Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The name game

Littleboy 1 is a little confused about names. He now knows his own surname, and takes great delight in telling people. But for a while he also insisted that he was the only person called that. When we told him that his brother is also called P___ and Mummy, and Daddy, he got very cross, shouting, “No, I am the only P___.”

He also surprised me the other day by coming out with MY Christian name – not Mummy – as I poured myself a cup of tea. “Is that tea for you, [NappyValleyGirl?]” he enquired rather mischievously.

Yes, I replied, that is my name. I tried valiantly to keep a straight face, but it didn’t work. He then laughed hysterically for about five minutes.

Another day, he was at soft play, and got talking to another child’s nanny who was sitting in the ball pit with them (it’s only ever the nannies who do that, I notice). He had obviously told her his name, and then I saw him pointing over to me and shouting, at the top of his lungs:

“And THAT’s Mummy P____.”

Cover blown then.

I suppose it must be weird, working out for the first time that Mummy and Daddy possess their own, separate identities. And not only that, but everyone in the family has the same surname. (It must be even more confusing if you’re not married or haven’t changed your name – I still use my maiden name for work, and have bank cards in both names, so it gets confusing even for me at times....)

Another reason I am pondering names is that one of my friends, who gets a fair bit of mention in this blog, wants a Name. She doesn’t just want to be referred to as a kind friend or a local friend any more - she wants to be elevated to Named Character Status.

I've been struggling with this, I admit. The Doctor and the Littleboys were easily monikered, and are fairly self-explanatory. (The Doctor also gives me a little frisson of amuseument, as I picture him dressed like Doctor Who, holding a sonic screwdriver and about to save the world from Daleks).

But how can I sum up my friend? She’s not a Yummy Mummy; no, she’s far too down to earth for that. And she’s certainly not a Slummy Mummy. She could be Nightingale Triangle Mummy (because that’s the estate-agenty type name for the area in which she lives). But that ain’t particularly snappy.

Aha. I know. I recall the time I met her in Waitrose on about the 28th of December. “I’ve just bought all my Christmas cards and wrapping paper,” she exclaimed. “For next year!”

This was not untypical. This woman plans ahead. She thinks about her daughters’ birthday parties several months in advance (unlike me, who sends out invitations the week before, and is then surprised that no-one can come). At Christmas, she had organised so many fun, interesting outings for her kids to do by about November, that when I suggested we might go to the theatre with the children in December, she had to confess that they had two theatre trips booked that weekend already. And this is someone with two children under four who works four days a week; so, I think you will agree, impressive?

So I think I will call her Stupendously Organised Mummy. I hope she's happy with that.


Tessa said...

Hehehe. Out of the mouths..etc. My eldest called me Mazoomy for a year or so. (It was only when she went to school that it changed back to Mummy.) Her grandmama was known as Fifa. Absolutely no idea how she came up with those monikers!

Gosh, I would love to have been known as a SOM. Bet your friend will be chuffed to bits!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I'd have settled for VOM, or even QOM. Hell even a truncated OM wd haev had me blushing with pride.

Kit said...

It's funny about names. Our oldest decided when he was about two or three that he would call us by our Christian names - as far as he was concerned if those are our names, he was going to call us by the right name. He's stuck to that ever since, while our two daughters call us Mummy and Daddy and occasionally use our names just to make sure we know who they're talking about.

Expat mum said...

My Queenager has taken to calling out my real name (as opposed to MOM) when we're at school. With so many other kids shouting MOM at the same time, I just ignore them all, however, if I hear my real name, I am all ears!

Iota said...

And what does Littleboy 1 think about being Littleboy 1? (rhetorical question, I assume he doesn't know).

Stupendously Organised Mummy can become SOM (as in Battle of the ?) Or if you called her Monumentally Organised Mummy, she could just be plain old MOM. Hey. I'm that already, just by virtue of living over the Pond. Cool.

Potty Mummy said...

I think your friend, SOM may be thinking to herself 'be careful what you wish for...'

Mothership said...

Four goes through phases of calling me by my first name which I try to be cool about but find slightly heartbreaking. After all I want to take full credit for her and her brother wherever we go.
I wonder if SOM will find her monicker flattering? I would like to be seen that way (unlikely) but the friends I have that really are that way sometimes seem slightly offended when I compliment them for it. odd, really. Please report back!

Wife in Hong Kong said...

To our three boys we have always been Mummy and Daddy. I really like it but am waiting to see how much longer the eldest will stick with it. Our little girl, despite the example set by the boys, calls us either Mum and Dad or by our first names. I think it is her need to assert her independence from an early age. She's two.

nappy valley girl said...

Tessa - Mazoomy is rather sweet. I too would like to be SO, but am OOO - only occasionally organised.

Paradise - see above!

Kit - The Doctor has always called his father by his Christian name - never Dad or Daddy. I think this was encouraged by his father, rather than chosen by the children, however. This has now passed down to the Littleboys, who never call my father in law Grandad, Grandpa or anything other than his name.

Expat Mum - see above. I also had some childhood friends who called their father 'Ted' rather than 'Dad' (that was his name). We reckoned it was because it sounded so similar....

Iota - you're right, he doesn't know. Although some of my friends, who read the blog, have started to call him that when they meet him, so maybe he will work it out soon!

PM - Quite possibly. But, so far she says she likes it - says it gives her something to live up to!

Mothership - see above, Tessa and PM.....

WIHK - maybe it's just because, by number four, you've given up referring to yourself in the third person in front of the children? 'Mummy needs you to get in the car now...Mummy's nice to Mummy' etc?

Tara@Sticky fingers said...

You should call your friend Monica (as in from Friends). I have a friend just like that. Super organised, LOVES cleaning (who the hell loves cleaning) and her home is pristine whenever you visit. And she has 2 children under 6. And she's gorgeous.