What’s in a name?

There’s a lot to be known of someone or something just by what it is called.
For instance, a scalpel cuts your scalp off. A fireplace is a place where fire goes. The KIA Soul has SOUL and I want one. A minivan is a very small van.

For this reason, names were a huge topic of conversation in our house from Day 1 of our marriage. Unfortunately for the children we’d end up having, we didn’t much discuss their upbringing. We did, however, talk incessantly about their names. We always knew what we’d name our first boy. There was never any question. There were many questions about the others. On this blog, many of you know me and know my kids. Some of you may not know me at all and don’t care to. I decided from the beginning that if I was going to tell all their horror stories, I wouldn’t tell them by their accurate names. So we’ve been calling them by AG, Mama’s Boy, Beloved, and Snuggle Monkey. These are nicknames that all mean something. Beloved is not more beloved than the others. But her dad called her that from the beginning, so that’s who she still is.

I’m bored with all of that now. It sounds awkward as they age. In thinking back to the hours of name screenings we went through, I think to the names we argued over the most. The husband is just a little bit crazy. Just a tad. And due to the insanity, I was forced on occasion to shoot down his first choice. It’s what I do best. That and tripping pigs.

As we were going through the adoption process with our first, he began to pitch me the name, “Calvin Fletcher.” Really. What? That’s horrid. That’s a presidential name. Or a fat guy. Or a guy with two glass eyes and and hook for a hand. No. No Calvin Fletcher. I’ve since learned it was a joke, but for the sake of this blog, when I refer to Numero Uno Boy, I’ll call him Calvin Fletcher.

The second born came out clinging to my skirt and clung tighter as the years passed. I unfortunately made that worse one night while talking in the driveway to a neighbor. I thought he was dead asleep in his bed (he was about 3). Instead, he had gotten up and was searching the house for me and screaming. It was a terrible scene and I’m not sure he ever got over it. After that, it pretty much took the Secret Service and a gospel choir to convince him to leave my side. So he was named Mama’s Boy. But while he was a mere bun in the over, he had many names. The favored name that we both loved but knew we couldn’t use was Simon. Too english. Too Simple Simon. Too Simon Says. But for now, for here, Mama’s Boy is becoming Simon.

Oh, come on. It’ll be fun. Roll with me.

Beloved is a funny one, because her dad was DEAD SET on Evelyn for her. This one, unlike Calvin Fletcher, was not a joke. He loved the name Evelyn. I don’t mean to offend and this is not an insult. I only raised the point that I had never met an Evelyn who wasn’t convalescing. They were always quite wrinkly…and not baby wrinkly. I shot it down. But today on this blog, Beloved becomes Evelyn. Maybe the husband will get his fix. As if he reads this fluff.

The final baby ought to be named Miracle, because that’s what she was. But that’s neither here nor there. Todd wanted Mary. How could I have a problem with Mary, he asked? She’s the mother of Jesus. Yes, I said. That’s true. And I will never utter a foul word against the character of the mother of Jesus. But do I want that name? No. Sorry. When I looked it up in my books, it meant “bitter.” I didn’t need to curse the child with such a meaning. Knowing Snuggle Monkey as I do now, I can’t see her as a Mary. But she will be called Mary here for now.

So Calvin, Simon, Evelyn, and Mary (WOW) have taken upon themselves the business of naming our chickens. The first go-round, this made sense. There were only 4 original chickens and then 2 babies. All six, when fully grown, looked entirely different. It was easy to name them, get attached to them, and let them be pets. They did struggle to name them anything feminine. We have Silver, Phantom, Panther, Summer, Goldilocks, and Prime. Of those, only Prime was a boy.

The second batch of chickens was almost impossible to name, because (1) there were 10 of them, and (2) they all look alike.

All but one. One chicken stands out in the pack of awkward teen hens we are raising. She is blonder than the others. She has always been Evelyn’s chicken and Evelyn named her…wait for it….Eeknit. Yes, Eeknit. Pronouced EEK-nit. No idea where she came up with that or why she stuck with it. I only know that there is SOMETHING in a name, because Eeknit is as strange as a normal person at a Star Trek conference. And though I have managed to grit my teeth and get through it every day, she almost always flies out of the darkest corner of the coop and attacks me when I go in to feed them. Oh, she tries to make it look like an accident. But I know better. She’s looking for a role in a creepy bird-of-prey movie. She’s not right, that one. Today she flew out of nowhere and landed on my chest. Try that sometime, if you never have. Allow a mentally deficient teenage chicken to land just below your face and dig her talons into you. It’s fun. It’s what we do when we don’t have neighbors.

Yes, I believe in names. And I sleep with one eye open because I have a pet named Eeknit. If you never hear from me again on this blog, don’t assume I’ve taken one of my regular hiatuses. Don’t assume I’m too busy.

Assume the chicken got me.

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