Just to clarify: Fluffy, Salty and Peppers all have beautiful real names. To clarify even further, I do call my daughter Fluffy and my son Peppers all the time, though Salty is only used on the blog.
How did I come by these names? A better question is “Why did I choose these from the myriad of strange epithets I employ?” Meh. I dunno.
Fluffy gets called Fluffs, Fluffer, Fluffinator, Fluffington, The Influfferator, etc. But it hardly stops there. Generally, I call her whatever happens to come to mind when I’m addressing her. From your foodstuffs, “Whatcha up to, Pumpkin Cheesecake/Split Pea Soup/Short Stack/Sugar Fluff?” to your animal related eponyms, “Pick up your socks, Bunny Bear/Unicorn Horn”, to your household items, “Hey, Swiffer Jet/Shower Squeegie, turn that down!”
Then there are the obvious nonsense apellations, “Zweebee Beebee/Fubbawubba! Let’s go!” (Though technically, Fubbawubba is a perfectly legitimate toddler pronunciation of Fiber One Bar and could be classified under food stuffs.) Oddly, those seem to make more sense than some of the random junk she answers to, like, “Slow down, Obamacare/Sequestration/Hook and Eye Closure, you’re getting too far away.” I often don’t notice I’m calling her all this crazy stuff until I do it in public and people look at me funny. “Pick out a cereal, Pay Day Loans/Kindergarten/Day of the Week Panties/Project Runway.” And of course, we get into tease fights calling each other gross stuff like “Ear Wax!” “Diaper Genie!” and “Poo Liker!” Doesn’t everyone? By the by, I was adamantly opposed to potty humor for decades of my life, but Kent has worn me down over the years.
So this morning when Fluffy ran away from the breakfast table, tore up the stairs and burst into tears, how was I possibly to suspect that she’d been offended by some nickname I called her.
Me: What’s wrong? Why are you crying, Sugar Fluff?
Fluffy: You called me a name!
Me: Pulling her onto my lap. I did? What name did I call you?
Fluffy: You called me Box Head.
Me: No, I didn’t. I don’t remember that. I think you must have misheard me. I don’t think I called you Box Head.
Fluffy: Actually, it was “Package Head”, and it made me sad.
Me: Recalling halfheartedly participating in a conversation about the UPS man while looking at sectionals in a catalog. Oh, did I call you Package Head? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your tender little feelings. I was just kidding around. I’m sorry.
Fluffy: I forgive you.
Why is she suddenly taking umbrage at Package Head when she’s been answering to anything from Flexy Straw to Guano for years?
I’m going to blame this sudden burst of sensitivity on the hours Fluffy spent yesterday in Kindergarten listening to presentations and watching videos from the school’s anti-bullying campaign. She told me about it after school and I was like, that’s cool. Now, I’m irritated. Stupid bullies. They ruin calling your child names for the rest of us.
As for the boys, I frequently call whichever one I’m addressing the equivalent of Peppersalt or Saltipeps. Cover all my bases.