Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nicknames

Dave and I have had difficulty trying to choose names for our boys. It's a huge decision and we also have outside pressure to name them after various family members. Mostly, we just want the names to be right and we don't really know our little guys very well, yet.

I was 3-years-old when I was legally named. In the hospital my mother was pressured to give me a legal name. My mom said, "I can't. I don't know who she is, yet." Somehow my parents got away with it and for over 3 years my birth certificate reflected just "Unnamed Baby Girl" as my name. They always knew they wanted my first name to be Elisabeth and I was called "Lizzy" for as long as I can remember. I guess that's why I associate myself to be "Elisabeth" or "Lizzy" and why the name "Liz" seems to irk me so. I also had various nicknames and by the age of 5, after traveling for a long time through Central and South America(s) and acquiring even more nicknames in both Spanish and English, I thought my full name had a duper huge length to it since I just added every nickname to the list. I didn't see the significance of a time I remembered quite well when at the age of 3 my mother sat me on the guestroom bed and gave me the options I had for my full name and actually let me choose my legal name. It was still long, but not nearly as long as I eventually thought it to be.

The solution was that my parents gave me a strange kind of first name. One of my (sort of) middle names is actually written as part of my first name only in parenthesis as if it were a replacement for my first name or as if the two names could be used interchangeably. Yes, confusing. I would give my full name to you all here, but for security reasons I'm sure you can all understand my reticence.

When I was baptised at the age of 8, my father performed the baptism. I was well coached in how it would all work out and I plugged my nose as I was dunked under water, just as I was told (even though I knew how to swim quite well and thought the nose plugging was silly - I just did as I was told). Everyone said I did a great job as I was taken to the dressing room to dry off and change back into my regular clothes. You can imagine my confusion when I was told I needed to get baptised all over again. I didn't understand why and thought I had done something wrong. My father didn't seem to want me to know that I had to get baptised again because my father said my name in the wrong order.

Every night Dave and I give the babies a new nickname. The nicknames are sometimes made up or they might come from cartoon characters. We're running out of nicknames now that it has been several months. While we were in Puerto Vallarta I asked Dave if we could come up with some more permanent nicknames to use until we could come up with their real names. I was starting to have some bonding issues by referring to them as "twin-a" and "twin-b." After several suggestions we settled on "Bump" for twin-a and "Tope" for twin-b (pronounced Toe-pay). Mexico is home to biggest mountainous speed bumps you would ever see and many of them have signs to warn the driver of them - labeling these speed bumps "Tope." So, "Bump" is for speed bump and "Tope" is the Mexican version. We were in Mexico, after all.

We still refer to the babies and Bump and Tope on occasion, but we came up with another set of nicknames that we also use. Keeping with the Mexican theme, we started calling them "José" and "Hose-B" (or that would be Jos-bi if I spelled it in Spanish).

To hopefully save our boys from any confusion or identity crises when they are older, or at least reduce the chances of any, we are determined to come up with their names before they leave the hospital. It only took us about 10 days to name Tempest, but he sort of named himself. We tried out a huge list of names and it was by chance that Dave said the word "tempest" and our kitty perked up, said "meow" and ran to him. We realized that Tempest must have been his name and we just had to pull it out of the air (or out of something else). He has always come to this name and it fits his personality very well. I just hope naming the boys works just as well.

1 comment:

karenF said...

The names will come to you when it's time! Ah, Taco Smell.. yikes! Sounds like Mexico was beautiful, I'm glad you had a good time, and relaxed.