Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Name Thing

Not long ago my middle daughter and I were having a conversation and it somehow got on names.
Something prompted me to mention the calendar my father had listing everyone’s birthdays. The calendar had twelve squares, one for each month. In each Dad listed family members birthday by the day they were born, their first name and then the two digit year they were born. However, my middle daughter and my brother’s oldest daughter were born a month and a day apart and have the exact same first name.
 Dad’s solutions was to add their middle initial to the board.
When I saw it, and read the entries for those girls’ birthdays, I had to laugh. “Dad you should have used their last initial.”
This was obvious to me since those are clearly different whereas their middle initials are the same, even if they are different names. The way Dad did it, made it look like he listed two birthdays for one girl.
Anyway that story led me to retell how her cousin hadn’t known, when they were in grade school, that they had the same name. We had as a rule used a common nickname for our daughter but my brother refused to shorten any of his kid’s names. So one day, in my niece’s presence, when I was a bit irked with my own daughter and called her by her full first name, I had to explain that they had the same name.
This discussion led to us talking about how moms call kids full names when they are upset with their kids. I told my daughter that I tend to use my children’s first and middle names when I’m mad, for all but my youngest daughter. I use her first two names when I’m in a good mood.
“That’s not fair. Why do you do that?”
 “You try saying Joy when you’re mad.”
I let her think on that a moment.
I finally pointed out. “When I’m mad at her she gets her full name, not just her first and middle name.”
Truthfully, I have used my other kids full names, but generally the first two are enough for them to know they are in trouble.
But as my youngest daughter read this, she pointed out that I rarely call her by just her first name.
She’s right. I do usually use her first two names. Either that, or her nickname, which I often pair with her middle name anyway.
I really like her middle name.

Can you blame me?


  1. My mother could get 3 octaves up and down with my middle name "Bee."

  2. Sometimes when my mom would get mad, she'd go through my brother's names before she'd finally get to me...Jim, John, JANET!

  3. One time my dad wanted to talk to my oldest sister. He got at least one syllable in each of our names, youngest to oldest, including my sisters two week old baby daughter, before he got to her name. He was so made at himself it was screaming by then and my sister thought she was in trouble. (All together that was six names before he got the right one.)