Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our own Princess Consuela Bananahammock

There was an awesome little Chinese girl who was in school with E for several years but who left at the beginning of this year because her family moved to Virginia and I tell you that she was Chinese because her parents speak to her in Chinese, not English, and they are from China itself and I don't know if the little girl was born here or not but all of this leads up to the point which is this: my own daughter E is a mixed-breed mutt of Eastern European ancestry, but you've never seen a fairer, more blue-eyed Causasian girl.

Have I lost you yet? Because I'm trying to tell you a story of how I earned another mommy merit badge, of how I had the opportunity, for the first time, to trot out a certain shopworn parenting cliche.

E and I were having a conversation that she's been working around and up to for several weeks. She's discovering that she has preferences, now, and they delight her and she invokes them with authority. I don't refer to the physical - if the notion in question were food or clothing or even color, anything with a sensory experience, I can assure you she's held preferences for quite some time now. I'm referring instead to intangibles, and in particular she has been expressing disappointment in her name. I don't actually think she dislikes her own name at all but she has realized that she loves the sound of other names, and periodically says she wished she was named _____ instead. It's a curious thing, watching her brain work.

A few days ago E finally asked me outright: Can people really change their names? I answered her with a yes, explaining it just takes a little bit of money and some paperwork. So can I change my name? Because she has preferred so many other names, usually the first names of all of her friends, I asked her what she was hoping to be called. But she'd switched it up on me, and instead taken on her make-believe character and her Chinese friend's surname:

Princess Fairy Fu. That's my name, okay, Mama? I want to be Princess Fairy Fu. Can I do that?

And that was when I got to say, for the first time ever, "When you're 18, darlin'. When you're 18 you can do whatever you want." Pin It


Laura said...

I love this! I love the new name and the ending. Just wait you'll have lots of uses for that 18 phrase...tattoos, short skirts...

Scrapping in Circles said...

My daughter started complaining about her name (which I had chosen years before I'd even met my husband) when she was three. There were many names she loved. Her favorite was Sarah. Sarah was the name of almost every girl when I was growing up. All of them hated it because it was so common. Yet, my daughter decided it was too beautiful and fitted her perfectly.

I've come to the conclusion, no matter what we name our daughters, they'll always prefer a different name. (=

a li'l bit squishy said...

Laughing out loud yet again at how quickly we have become our mothers!

Stephani said...

As mom of SMA, this brought tears to my eyes.

Stephani said...

As mom of SMA, this brought tears to my eyes.