February 26, 2007

A bear by any other name....

I think my children are fairly intelligent, and they have a decent vocabulary. They also have well-developed imaginations. But when it comes to naming things, they are severely lacking.

Collin received this bear as a gift when he was a baby (from a fire fighter who worked with Jay's dad) after "the car accident." He has been rather attached to it ever since. He no longer cuddles with it when he sleeps, but he is reluctant to let it leave his bed, and it's the first thing he packs for sleep-overs. And yes, the treasured bear has a name by which it is exclusively known.... "Brown Bear." Not quite original, but at least somewhat descriptive.

When Mary was born, one of my neighbors bought her a darling outfit to wear, as well as this soft plush baby doll. Mary loves it. It is very cuddly, and she still sleeps with it every night. We have had a few moments of panic when the doll has gone missing at bedtime, but she is always found eventually. She has survived many washings, 4 or 5 re-stitching sessions, and 1 decaptitation. Fortunately, I'm a pretty good doll surgeon, and she is none the worse for wear. And the name of Mary's beloved? "Squishy Baby." A little more original than "Brown Bear" I guess, and certainly descriptive.

Jay gave Mary a plush pink bear for Christmas. Mary was delighted. You can probably guess what she named it. Yep. "Pink Ribbon Bear." She took it to school for show-and-tell after Christmas break. She was very proud when she explained to me that she told the class, "Her name is Pink Ribbon Bear, but I call her Pink for short." Wow. That's clever.

Even when they play make-believe with each other, they call each other "sister" and "brother" instead of giving each other names. When I was a kid, I came up with all sorts of names for myself when I played with my friends. (Ashley, Megan, Lavinia, Jessica, and Morgan were my favorites.) Is there something wrong with my children?

Mary has a lot of dolls but hasn't named any of them. The Barbies have all retained the name "Barbie." It's kind of funny when they talk to each other. ("Hi, Barbie. What are you doing today?" "Well, Barbie, I'm going shopping. Do you want to come?" "Sure Barbie!")
One day when Mary and I were playing with her "Sweet Streets" doll house and family, I got to play the daughter and decided she should not be called "daughter" anymore. So, I christened her Sally. It actually stuck!

Jack also received a small plush bear when he was a baby. It's a lovely shade of blue. And, of course, Jack calls him "Blue Bear." The other day Jay brought home a new plush bear he found on a sale rack somewhere, and he gave it to Jack. Jack was delighted, and quickly replaced "Blue Bear" with this new one. And when he can't find it, he says, "Where is New Bear?"


  1. I love it! Do you know we use to fight over the name "Barbara". Fun!

  2. My kids don't name their stuffed animals. I never that about it before. Is that strange?

  3. Emily,
    It's not strange that your kids DON'T name their "friends" it's just that my kids DO name theirs, but can't come up with anything original. THAT'S what concerns me. :)

  4. My niece received a plush striped kitty cat for Christmas one year. She named her Mighty Jungle. Where in the world that came from, NOT A SINGLE CLUE. She was very matter-of-fact about it too, like it was the most common name in the book...


Please feel free to leave comments that are appropriate and friendly.