are often loners. Or is it just me?)


So it’s cool to team up at times. Karen from Baking in a Tornado blog invites 12 bloggers to submit secret writing prompts that are dispersed to one of the other 11. Kristi from Black Sheep Mom blog submitted the one I got:

“Sometimes people call me ________ because I _____________.”

The challenge? Narrowing it down. A dude doesn’t get to 41 without being called a few things.Not all of them are bad, mind you. Some can’t be divulged on this page.

But I own them. I … deserve them.

1. They call me @#$%! Because I drive the speed limit


photo credit: "Dont stop believin' "    Anakin Skywalker... just another emo teenager on a weekend night. via photopin (license)
photo credit: “Dont stop believin’ ” Anakin Skywalker… just another emo teenager on a weekend night. via photopin (license)

Even when I pass on the left on Interstate 485. Drivers flick flocks of birds at me as they finally pass, while they mutter under their breath (or sometimes spit out with vitriol) many words that rhyme with “brother” and begin with F. Do they get home and rail at their spouses, “you’ll never guess what this IDIOT on 485 was doing today!”

Driving safely? What a jerk.

2. They call me Daddy because my daughters love me dearly – or they want something


photo credit: #10/366 The Giving of Flowers via photopin (license)
photo credit: #10/366 The Giving of Flowers via photopin (license)

Yes, these three kids learned early the power of big, brown eyes. They’re not unlike Medusa’s hair, however. If I can avoid looking directly at them, I won’t turn to stone (or give in to their requests). I know I can do this. Marie, when she was about 9, wanted chocolate SO bad on a grocery trip I could ill afford for staples such as toilet paper, milk and zero-calorie soda.

She shone those eyes at me – chocolate brown – and I refused to look into them. We got out without anything by Hershey that day. But I’m not sure I could do it again.

3. They call me coach because I’m the dude with the bag of balls

photo credit: Close up of balls via photopin (license)
photo credit: Close up of balls via photopin (license)

No whistle, no polyester coaching shorts, but I am the man with the plan, and a sack of mismatched soccer balls to match. It’s been a while since a player has called me “mommy” or “daddy,” but that’s happened, too.

A girl took to calling me “coachie,” a mash-up of Coach E (is a derivative of Coach Eli). It was cute for a day or two, but I wouldn’t recommend it for your team.

4. They call me Daaaaaaaaaaaaad! Because I’ve annoyed them


So quickly [hearts]DaD[rainbows] becomes [demons]DAAAAD![tornadoes and destruction]. If you hear this bellowed, it means I’ve done one of the following:

  • Stood in front of a TV showing a Disney show
  • Made fun of a Disney show
  • Sung insulting lyrics in place of annoying ones on their favorite tunes
  • Asked, at any moment in a Disney show, whether the kids featured are tricking someone in some way, shape or form (the answer is always yes)

There are other ways I elicit this moniker that won’t be discussed on this day.

5. They call me Juan Pablo Montoya because … well, just one kid did

NASCAR Media Day

I’ve had kids tell me I look like George Lopez. One near-sighted waitress at a Waffle House in Morganton,N.C., even declared that I “look like that guy what plays Superman on TV – that Dean Cain fella!” (That was in college, yes.)

A boy at Grace’s second-grade picnic stared at me in awe as I walked off the playground. Could he be a blog reader, or the son of a blog reader? Maybe someone who’d heard of the legendary soccer dynasties I’d captained, or maybe even heard I make a mean grilled-cheese sandwich?

“Juan Pablo Montoya?” he muttered, slightly exasperated.


“Yeah,” he’s a good driver, isn’t he?” I said. Montoya is a NASCAR driver of Columbian decent, a dude I once interviewed for a story and the default favorite of mine as dictated by the “minority support clause” in the “how to live in America as a minority” initiative (in short, if someone’s your color, you ought to support him. This includes Tony Romo and Tony Gonzalez but not Tony Hawk, in my case).

“Are you … Juan Pablo Montoya?” he asked.

“Nah, kid,” I said. “I’m just a dad.”

Or make that a DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. And a @#$%!, even.

Check out the other awesome bloggers involved in this swap

Baking In A Tornado
Dawn’s Disaster
Black Sheep Mom
Indian American Mom
Home on Deranged
Just A Little Nutty (Guest Post)
It’s Yummilicious
Dates 2 Diapers
Rocks, No Salt Mommy
Crazy As Normal
IBD, Daddy and Me!
That Suburban Momma

The Liebers


63 thoughts on “Secret Swap: Here’s What They Call Me, and Why

  1. No it’s not just you, I can’t speak for other bloggers but I am a loner and I like it that way. You do look like the race car driver somewhat. Definitely not George Lopez! I know what you mean about the chocolate brown eyes, although mine has blue eyes that sparkle like diamonds when she wants something. I am putty to that girl, always will be. Not just a dad is probably the biggest role you will ever have in life that brings fruit that keeps on giving! In my opinion! I like your writing!

    1. Thanks Terry. Half a peace sign, I like to call it. To which I reply, “you’re welcome, for keeping you at a safe speed for a few minutes!”

      (Sometimes I see these driver’s again when the traffic bottles up 3 miles down the road).

  2. Bloggers are totally solitary creatures. 🙂
    I loved this post!
    I live in fear of the dreaded elongated title. It usually means someone needs cash.

    1. George, Gorge – it all goes back to what a lousy Latino I really am. I bought a pack of tortillas. AT ALDI.

      The moms want their girls on my team because “hey, that dude yells way less than the others, and he doesn’t smell so much like salami.”

  3. Love how you wrote up your prompt! We all have so many titles when it comes to our kids, don’t we? I particularly dislike “Motherrr!” It usually means I’m not listening and they’ve caught on 😉 I like your “minority support clause”; in our multi-racial family we tend to follow that one as well.
    Nice job 🙂

    1. Thanks for such a great prompt! I suppose our kids have many titles for us too – but that’s a different post all together.

      Motherrrrrrr seems to carry the same punch as DaaaaaaaaaaaD! (I like when they add a “duh” to the ending D).

      Yeah, I know it’s not always best to blindly follow your rising minorities, but we (um, I) tend to do it. I hate the dodgers but loved Fernando Valenzuela.

      1. Speaking of the Dodgers, just watched ’42’ last night with the kids. Now there’s a role model.

  4. Love this Juan! You do bear a striking resemblance, and in my neck of the woods where rubbin’s racin, you’d be a rock star! Seriously, I live about 30 minutes from Bristol Motor Speedway, and I’m so glad we’ll be out of town for the nite race next weekend!!

      1. Yes, people come down from the hills & out of the woodwork for Bristol!! It is an impressive track though. I’ve driven on it before, and the incline is INSANE!!

        P.S. Be sure to check out my giveaway today for a chance to win some sweet shades. They’re unisex.

      2. I have to admit, it’s my favorite NASCAR track. Especially for the night race! You’ve driven on it??

        I will check out the giveaway. I can give my daughter back her shades if I win!

  5. What? no whistle? You failed me, bro…
    I wear a whistle to the grocery store, mainly because my kids know if they P me off I am going to blow it and embarrass the beegeezus out of them. But, when I coached I didn’t wear one- funny how a ball can land so close to a chatting girl and scare her enough to pay attention. That didn’t happen…sshhh.

    1. The new-age style coach carries no whistle, but garners attention through wisdom and self-control. Plus, the kids kept stealing it and blowing it.

      I bet you’re kind of like the commander in Sound of Music, aren’t you? And I can imagine you’re mean as hell on the sideline.

      1. Well, I have very little of both wisdom and self-control. I have never seen sound of music, I would watch it but I am sure my liver can’t take that much singing… I tried to watch Mary Poppins the other day- I contemplated a 3 day binge, but decided against it since it doesn’t really go along with this mom theme I have going on…

      2. I think you have plenty of wisdom – the self-control would only impede you with being who you are. Next time, I’m going to use “Gladiator” and “Scarface” references when I respond to your comments …

  6. So well done. I love that you acknowledge that we are called many things.

    And it’s a good thing I didn’t get this prompt. My kids are teens and believe me, you don’t want to know what they call me!

    1. How did I miss this the first time around? Thanks for giving me the opportunity to join.

      Would you use little symbols to represent the names your kids call you, or go all out and not-FCC approved?

  7. EEELLLLLLLIIIIIIIII!!!! Your post was funny, And I was totally NOT flipping you off. I was waving.

    I love standing in front of the TV when the boys are playing Halo and pretend like I don’t understand when they are yelling at me to move.

    1. Thanks Tracy! I forgot that I’m also called Eli. Add one to the list. Or, EEELLLLLIIIII!!!! as you put it.

      Waving with one finger is just being … efficient, right?

      That’s an evil tactic you pull in front of the TV. I’m going to try it tonight. I love when all three yell DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDD! at the same time. I feel like the bad guy in WWE or something.

  8. hahah!! You do look a bit like him!
    I get the Daaaad one!! I also get called Mummaaaaa in similar tones! It’s the inflection and the dragging out of the vowel that really does me in!!

    1. I wonder if a kid has ever come up to JP and said, “Eli Pacheco???”

      If the kids knew we secretly loved when they call us this, maybe they’d stop. I hope they never figure it out.

  9. We’re not all loners. I can only be online for so long before I crave in person interactions. But I am Moooooooooom.(That just doesn’t look right, but you get my point). Love how you handled this prompt!

    1. I think the nature of writing a blog – the actual writing of it – is lonerville, but we do it for a community, don’t we? That’s when the personal interaction comes in.

      Do they say mooooooom! like they’re practicing to become a dragon? That’s how mine do, and I find it adorable.

      This prompt was fun – I like to be steered in a new direction so I don’t always write about food and soccer.

      1. Hey – I already commented here! But I’m back for Tuesday Ten. And I’m still called that, although now I would spell it “Maaaaa-uuuuum” with an eye roll.

      2. That comment was from Dana back in the day, and now I have one from now. I thought it might *loosely* fit the criteria, so i dusted off this oldie for the swap.

        You know you’ve arrived at a fresh new level of parenthood with the eye roll.

  10. Good one, I can relate to the other drivers who think that the speed limit doesn’t apply to them and sail past with birds fluttering madly. I surmise that A. There speedometer doesn’t work and they are an entitled person, or B. They’ve never had to pick up someone’s internal organs up off the highway after a high speed crash. I smile and nod wisely when I catch up and they’re stuck behind a wide load or some such.

    1. So well-put lad! That’s like a mini-post in itself.

      Entitled – that’s the word of the day when it comes to highway etiquette.

      The scary thing? When someone zooms up on my bumper, swerves around me, and rather than shake a fist at me as they past, they just keep finger-flipping on their smartphone.

      1. Now that is even worse, then they’re also eating breakfast or putting makeup on or…… Scary. What’s even scarier is I wrote There instead of Their. Oh yes I do have a post about picking organs up off the highway.

  11. Ha! Loved reading this! You do look a bit like him, but nothing like Goerge Lopez! You actually look like an old friend of mine. I get the Mooooom, when I call the girls from (that Disney Show) Shake It Up Rocky and Bullwinkle, lol!

    1. Thanks! I love that i could take part in the swap this time. Celebrities you’re mistaken for are a big deal. My first child, when she was very young used to think I looked like Elvis; my second, Deepak Chopra; my third? Jimmy Kimmel!

      How’s that for a progression?

      Shake It Up rattles my nerves. I’ve probably called the kids from that show (and Hey Jessie!) much, much worse. In fact … that’s an insult to Rocky and Bullwinkle!

      1. LOL!! Jimmy Kimmel? Deepak Chopra?? That’s hysterical! I never get told I look like anyone… well, my fiance used to tell me I looked like Mariah Carey when we first got together, but I don’t see it….

        Haha!! You’re right, it’s definitely more of an insult to Rocky and Bullwinkle!

  12. Very cute! George Lopez huh? Well I think he is pretty darn funny! My kids do the DAAAAAAD and MOMMMMMMM thing too….I almost wrote a bunch of ooooos but I definitely don’t want to be known as a mooooom, hahaha. I don’t think you’ll ever leave behind the coach title…once a coach, always a coach. My husband hasn’t coached in years (just managed, is on the board, everything else under the sun) and kids that we run into still call him Coach Mike.

    1. If by cute, you mean confusing, then yes … because I’m never sure what I’m going to be called! George is funny … and the kids want me to talk like him, but I don’ think it sounds at all authentic.

      We should add 17 consecutive vowels to the kids’ names too, shouldn’t we? We can’t have all the fun.

      I hope I’m always coach. I run into near grown-ups now who call me coach, and it’s hard to realize the first kids I’ve ever coached aren’t kids any more.

  13. I’m torn; some days I would rather just stay home in my jogging pants and write then other days I want to go downtown Palm Springs just to mingle. But I don’t want to really meet anyone when I’m down there I just want to people watch. Can a person be both?

    Oh and “Sometimes people call me CC because I always smiled so much as a kids. My friends all said I looked like the Cheshire Cat. The first thing you seen when I came in was my smile and the last thing you seen when I left was my smile. And it’s the good kind of smile, the kind that gets you in a lot of trouble even when you are behaving. Funny thing is now I am married and my initials are really CC! LOL

    Thanks for the great read I love your post

    1. I think we can be both. Plus, a lot of times, people are just too busy on their smartphones and such to be bothered, so we can just observe.

      I think you’ve embraced this CC existence, haven’t you?

  14. Just a dad??? Never. You do look like Juan Pablo Montoya, actually. JPM is a great nickname. If anyone ever asks you for your autograph, that’s what you write. My mom used to get mistaken for Carole King..a lot. One day she just pretended that’s who she was.

    1. Well, there are more dads out here than Juan Pablo Montoyas. So, it’s like a sparrow compared to, say, a kingfisher.

      Maybe I should go with EJP – not the same, is it?

      Carole King! Sweet. I bet you thought that song was about you. I used to get mistaken for former Indians pitcher Albie Lopez, too.

  15. I don’t think you look like George Lopez at all. perhaps a bit like the other guy.
    I don’t know why my kids all have quasi Southern accents and call me “mama”. they even get the drawl. it’s very weird. I should start watching more Hugh Jackman movies and see if they suddenly start speaking Aussie.
    Mine all have blue eyes…which doesn’t work on me. Since They Are My Eyes kids…’s like 2 super powers cancelling each other out. Perhaps try a Jedi Mind Trick next time.
    *waves hand*
    “I am not the parent you are looking for……go see Daaaaaaaddd.”

    1. Thank you. I can just see the chihuahua he did the voice for in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

      Do you feed your kids grits? They might be getting it from the grits. Or if they watch Jeff Foxworthy.

      Jedi powers would do wonders for a dad. I think you’ve just inspired a new post.

  16. You are way cuter than George Lopez. Equally funny. Love this question and the flick of birds. I’m about to be called Moooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm so I better get my earplugs in. Surely someone else around here will respond! 😉

    1. I’m no Erik Estrada, though, not even the Physic Network Erik Estrada. Thank you, though, for labeling me his comedy equal.

      Children’s mooooooooom call are like audio footprints – no two are alike – so when yours bellow, you’re the only one who can respond, by nature.

  17. I love this! So funny sometimes the things kids come up with to call us or who they think we look like! Although, you do kind of look like Juan Pablo. 🙂

    1. Thanks Lisa! Elise used to hug me and tell me what I smelled like – everything from cinnamon to truck tires.

      I’ve never once used the Juan Pablo thing to get as much as a free plate of nachos – but maybe I should.

  18. I had lots of preschoolers c all me “mommy.” Only the occasional “daddy.” But one very memorable “grandma.” I forgave quickly, though because the kids was being raised by her grandparents, so I took it with the love it was intended.

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