Sometimes I wonder why I bothered naming my children at all. Almost a month ago Sammy declared that her name was “Gracie” after a cat in a Berenstain Bears book. Prior to this she often spoke in third person, saying “the kitty wants to sit on your lap” or “the kitty wants a snack” but now she had a name to speak third person about. “Gracie wants some candy!!” Harmon took to this idea as well, and declared his name to be Simba (from the Lion King). In the first week of this game if I referred to Harmon by his original given name he would declare “My name is not Harmon!!!” and would then refuse to respond until I called him Simba. Sammy soon caught on, but was much more forgetful when I would use her real name.
After a week they tired of Gracie and Simba, and became Rapunzel and Eugene (from Tangled, can you tell we’ve been watching a lot of movies?) almost exclusively. “Look at Rapunzel’s long hair!” “Eugene doesn’t want to go potty!”
Moving into the third week, it is hard to know what my children’s names are. Sometimes I will call for Sammy and Harmon only to be told that is not their names. Then I will call for Simba and Nala only to be told I am wrong again. After trying Rapunzel and Eugene and being rejected again I finally give up and say if you won’t tell me what your names are then I will just call you Harmon and Sammy. (It’s like a game of Rumpelstiltskin) This threat will generally cause them to tell me their newly chosen name and finally I can get out whatever it is I wanted them to do in the first place.
I don’t really remember ever asking to be called something else, although I do remember sometimes wishing I had a different name. Of course if my mother reads this maybe she can correct me, as I don’t ever remember being 2 or 3.