Friday, May 27, 2005

nicknaming the wee bairns

Well, chip asked for a description of how my kids got their nicknames, and yet I can't bring myself to let landisdad write a guest entry. Okay, I'm a control freak, what can I say? But the reality is that I believe that every partner in a relationship deserves to have space that is totally theirs, and this is mine (or at least the public part of it).

The honest answer, though, is that there is no real rationale behind my kids' nicknames These are their actual 'pet' names in our family, and so yes, if you see a woman walking around calling her almost-two-year-old son "Potato," it's probably me. I say probably, but I'd guess it's pretty definite. Unless there are a lot of other parents who nicknamed their kid the Sweet Potato, but that seems unlikely.

Landisdad gave our daughter the nickname Bumblebee the night that she was born, when we were all in the hospital together, and the nurses and doctors and eight billion interns had finally left us alone. He says he doesn't really know why he picked it--it just came to him out of the air. I've subsequently noticed that a lot of people seem to have pet names for their kids that start with 'b'--I've heard "bean," "bear," and even some other "bees." I don't know if this is a tendency that only starts with English speakers or what--but it's definitely not one of those things that I noticed before becoming a parent, and now it seems impossible to ignore.

When she was an infant, we had two different silly songs about her as a Bumblebee that we used to sing when she was upset. The Bee got carsick on long trips as an infant and toddler, particularly in places with a lot of traffic (lots of stops and starts), and we used to sing to her to distract her from feeling nauseous. One of the parenting memories that I'm sure will survive until my dotage is a trip we took on Route 1 on the Northern California coast when she was about 9 months old--the whole trip was almost three hours of non-stop singing, as we lurched around hairpin curves and had to take a detour up an old logging road to avoid a camper that had caught fire on the side of the highway.

When I was pregnant with the Sweet Potato, landisdad spent some time actually thinking about what to call him. Or I should say, it. The SP was one of those babies that was shy during ultrasound, so his gender was a surprise. Part of the reason that we developed his nickname early on, was that we didn't know what else to call him/her, and we couldn't convince our insurance carrier that we should get an extra ultrasound just to figure that out. (The Bee also had an in-utero nickname before she found out what her actual name would be--it was Runcibella. I'm not even going to get into that in this post.)

And when it was time for the SP to eat solid foods for the first time? His favorite was sweet potatoes. Landisdad makes a kickass sweet potato recipe, and our little Potato will eat as many helpings of them as we pile on his plate.

• Posted By landismom @ 5/27/2005 01:45:00 PM
  2. My daughter is the Bumblebee. My son is the Sweet Potato. You'll have to ask their father.

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