Owen has been completely obsessed with names recently. When we received Christmas cards over the holidays we put them all up on the wall and his favorite thing was to point to each one and ask (read: demand), “Dat?”. After I said each name he would repeat it (to the best of his ability). And then giggle. And then ask me again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Often I would turn the question back on him and ask him who the people were, and he almost always said the right name! Go figure, Mr. Social is totally enamored with learning names.
He also knows the names of people on food packages when he plays in the pantry cabinet. Oh yes, he and Bob (of Bob’s Red Mill) and Uncle Ben (of Uncle Ben’s Rice) are on a first name basis. And if there are any people on cereal boxes, Owen calls them all “guy”. The kid sees a face and wants a name!
In public, he will point to people and say, “Dat!” as if I know everyone’s name. It’s getting a little awkward to have to say (out loud, usually within earshot), “Ummm, I don’t know that person’s name, buddy…”. And even more awkward to say, “That’s a man/woman/girl/boy/kid” and realize that I’ve guessed wrong. Ooops. The other day Owen learned the word people (pee-boh), so at least I’ve got that one as an easy out.
He talks about our friends constantly, even when they are not there. He constantly “finds” his cousins and aunts and uncle and grandparents (most of whom he hasn’t seen in months) in books and on the street. When we sing songs he will shout out their names and I will work them into the song. He comes home from school with new words every day and finally I’ve come to realize that many of them are names of his new little buddies. Have I told you he’s obsessed? Obsessed.
At school he is supposed to call his teachers Mrs. and Ms. So-and-So. This strikes me as kind of funny, since he is only a toddler, but I guess it is good practice in formality for later in life. In any case, it feels a little strange to refer to his teachers as Ms. So-and-So when most of them are clearly my age or younger. But what is even weirder is thinking of having Owen call my friends Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So. I can remember several of my parents’ friends who I called Mr. or Mrs., and definitely when I met my friend’s parents, they were Mr. and Mrs..
Does that mean that Owen should be calling my college friends by their formal title when he learns their names? REALLY?! Not going to happen, folks. But then will it be weird when he is 10 and going over to friend’s houses and calling their mothers by their first names?
Maybe it’s generational. Maybe Owen’s generation WILL call their friend’s moms by their first names. And maybe it won’t seem weird then.
What do your kids call your friends? Their teachers? Do you feel weird introducing people as Mr. or Mrs.?