A Rose by Any Other Name…
Nicknames are kind of important for foster parents, especially if you, oh, I don’t know, write a blog. My understanding is that in order to protect the privacy of the birth family and the child, foster parents aren’t supposed to publicly share too many details. When conversing in person, there are fewer restrictions. But even in private, there are things we aren’t allowed to share such as the child’s last name, the birth parents’ names, etc. I probably took this a little bit to the extreme with our first placement and didn’t even reveal the gender publicly. (For those of you who have been losing sleeping at night over it, he was [and still is] a boy.)
These rules makes sense, but there aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules. One that is clear is not sharing pictures that show the child’s face. (Who are these here strange people with Opal’s kid in photo I see on the Facebook!? She must be in trubble with the gummamint! [Note: This is just meant to be humorous and not ridiculing or stereotyping any group of people. Except Facebook friend’s of people named Opal with kids in foster care, of course.]) Hopefully anyone who thought I just really liked manipulating photos of baby’s faces for fun think I am a little less weird now, at least in that respect.
I tend to just be cautious in case there were more hard and fast rules and I just do not remember them. Hopefully, if you had any concerns over why I was being vague, it isn’t because I am a jerk. Well, at least not JUST because I am a jerk.
Anyway, Back to the Point
Another reason nicknames become important is because there is a chance that fostering will lead to adoption. And adoption means a possible name change. We have been lucky enough to go any babies that came with names we didn’t like. But sometimes, if it does come to adoption, changing the child’s name may become necessary for their protection. So we try to use nicknames around the house just in case their name isn’t going to be Tregdor-Destroyer-of-Worlds (or Tre for short) the rest of their life. Although that would be fun for the family car decals.
Even with this in mind, when we have discussed changing names, it has never felt right to change it completely. We’ll see how that feels or goes when we finally do get to the point of adoption. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and jinx the whole thing.
But picking a nickname can be just as hard.
Nicknames for Baby #1 and Baby #2
To catch you up on our previous placements, we didn’t give Little Boy #1 a nickname since we knew he was likely going to be with us for only a short time. But he used making little crying noises that sounded like a puppy, so he shall be hither to referred to as the Puppy.
Little Boy #2 (or The Baron Von Poopypants to you long time readers) was actually known as Munchie around the house (because he liked to munch on things).
Nicknames for Baby #3
Since I wanted to get going on blog posts, I felt like I had to come up with a good nickname for Little Boy #3. Ironically, getting stuck on the nickname is a partial reason I didn’t write blog posts for a while.
As I have mentioned previously, we went through a number of nicknames with Little Boy #3. We had just seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and he had a bit of a Baby Groot look to him. But he also had all that hair and had some very Baby Ewok or Baby Wookiee (nope, spell check didn’t like that either) looks.
But it wasn’t until my wife started calling him by <omitted to heighten suspense – and don’t go ruining it by scrolling to the bottom of the page unless you think the suspense will cause you health problems> that we found the nickname that stuck. It just came naturally and without forcing it. And that is probably the best way for nicknames to come.
There Are Those Who Call Me… Tim
His nickname is not Tim. While a fine name, it isn’t much of a nickname unless your name is Timothy, Timotheus, or Timbo Manboy.
My nickname as a baby was Toad. The story I have heard has something to do with a bowl of pears that I ended up wearing on my head. And it wasn’t sans pears. And I probably thought that it was pretty funny. But I was Toad for the next several years of my life.
Thank You for Your Patience
So what did we end up calling our precious little boy?
This is our Little Bear. (And we started calling him that long before we found this shirt.)