If you’re a new Daddy (or Mommy!) to the world of taking care of an adult baby or little boy, it can sometimes feel like you’re learning a new language. Or, at the very least, you’re learning an old language all over again!
Terms that seem like a contradiction will soon make perfect sense. An ‘adult baby’ is amazing because he is both – an adult who can talk to you about his day, a book he read, or what happened at school – and a little boy who has the gift of being able to express the tender sides of himself and who needs his Daddy to check his diapers and read him a story before bed.
In chat the other night, a relative newcomer to the community asked: “What’s a Big Bro?” and I realized that it was another term that might cause confusion because it has a meaning that is often very specific to certain communities.
In most cases, a ‘big brother’ (or sister) refers to someone who plays a caretaker role but who might need care also.
So, an adult baby might meet another “little”. They both feel young inside, they might both feel like toddlers, and they might both feel safe and secure in their diapers and snuggling their teddy bears.
But together, one of them might gravitate to being an “older brother” and he’ll play more of a caretaker role for his other little friend.
The Joy of Family
For many little guys, meeting a Daddy fills an important role in their life. They may have had a wonderful childhood, they may love their biological parents and have nothing but praise for them – and yet it’s often only through a “Daddy” that they can create a parental bond with someone who validates the feelings they have of being ‘little’.
Whether you’re a Daddy on-line, over a weekend, or full-time with a live-in baby boy and nursery to match, you’re providing a little guy with a safe space to be the toddler or baby that is a deep expression of who they truly are. This expression often doesn’t have a home at – well, at home.
And nor should it: most families provide an environment to ‘grow up in’. How well they provide that environment will vary. Yet the purpose of your biological family is to prepare you for a life ahead.
For an adult baby or little boy, the life they have ahead can include lots of things, but some of it will include exploring a side that usually feels like its been there forever: inside, they feel like an innocent toddler, a mischievous little boy, or simply someone who needs time to accept care and unconditional love.
Your role as a Daddy, for however long or brief the time, provides a safe space in which they can feel safe, secure, and accepted for being little.
One of the wonderful things about the adult baby/’littles’ community is the range of relationships that happen on-line and off.
These relationships are often expressed in family terms. Someone is a brother or sister, a big brother, a little brother, an Uncle or a Daddy.
They are often a short-hand for very specific kinds of relationships.
But what a Daddy can appreciate is that a little guy will often have a network of ‘relationships’. These relationships represent an important community of support – people your little guy can chat with, listen to, or go to for advice or guidance.
As a Daddy, you should encourage and learn to appreciate this larger ‘family’ that a little guy will often bring to his relationship with you. They may be people he wants to have play dates with (in person, chatting on-line, or playing video games with maybe) but who he certainly should stay in touch with.
While you give your little guy validation and love, it’s important for him (like any little guy!) to also have friends he can play with, who he respects, and who he can turn to for acceptance and understanding.
As a Daddy, you are part of a ‘chosen family’. Your little guy has accepted people into his life and has created relationships that hopefully validate who he is, that provide support, and that generate a sense of acceptance and mutual care and trust.
As a Daddy, you are entering a special circle of trust and care, and it’s important to acknowledge and respect your place in that chosen circle.
Who’s Your Family?
But who is your ‘chosen family’? What do you call members of that family? Do you have a big brother or sister, an Uncle or a special friend?
And what advice would you give to new Daddy’s to help them understand their role in your life? Would you want them to know your friends and ‘brothers’? What expectations would you have?