After I finished her bedtime story and started to turn off the light, our six-year-old daughter said, “Don’t call me Pumpkin. That’s not my name.” While I don’t remember saying it, I must have said, “Goodnight, Pumpkin. I love you.” The pet-name is now a long established habit. She followed up with, “Goodnight, Banana!” complete with air quotes.
I’m not sure if this is normal for a 5 or 6 year old, but I’m not much liking it. I’ve no idea how I settled on the pet-name “Pumpkin” when she was a baby, but other than her actual name, “Pumpkin” is what I’m most likely to use as an endearment. She’s saying now that she’s never liked being called anything other than her real name, though I’m not convinced.
I’m wondering if this is something that kids do at a certain age? I had hoped perhaps it would be a bit later before she pushed back on the some of the tender remnants of her early childhood. Clearly she’s asserting some of her independence and personal style and taste, and that’s likely a good thing, but I don’t want her to grow up too fast.
Did you go through this with your kids? It’s a pretty small thing perhaps, but I wonder if it’s a sign of changes to come. I wrote a post a while back titled “My Name is Daddy” in which I defended calling my blog “A Daddy Blog” and expressed comfort, even a wistful hope, that our daughter might always call me, “Daddy”, even when fully grown.
Yeah, I’m a silly sentimental old guy. Do you ever find yourself wishing you could drag your heals and slow down the steadfast progression of time, mercilessly dragging them toward their teen-age years? I do. Oh, and I’m not going to stop calling her “Pumpkin”, by the way… especially in front of her friends. Payback is hell, isn’t it, “Banana?”