Emily loves the shih tzus. She is the primary reason for their continued existence. She hugs them whenever they'll sit still enough for her, and she squeals with joy when they lick her face. Her favorite phrase is "hey, doggie."
But Emily doesn't discriminate. In fact, everything is "hey, doggie" these days. When she sees a cat in the neighborhood, she says "hey, doggie" to it. When we read a book about animals, half of them get a greeting of "hey doggie" (and some even get hugs). When we go to the zoo, the animals all get to hear her exclaim, "hey, doggie!" You can imagine what it's like when she visits Misty at work, and there really are a bunch of honest-to-goodness doggies around. Sometimes Emily even refers to Misty or me as "hey, doggie."
It's frustrating, because you're so excited when your child finally starts to call you "Mama" and "Daddy," yet she's happy to abandon that for a name which she obviously holds in much greater esteem.
Her new habbit, though, is calling me "Matt." Obviously she's picked it up from Misty, and we've now realized why so many parents talk like idiots, referring to each other constantly as "Mommy" and "Daddy."
Just yesterday when we were picking Emily up after work, she looked at me and said "Mama." I corrected her, saying, "no, I'm Daddy." She responded with, "MATT!"
The problem is that Misty finds this development quite amusing, stiffling giggles whenever Emily says "Matt." Of course, Emily's not calling her "Misty." So Misty taunts me with it, purposely referring to me as "Matt" in front of Emily, thus strenthening our daughter's misguided belief that she should call me by my first name.
But I suppose it's better than "hey, doggie."