And sometimes, she even remembers my name.
My name is Joe. I have one brother; his name is John. And, for as long as I can remember, my Mom frequently calls us by the wrong name. She calls me John almost as often as she calls me Joe. (If I had a nickel for every time my Mom called me John instead of Joe, I'd have half as much money as I would if I had a dime for every time my Mom called me John instead of Joe!) (That's a little math humor for you.)
And, as her sons, John and I have the responsibility to tease my Mom mercilessly about this. Over the years we have teased her about not getting our names straight seemingly innumerable times. (If I had a quarter for every time....)
|On the left, with the skinny tie, is John/Joe.|
On the right, with the not-quite-so skinny tie and mustache, is John/Joe
(That's Mom in the middle.)
Oftentimes I'll catch myself halfway in to calling one of my kids by the wrong name, so I'll correct myself in midstream, giving my kids weird hybrid names. As an example, if the names of my boys were Chachi and Roger, I might often find myself calling them "Cha-Roger" or "Ro-Chachi." Or if the names of my girls were Tammy and Wendy, I would probably call them "Ta-Wendy" and/or "We-Tammy." Sometimes I might even cross genders and go with a "Cha-Tammy," "Ta-Roger," "Ro-Wendy," or maybe even something like a "Ta-We-Ro-Chachi." There are a myriad of possibilities, and I've ended up using most of them. (It's to the point where I now frequently call them, "You!" or I'll point at them and say, "That one!")
When I told my wife what I was writing about, she said, "And then there are the times you don't catch it at all, and you call the kid totally by the wrong name and don't even notice it." I'm sure this isn't true. I would never call my child by the wrong name. It's not in my nature. And if, by some strange happenstance I did call a child by the wrong name, I'd find some way to blame it on my Mom. It's the genetics.
So, yes, I have become my mother. The question is, the next time she calls me John, should I cut her some slack? Maybe. (I just wish I had a dollar for every time....)
Edited from a post originally published on 1/10/2017.