This morning, like most others, started with my answer to the daily rooster-like call from a toddler. Instead of “[filtered word]-a-doodle-doo,” it was “Moooomyyyyyyy!!!” Fortunately, this call-of-the-child doesn’t happen at sunrise. The kid is good that way.
I walked into his room to get the day started with the usual morning greeting, “Good morning, K-Man! Did you have good dreams?” Usually, he responds with something like, “Yes, I dream of Daddy and Mommy and Harley!” But today, he busted back with “I’m not K-Man, I’m Slice!”
I’m a prolific provider of nicknames. There’s just something more fun, playful and even intimate about calling someone by a name, the origin of which is perhaps only known by you and the person who you are calling out. Obviously, K-Man has no idea why I call him by such strange names, but still…I almost never call K-Man by his given name. (I know you’re disappointed to learn that “K-Man” isn’t the name on his birth certificate. So sorry.)
Because of my propensity for making up nicknames and evolving them over time, however, K-Man has been called any number of names. And, some are even reserved for different occasions. K-Man, of course, is the most commonly used and most obvious nickname, but it’s actually a shortened version of Captain K-Man (said like the old “Captain Cavemaaaaaaaannnnnn” cartoon).
He’s also known as K-Slice, Slice (as he reminded me this morning), Dr. Kolbalinski, LG (for Little Guy) and Rock Star. And this doesn’t even take into account the names that his mom calls him, including Pea, Peacicle, and Peanut. It doesn’t end there for the PLG (poor little guy). His Papa calls him Butchy (or maybe it’s Butchie).
In a way, I suppose all of these nicknames for K-Man make sense. After all, his name is actually G’s childhood nickname. Because there were three or four other girls in G’s class with the same name (G, by the way, isn’t the first initial in her name), she was known by a variation on her last name. That variation is K-Man’s name. (Written out like that makes it seem much more confusing than it really is.) In short, K-Man is something of a “junior” – only he’s G’s junior…not mine.
Like I said – I like calling people by nicknames and I like having them. Having a nickname shows personality. It often highlights a sense of humor and not taking oneself too seriously (which is pretty much the last thing I ever do). And, even today, as G calls me by a variety of pet names, most of which generate tremendous crap from my friends, I like ‘em. There are lots of people named Todd, but how many…ah, never mind.
I’m sure that G is happy that K-Man gets the nickname attention these days. In the eight years we’ve been together, she’s had to endure some horrific, cringe-worthy names (like “Dollywood,” which was the result of her mom calling her “Dolly” all the time). I’m certain that even though “G” is borrowed from the movie, “Meet the Parents” (you’ll never figure it out), she’s happy because it’s relatively benign. (Unlike, for example, the period of time where I called her Wucus. She wasn’t much of a fan of that one – even though it was one of my best, creatively.)
Last week as K-Man was hanging out at G’s parents’ house, his Papa asked, “Hey Butchy! How are you?” K-Man came back with, “I’m not Butchy. I’m K-Man.” PLG. So many names. Just pick the one you want that day, Slice. And don’t worry, there will likely be many, many more.