Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hey YOU!

We have a running joke in my house. When I talk to my three kids, I invariably call them by the wrong names. Or what's worse is that I call my son the dog's name. A lot. And I don't call the dog by the son's name all that much.

Anyway, when I do that, I ask my kids, "Who ARE you? What's your name?" which causes a chuckle.

It occurred to me a while back that Dear Butcher and I hardly ever call each other by name. Tara Marie wrote a book review which caused me to remember this observation, because in that book each line of dialogue ends with the other character's name. Odd.

Dear Butcher's nickname for me is "Bin", pronounced like "Bean." (Long story as to how that came into being.) So I'll sign a note to him, "Bin". Or if I want to get his attention I'll Holler, "DAAAAAVE!!" through the house. But in terms of conversation, we don't ever use the other's name.

I only noticed this because I continue to feel a very small zap of surprise when he calls me by my full name. Actually, I experienced this the other day on the phone with a friend while we were arguing. She said my name as she started to make a point, and I completely lost track of what she was saying because I was caught up in thinking about why I would be surprised to hear her say my name.

Good thing too. It was a stupid argument.


Bookwormom said...

I rarely call my children by their actual first names. I avoid embarrassing myself & exposing my forgetfullness (lack of brain cells) by inventing cutsie 'family names.' I can't even manage to call the bird by his proper name. I just tell myself all parents do this & I'm not actually suffering from dementia. Yet. The younger son told me I need to install more RAM.

Suisan said...

I tell my kids that my brain's like a sieve. Everything just leaks out the minute you put it in there.

They like that image

sxKitten said...

I noticed an interesting pattern with my parents - my mom is a major chatterbox, and prattles on about all kinds of things. But if she's about to say something important, or that requires an answer, she starts with my dad's name. That's his cue that he needs to actually listen. I don't think either of them knows they do it, but it's really cute.

And our kids - and pets - all have 5 or 6 nicknames, which somehow makes it easier to get it right.

sybil said...

My mom is always calling me by my lil sis's name and lil sis by mine... and I don't live at home.

We can be right next to each other and she will get it wrong *g*. We hardly ever even bother to correct her.

Suisan said...

The dog is Hobbes.

My son is Saul.

Somehow, when I'm annoyed, "Saul!" is the same word as "Hobbes!"

I think because eldest daughter's name is three syllables and youngest daugther's name is two.

But it's really not a good thing to be calling your son by the dog's name. (Get's the dog confused too.)

Marianne McA said...

It's true about the nicknames - I call the children by the wrong name more often than not, but I never apply the wrong nickname to a child. Why's that? I don't know which one is Alice, but I'm sure which one is Spink?

CindyS said...

Bob and I talked about this early in our relationship. Something about how not calling each other by their name makes it so they don't exist - baloney but he was making some kind of point at the time.

He wanted me to say his name. Okay, I get it. Thing is, he calls me everything but Cindy so every once in a while I will turn to him and say, 'say my name'. I know he doesn't know why I do it but I do. I just remember the conversation from what? Almost twelve years ago now? I should tell Bob about it and see if he remembers - 10 to 1 he doesn't.

Oh, and my dad called Billy and I 'turkey'. Yep, no cute pet name just 'turkey'. I call everyone younger than me 'monkey', 'smoopy', 'little miss' etc.