Life has been a roller-coaster lately, and not the fun kind. The kind that you are convinced was not put together correctly, that is rickety and unstable. The kind that makes you want to vomit from both fear and dizziness. The kind of roller-coaster like out of one of those shitty “Final Destination” flicks.
But as is life, within the struggles and trauma, you are often thrown a curve ball of funny on the side. Or hopefully you do. It might not always be as obvious as having a stupid argument with a beloved aunt over your grandmother’s dead body (true story), but if you look for it – you can find it.
So, for the sake of sanity and all things good I bring you our little bit of funny in this time of “Holy f’ing shit, what the F else can be thrown on our f’ing plate!?” kind of phase in our life.
In-between the time Tig was 2 months old to 10 and a half months old I renamed this poor child multiple times. Let’s just call it a “pre-midlife crisis triggered by having my last child ever and realizing I will never have a chance to name another one of my offspring so I want the name to be PERFECT!” kind of ‘thing’. In any event, at 10 and a half months Tig’s name was finally final. And we loved it. And it suits him.
Or so we thought.
Incidentally – before I continue this rant – children don’t *really* identify with any one name till about 11 months old anyway. (Experts claim that a child begins to recognize their name by 12 months of age and identify with it by 18 to 24 months of age.) As stated by a psychologist, Cleveland Evans, in this article: “there are no ill effects for a child under 1. Anywhere between 6 and 12 months of age, children will respond when their name is mentioned. But even if they turn, it might just be because they’ve heard it so much and not at the point where they identify it as ‘me, I don’t think anyone has to worry about harming the child. Even school-age children easily deal with having multiple names and nicknames, according to Evans.”
Besides, in some cultures children are not named for 2 years. And they are probably totally well adjusted. Probably.
Also – incidentally, the name “Tig” is an alias, and not any of the names I chose. In case you were wondering and perchance suspicious of the title of this blog post in relation to Tig.
So then, when at the ripe old age of 2 and a half he did a complete 180 on us and renamed himself the very first name he was (legally) given. We were slightly taken aback.
How does a 2 year old even know to do this? You ask. Why would they even care!? You exclaim.
We have always played the “what’s your name?” game since he was asked once at a community centre what his name was and he responded confidently: “mama”. We thought this was funny (and not at all odd or worrisome. Ahem) so every once and a while we would go around the dinner table asking “what’s her name?” and “his name?” and “my name?” till we finally got to him.
We figured his reason to avoid saying his name was because he couldn’t say it. He had always refused to say words he felt he couldn’t say like “stairs” and “please” (or perhaps he was just being difficult). But then the other day, while we played the “what’s your name?” game he randomly and quite clearly said his name, his legal name. The name we had liked, do like, but never loved. The name we had shed, or we had thought we had shed, at the age of 2 months old.
We asked him if he was sure. We asked him again and again “what’s your name?”. Maybe hoping he was kidding, maybe just not convinced he knew what he was doing. He probably thinks we’ve all gone mad or stupid. After all, he has now repeated his ‘name’ over 15 times and we still keep asking him what he wants us to call him. Ok, *I* keep asking him…
So after all the trouble of renaming him, after all the ridicule I endured because I was ridiculous (I kinda was)…after all that, he returned to his roots on his own.
We are lucky, he still answers to the name we gave him at 10 months old (it isn’t as easy to switch over to a new/old name after all this time, plus we love the name we chose). Though it is clear he wants us to address him by his legal name as well because he will act like a dick (seriously) if you address him as anything but his chosen name. So he seems pretty sincere about wanting to be called it. For a two year old.
Or maybe he’s just screwing with me. Whatever the case, I owe it to him to call him what he wants me to call him. And if it’s an evil toddler genius prank he’s pulling, then the joke is on him – since this just means I don’t have to change his birth certificate and spend $40.