Perhaps you think the use of all caps is an exaggerated move in the title. Maybe you don’t appreciate being yelled at just by looking at a blog entry.
Allow me to explain.
My seven-year-old daughter, Aden, has lately asked us to call her by a new name.
This began in early December. Aden decided she would heretofore be known as Tiger and only as Tiger.
In principle, I’m not opposed to this. I supported Abby when she went through iterations of being called Rebecca, Hayley, and Gabi. I diligently worked at remembering my son Ian’s all-too-appropriate request to be called Crash.
The problem is that there are so many names around here, sometimes I can’t even remember my own. I’m forever calling out combinations like “Ca… Cay… Abb… whatever your name is!…” So I think I should get credit for every time I remember my children’s given and nicknames and get bonus point for all of their preferred, made-up names.
She has been frustrated in the extreme lately by her less-than-bright mother who can’t remember one simple instruction. “My name is Tiger.”
“Ca… Cay… Aden?”
“My name is Tiger.”
“OK. Tiger. I already asked you to put your coat away once. Please do it now.”
15 minutes later…
“Aden! Your coat is still not put away.”
“MY NAME IS TIGER!”
And she resorts to yelling it, red faced and frustrated beyond all measure. I think, in her book, we’re sort of even. I want her coat put away. She wants me to call her Tiger. If she gets a timeout for failing to remember the coat, then her mother should darn well be punished for her dementia, too.
Maybe she’s right.
I have to tell you, Tiger brings me great joy. She is 100% her own person, not to be swayed easily (or often at all) by others. I have no worries about peer pressure for her. She’ll be the ring leader or nothing at all!
Tiger just had a birthday. You’ll be relieved to know she received both things on her list. A Bible (finally! reference Christmas blog entry for why) and a tiger costume. She wears the tiger costume every minute of every day that I’ll let her. So far, school and church are out (although I did let her wear the ears, tail and bow tie — because tigers have bow ties… duh — with her dress on Sunday, which was good for a look or two), but all other time is fair game.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Or, as the kids call it (despite our conversations about the important contributions of Dr. King to our society), a No School Day. Tiger wore her costume ALL day. Of course.
Here’s Tiger as she usually looks… beautiful!
Now, here’s what I see approximately every 15 minutes when I’m home.
Here’s an example of Tiger’s stubborn personality.
I caught Tiger yesterday, hiding in a corner by the pantry in the kitchen. She was clearly doing something she thought naughty, and she wouldn’t look at me or explain what was going on. I had my first clue when I saw a bandaid wrapper next to her. I didn’t know that I’m a bandaid-stingy mother, but apparently my kids feel they need to sneak them. When I finally physically turned her around, I had to leave the room for a moment for fear she misunderstand my maniacal laughter. I eventually returned to the kitchen and convinced her I’d let her keep the bandaid (with my new-found Stingy Bandaid Powers) if I could take her picture outside.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned while parenting, though, it’s not to underestimate my children. Tiger might be onto something. After all, it was William Shakespeare who said, “Oh tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide.”
She’s just living the dream.