I call The Rocket Scientist “dear.”
I call the kids “hon” (individually — as a group they are “you guys”), usually with my eyes shut and my hand rubbing the bridge of my nose in exasperation*: “Hon, just because the girl you like can’t hang out with you does not mean it is the end of the world. Trust me, when you get older you will find plenty of women who are attracted to red-headed athletic guys who can intelligently discuss the differences between materialism and idealism, or give refutations for the teleological explanations for the existence of God.”**
I call Penwiper “sweetheart.” I don’t call Pandora anything; she and I have a truce which consists of us mutually ignoring each other’s existence.
I do not call anyone darling or sugar — not that I have any real objections to the terms, but I just don’t.
I do NOT call anyone anything cute like honey-bunny*** or cutie-pie or snookums.
Because, as I have been saying for years, I am NOT cute.****
*Usually with the Red-Headed Menace, because although all of my kids can be exasperating, he occasionally turns it into an art form.
**Not actually a real conversation, although I have had very similar ones with him.
***Although, since Pulp Fiction came out, “honey-bunny” has a sort of dangerous, armed coke-addict vibe to it.
****”I am dark… and mysterious… and pissed off.” Almost Famous.