Do you like nicknames? When I was growing up, we weren’t much for nicknames. It was just the typical “Honey” or “Sweetie” stuff for everyone, unless my grandma was aggravated with us, and then it was “Heathen.” Sometimes she called the granddaughters “Little Heifers,” but not often.
When I met my husband, I was introduced to a world very different from the one I grew up in, even though we grew up only miles apart. And one of those differences was the nicknames. They are all about some fucking nicknames in that family, and that shit is in BG’s DNA big time.
Baby Girl has a lot of names for me. Starting from the first time she addressed me by name to her most recent nickname:
Numbers 6 through 12 have come up in the past year. She usually calls me by #2 or #6, but #9 is my favorite.
He is not a fan of the last two. It makes it even better that the child thinks his favorite thing in the world is poop. It isn’t, of course, but since she thinks it is, she constantly draws emoji poops on the stuff she makes for him and wants all of his gifts to be brown and/or have poops on them.
- [Little Man’s real name]
Looks like the more she likes you, the more names you get. Poor Little Man.
And from the time the girl started talking up until she turned three, she had quite a few names for herself. And her real name came last:
- Baby Ona
- Sweet Baby Ona
- Sweet Baby Ona Kate Kate
- Kate Kate
- Sweet Baby Ona Kate Kate Princess
- Sweet Baby Ona Kate Kate Princess Sissy
- Sweet Baby Ona Kate Kate Princess Sissy Cupcake
- [First name]
Calling herself by other names stopped for almost a year, until the summer before she turned 4, when she decided she wanted to be called Miguel. Yes, Miguel. My then blonde-haired, blue-eyed child insisted on being called Miguel for months and would not respond to anything else. Even when we were out in public, we had to call her Miguel, which got some strange looks. Thanks, Coco obsession. (And omg, she wanted to wear a red jacket when it was sweltering outside.) I was relieved when that one came to an end.
She likes to go by “Lion” sometimes now. I discovered this when she brought home a worksheet that had “[First name] Lion [Last name]” on it. She likes to sign into the class Zoom meetings as “Lion,” too. (Except for last week, when she was eating a cherry popsicle when the meeting was starting, and then she wanted to sign in as “[First Name] Red Popsicle.”
Such an interesting child.
LM does not like nicknames. Not even a little bit. To the point that it almost bothers him that we use a shortened version of his name. (Think “Matt” for “Matthew.”) If it weren’t for his name being so short and not having to write as much, LM would probably go by his full name. (And, yeah, that child is so lazy when it comes to writing that three measly letters matters to him.)
Let me tell you what my in-laws wanted to call him.
Like I said, they are all about nicknames. They have a tradition of coming up with terrible nicknames for their grandkids. And I don’t mean nicknames like “Sweetie Pie” or whatever. No, I mean truly awful nicknames. For example, one of the grandkids is called “Junkyard Dog.”
Yeah, you read that correctly.
“Is that Junkyard Dog coming in the backdoor?!”
We hadn’t been dating for very long when I was introduced to the nicknames. I was over at their house when my husband’s brother and niece came in, and my FIL loudly announced the presence of Junkyard Dog.
And then there is Alley Cat, which isn’t bad, except for a) the grandkid’s name isn’t Allison or Alley or Al or Albert and b) the kid wasn’t siblings with Junkyard Dog. I don’t know why it would make being called Alley Cat better if it was the sibling of Junkyard Dog, but it just would.
Here are some of the nicknames the other grandkids have:
My MIL proudly told me about all of the nicknames after noticing my WTF face when Junkyard Dog came in.
“It’s our thing. We like giving our grandkids cute nicknames. We’ll come up with a good one when you two have a baby.”
Did I mention it was early in the relationship? Early as in we hadn’t even had sex yet. I was 20, and marriage and babies (and godawful nicknames) weren’t even a blip on my radar.
(Well, as many of y’all know, things quickly escalated and I was engaged at 21, married at 22, and became pregnant for the first time shortly before turning 23. I guess MIL wasn’t getting too far ahead after all.)
So, when I was pregnant with LM later on, MIL brought up their ideas for his nickname over lunch one day. I was late in my third trimester and very hormonal, so her suggestions very nearly caused me to go into labor.
I’m a very particular person, so I wasn’t at all pleased with these nicknames. I was very happy with the name we picked out for LM and just wanted people to call him by that. And then MIL got to the crown jewel of her nickname list, the one she led up to by telling me it was their favorite and what they would probably go with:
Little Rotten Sack of Taters
There aren’t enough GIFs in this world to express my WTFness.
After the initial shock wore off, I tried to laugh it off like I knew she was kidding about the nickname.
“Oh, no, FIL came up with that himself! He’s so excited about it!”
Why? Why would someone want to call a baby Little Rotten Sack of Taters?! Why??!
“We can call him ‘Tater’ for short!” she added.
Oof, so much dying inside. I joke about being country, but I am not country-country, and I detest country-country stuff, and that name definitely falls under that umbrella.
I sobbed to my husband over the Little Rotten Sack of Taters giving me heartburn later on that evening. He later asked his mom to come up with a different nickname. They came up with Booter Scooter (“We’ll call him ‘Booter’ for short!”), which I thought was silly, but it was infinitely better than Little Rotten Sack of Taters, so whatever.
A grandkid born after LM got the Rotten Sack nickname, by the way, so it didn’t go to waste.
I was truly dreading the nickname thing when I was pregnant with Baby Girl. Thankfully, they came up with something that was a huge improvement on a decaying tuber vegetable.
What’s your nickname?