Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Ninja by any other name

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Parker household is very fond of nicknames. In fact, I would wager that half of our friends don't know Kitty's or my real names. And did you know that our cat "Tango's" real name is Richard?


Finn acquired a nickname long before he saw the light of day. We're not alone in that; many people saddle their babies-to-be with cutsie nicknames that the mother gently whispers to her bell
y, which she repeatedly insists that the father feel, even though it freaks him out and drives him to drink. At least, that's what I've heard.

Ninja didn't lose his pre-partum moniker when he came wheezing out. In fact, he's only picked up more nicknames in his first six months. We'll alternately refer to him as Ninja, Little Bud, L.B., L.B. Sure, The Boy, Finnja, Finn D. Lou Who, H.R. Fussnstuf, and Dylan McKay. OK, maybe not Dylan McKay, but seriously, what's up with Luke Perry snobbily shrugging off any suggestion that he would return to the show now that it's been revealed that Dylan is the father of Kelly's baby? I mean, how lame is that? And what's up with Kelly calling her little sister by her last name? Silver? That's stupid.

What, you're not watching the new 90210? You say that you have lives? I don't believe that for a second.

Meanwhile, back at the point: The problem that we are now faced with is that as a result of all of these nicknames, Finn does not appear to know his actual name. In fact, upon applying the time-tested infant IQ test of "Is my kid smarter than my cat?", the boy is coming up well short. Tango & Cash both come when called... eventually... at dinner time. Finn doesn't even acknowledge that you've spoken. According to the internet's smartest anonymous baby experts, he should be writing his name in Kanji by six months1.

Thank goodness for daycare. At least someone is trying to learn this kid properly. If he knows his name by the time he can talk, it will be thanks to Jena & team. At our house, it's more likely that he'll start responding to "Tango."

It's obvious that we should be trying harder to teach him his name, but therein lies the rub. The things that we should be doing aren't nearly as fun as the things we'd rather be doing. I'd rather be speaking back to him in his nonsense pidgin or screeching along
with him like a caffeinated hyena than trying to teach him how to pronounce "shoe." I'd rather be running in and out of the room in a manic game of peek-a-boo to keep him laughing than trying to settle him down for bedtime.

I'm sure this is just a sign of things to come. I just hope that his math teacher is OK with the fact that the only support he's getting at home is tutoring in the calculation of on-base-percentage and win-shares. You know, the important stuff.

Speaking of baseball stats, here's another shot of Finn from the Yanks game a couple of weeks ago. Someone on his left is calling his name, hence his look to the right.

1 Incidentally, "Finn" in Kanji is spelled "Finn." "Ninja" is spelled 忍者. See? Nicknames are much cooler.

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