I’ve met many new friends since my daughter, Haydan, changed her name to “Barb Marley.” Periodically, I receive e-mails and messages asking if I have two children- one named “Barb” and another named “Haydan.”
This is one of my favorite posts, and it was first published on my friend, Dr. Samantha Rodman’s blog Dr. Psych Mom, but I thought that today I’d publish this post on my site and share it with you all.
Here is the official story how “Barb Marley” came to be:
Read the story, or you can watch it read aloud here form the 2016 Listen To Your Mother Burbank Show:
Kids do a lot of weird shit.
I once found my 7-year-old daughter, Haydan, half-way IN the freezer, freezing melted something into the shape of cookie-cutter snowman. To take things up a notch, she had also added a few drops of food coloring from the spice cabinet—the one that is roughly 4 feet out of her reach. Again, kids do weird shit.
I try not to get in her imaginative way as I recognize this is how she grows and learns….by doing weird shit. I learned the hard way in the 90’s that using Nair Hair Remover and jumping into the ocean was a terrible idea, but I learned from it, so I let her wander a bit in her world. Wanderers lead to the best creators. Or, maybe that’s just what I tell myself.
Not too long ago, she came to me and let me know she had some new ideas for names.
Immediately, I thought “new ideas for names” was code for a potential sibling name. I mean, what else could she be talking about? Re-naming the dog? Maybe.
In this case, she wasn’t referring to the dog, she was referring to herself.
“I’ve given it some thought and I think I’d like to change my name to ‘Barb’.” she explained.
Interested, I asked: “Hm, that’s a nice name. What made you want to change your name? Haydan is a nice name, at least I think so.”
She continued “Well, I really don’t know who came up with the idea of letting parents choose kids’ names. I mean, it is MY name, why did you get to choose it?”
She had a point. As an adult, I understand why we choose our children’s names. Mehh, not really, I have no idea why we have to pick out a name for a person at roughly 3 minutes old but apparently, it’s something we do and has happened for generations. However, I heard what my little ‘Barb’ was saying.
So, my husband and I rolled with it. We told her we would call her ‘Barb’ at home and she could refer to herself as Barb, but at school it might be best to stick to her legal name.
“LEGAL NAME? What does that mean?” she questioned.
I told her that in the eyes of the government, she is ‘Haydan’. The government recognizes her as Haydan, professional establishments like her school, the doctor, and most importantly, Chuck E Cheese, recognize her as ‘Haydan’.
She questioned me for a few minutes on the government but I think the fact that Chuck E Cheese knows her as ‘Haydan’ was all too powerful of a force. In her 7-year-old mind, Chuck E. Cheese won out over Obama. That might just be the first time a man dressed in a creepy mouse costume beat out POTUS.
So, for about two months, we called her ‘Barb’. However, we slipped all the time.
“Haydan, please finish your dinner!”, “How was your day today, Haydan?”, “Haydan, please take a bath!”
We really botched it the first couple weeks.
“IT’S BARB, MOM! Do I call you DAD? Dad, do I call you ASHLEY? No, I don’t! So please, call me Barb!”
We stuck with the ‘Barb’ deal and before we knew it, it became second nature. Down the aisles of Target, we hollered for ‘Barb’ to put back the mass amounts of Shopkin’s she’d tossed into the cart. We’d remind Barb that it was time to do homework, but not to forget to put her faux name of ‘Haydan’ on the cover sheet.
Well, about two weeks ago, she came to us and let us know that she would like to incorporate her middle name into this new moniker of hers.
“Going forward, I would like to be called by my first AND middle name.” she proclaimed.
Well, Haydan, I mean, BARB’S middle name just so happens to be ‘Marley’.
I decided I was going to give this one a run-through, a double take, if you will: “So, let me get this straight, you would now like for us to refer to you as ‘Barb Marley’?
“That is correct. I think it makes it more unique. I’ve heard of a few other people with the name ‘Barb’ lately. No one else in the world has the name ‘Barb Marley!” she gleefully exclaimed.
While she might be right on that front, I am pretty sure there was someone out there who had a name quite similar to it…I just can’t place my finger on it…..
So far, we are in the clear, “Barb Marley” has not asked for dreadlocks and hasn’t started growing any marijuana in our backyard garden. However, I’m keeping a close eye on her. Those 7 year-olds can be sneaky….
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