Name calling vs nicknames

The kids at school have been going around calling each other nonsense names like “you pooty pop!” and they think it’s hilarious. When we observed this behavior at home, we corrected Gabby right away. We talked about how it’s not ok to call people names because it could hurt their feelings, and if someone calls her names she should tell them it’s not nice to do so. Even if they’re nonsense made-up words.

Then this morning I told her “are you ready to eat breakfast, Cupcake?” Cupcake is my special nickname for her, I’m the only one who uses it. She replied “don’t call people names, you could hurt their feelings!”

Sigh. I knew this day would come when I’d have to define the (very confusing) fine line between name calling and terms of endearment. I told her the difference between name calling and nicknames is that you have to ask permission first before giving someone a nickname and they have to say yes. “When I wanted to start calling papa ‘honey’, I asked him: Is it ok to call you ‘honey’? And he said yes.”

Gabby replied “oh so you should say ‘is it ok to call you Cupcake?'” Yes, I guess I should. “Gabby, is it ok if I call you Cupcake?”

For the record, she said yes.

A while ago I asked Gabby what I should nickname the baby when it comes, a special name I can use the same way Gabby has Cupcake. I told her I wanted to stick to a pastry theme, like Cookie. She has been adamant that the new baby should be Donut or Bagel…. Hum, I don’t think so!

I was personally out of ideas myself, so I googled “pet names like Cupcake” and found a lot of great suggestions on a forum about pet rats. You know, because that’s a perfectly reasonable place for a mother to research nicknames for her unborn child. So far I’ve got Shortcake, Cookie, or Sprinkles. Since I call Gabby “Cupcake” sometimes and “Gabby-cakes” most often, I figured “Shortcake” would work well because then I could have one “Gabby-cakes” and one “{Ellie-or-Elsie-we-haven’t-decided-Eloise-nicknames-yet}-cakes” while each having their own sickeningly sweet nicknames.

While we were already on the subject of nicknames this morning, I decided to tempt my luck with Gabby once more. I asked if Shortcake would be a good nickname for the baby. She said “no! that’s a bad word!” Hum, no it’s not, it’s a type of pastry. She wasn’t so sure I was correct about that, I guess I look like the type of mom who gets curse words and pastries mixed up all the time.

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