What’s In a Name?

Note:  My apologies for the inconsistency to my posting over the past few days.  Between the funeral and the rest of my brood getting the flu from Brendan I just wasn’t up for it.  (don’t worry I’ll spare you the details of the latest bout of sickness to go through my house.  I’ve posted more than my fair share of vomit stories for the year…and it’s only February)

I believe every kid gets tagged with a nickname by their parents, and my kids are no exception.  Brendan picked up the nickname Bubba as a baby.  That wasn’t too surprising since my brother had also been Bubba as a baby, and his son was also nicknamed Bubba.  Call it a family tradition.  Brendan didn’t seem to mind his nickname too much when he was little.  He never called himself Bubba, and he was clearly aware that his name was Brendan even when we did call him Bubba.  Then in first grade, he got tired of being called Bubba.

One afternoon when I went to pick him up from the after school program I said, “Time to go Bubba!”  Brendan quickly collected his things and headed over to where I was standing with a big scowl on his face.  As we walked to the car I asked what was wrong.  He looked at me and said, “Could you please stop calling me Bubba?  I don’t like it any more.”  I was a bit taken aback, this was the first I’d ever heard about this.  But we talked it through more and he said it made him feel babyish.  We finally agreed that Matt and I would stop calling him Bubba, but since Bubba was easier for babies to say that Cameron (and later Kaylee) could call him Bubba until they got old enough to properly say his name.  (We’re actually in the process of re-teaching Kaylee right now.  She can say Brendan’s name, but has called him Bubba for so long she has to be reminded to call him Brendan)

Cameron was very very different.  For a long time, he didn’t have a nickname.  We called him Cam a lot, but that’s not the same thing.  Then one afternoon when I picked him up from daycare I asked, “How’s my Boo?” and it stuck.  Over time it turned into Boo Boo.  We must have been calling him that a lot, because when he got old enough to start talking and saying his own name he would introduce himself as Boo Boo.  We would try to correct him and remind him that his name was Cameron, but when we did so he would get extremely defensive and insist that his name was Boo Boo.  It got to the point where we actually had to stop calling him Boo Boo ever just so he would learn his own name!

We did pick it back up last year when Kaylee was learning to talk because, like Bubba, Boo Boo was easier for her to say than Cameron was.  The funniest thing about his nickname is that Kaylee won’t call a wound a boo-boo.  If someone asks her if she has a boo-boo, she will pause and look at them really funny but not confirm she’s hurt.  Then if you restate the exact same question with the word boo-boo changed to ouchie, she’ll instantly point to where she’s hurt.  Despite the nickname, the boys never made that distinction.  They’d call both Cameron and wounds Boo Boo without a second thought.

But Kaylee, she’s always been the independant sort.  She started out life with the nickname Poo-Poo Princess thanks to the amount of time she spent pooping as a baby.  (oh who am I kidding, she still poops in copious amounts–I swear she’s full of it)  Like the boys, we consistently called her that, and considered it her main nickname.  But once she learned to talk and identify herself she started calling herself Dee Dee.  Soon we were all calling her Dee Dee, and her previous nickname was quickly retired.  It wasn’t until the past few weeks that she will occaisionally refer to herself as Kaylee, but for the most part she’s still Dee Dee and doesn’t have any issues with answering to either name.

Now that the boys have outgrown their baby nicknames they’ve picked up more.  Brendan is Bren and B.  Cameron is Cam and C.  Matt’s dad calls them Mr. B and Mr. C (which for some reason Cameron hates, but he’ll just have to get over it.  My grandpa called me pickle, so I think he got the better end of that deal)  I think it’s quite funny that we call our kids by their first initial a lot of the time.  Truly that developed because of texting.  I’d be in a hurry to shoot off a text to Matt inbetween meetings or conference calls at work and typing out 7 letters for each of my boy’s names just took too much time.  I knew if I just typed out B or C Matt would know exactly which kid I was talking about.  Amazingly the habit has stuck with us.  Kaylee goes back and forth between being K and D.  But again, there’s no confusion for us and she answers to both.

Aside from in this blog, we almost never call Brendan by his full name.  He is most consistently Bren.  I asked him at the start of this year if he wanted me to list his preferred name as Bren when I was filling out the school paperwork so he could go by his nickname at school.  The thought had occurred to me because if he went by the shorter name he would be allowed to write it on his papers.  Less letters=less work.  He said no.  His name was Brendan and that’s what he wanted the kids at school to call him.  (I did also ask if it bothered him that WE called him Bren, and he said no.  He just didn’t want anyone at school to do it.  To each his own I guess)

Cameron is the same way.  He is very consistently Cam.  He does go by Cameron at pre-school, but I think I’ll give him the same option I gave Bren this year and see if he wants to be called Cam at school.  If I know my Cameron he’ll say no as well.  He may change his mind when he has to write his name on his paper several times a day.  I really wasn’t thinking things through when I gave both my boys 7 letter names.  (though I have an 8 letter name and I never went by a nickname in school either)

As the kids grow up they’ll find their identities and learn what they want to be called best.  But for now (according to Kaylee anyway) they’ll just be Bwendan, Camwon, and Shuper Dee Dee.

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2 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

    • We are thanks! It’s so funny what nicknames kids pick up. I would never have expected anyone else to have nicknamed their child Boo as well, but I guess its not as uncommon as I would have thought.

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