Thursday, June 14, 2007
No one has ever accused me of lacking imagination, and it is quite evident in what I call my children.

My first child's given name is mundane, named for both his grandfathers. We got a little more creative with our second son- his middle name is a family surname and Scottish clan. Our fourth child, also a son, has 22 letters in his name, including 4 S's and 3 T's. I'm lucky the boy never developed a lisp.

Our 5th child's initials are V.R., and our new baby, #7, is saddled with XQS for life.

My goal was to name them for saints, make sure no one else in their class had the same name, and give them all different first initials so that I am only required to Sharpie one letter on cups at picnics. Efficiency at all costs, you see.

Nicknames should be efficient as well. Generally, they are a shortened form of the given name so that a child will be able to easily discern when they are in Big Trouble, judging from the number of syllables their Mom yells.
For example, if she calls out "Betsy!", one might get to lick the spoon upon coming in from playing. If she yells "Elizabeth Millicent Johnson!", one had better run and hide, and think up a good excuse for writing on the walls with lipstick.

I have never been one for conventions, however, and nicknames tend to be longer than the actual given name, incorporate initials and/or middle names, or have nothing to do with the actual name at all. I have at least 4 different names for each of my children that they will answer to.

My husband answers to "Joe", for example, although his given name is Thomas.

Our 3 year old girl is called "Tatoes" by her father. Once I asked him why he called her that, and he helpfully explained it was short for "PO-Tatoes". It's all clear now.

My one year old will answer to Bug and/or Pretty Bug. (She crawls in filthy places and then heads to the kitchen to eat.) (She also sneaks out of the woodwork at night, suddenly appearing in our midst and scattering when the lights are turned on and she might get caught.)

Baby X has been quite fun to nickname. The current favorites are Baby Squishy (XQS spells Squishy in Mama's house) and Cricket (he makes noise all night).

My favorite nicknames belong to my first daughter. I call her by at least ten different names, and she'll answer to Imi-tator (more with the potato theme), Millie, Mila-nator, and Mims. Her name doesn't start with M, though. She was named after the patron saint of orphans (a man)... any guesses to her given name? (Aunties and uncles reading, no fair answering!)

Interestingly, my boy Patrick is the only one who has gotten the comment "What an unusual name!" I guess that person lives under a rock, or doesn't notice the green beer that flows freely every March.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/14/2007 10:30:00 AM | Permalink | |