It’s taken until now for N to really get to understand and learn names.
He’s obviously known his own for a long time – both the proper word (although being long, he can’t say it in full similar to most other children of his age trying to learn it) and his nickname. It’s funny how he interchanges them both as and when, depending on who he’s talking to or what he’s talking about.
Family names he’s pretty good on as well. He knows his aunts and uncles’ names with no problems, and most of his cousins are easy (although he does have a tendency to mix up 2 of them – with 6 to remember, 4 from one family, that’s not surprising!).
But with friends it’s been a bit hit and miss.
One of his nursery friends Liam has always been talked about since they were in the ‘hatchery’ baby room together. But now he’s really good at naming all his nursery peers – he looks at their lockers with their pictures and name alongside, and can name them all. Well, maybe not the newest ones to come up to this room, but the ones he’s been with for a while.
There’s usually 4 staff members, 3 a day, based in his Ducks room, but so far, it’s only really the team leader Katherine, whose name gets a mention. Yesterday, Hazel was saying that he calls her Katherine as well, although he has once said her correct name. Only 2 or 3 more to learn there then.
With his NCT friends, he was never really interested before in learning their names. Quite a few of them have 4 letter names which have similar sounds, so those he would copy me in saying. But some of the others he wouldn’t even attempt before. But this weekend, he was quite keen on saying Charlotte’s name over and over before and when we were with them (couldn’t quite get her baby sister’s name – that seemed to be a lot harder). Hopefully next time he sees them all, he’ll be a bit more proficient and more interested in saying their names).
What’s interesting now is how he’s learning that his mum and dad have proper names too. His dad’s was easy as he hears that all the time on the farm from his cousins and uncle saying it. But mine’s harder, as people tend to just refer to me as ‘mummy’ when they’re talking to him, and my name’s rarely mentioned in front of him…writing that feels quite sad. I think not enough people at home are saying my name! That’s an aside anyway.
This weekend we’d bumped into one of my old school friends though, and as we said goodbye, they mentioned my name. That totally confused N, as he was shouting ‘bye Emma’ to them as we walked away. I had to explain that Emma was my name. Now he gets that as well. Although he’s still calling me mummy thankfully.
It must be a strange concept for children – they know that they have a name, but they must wonder why there are so many mummies and daddies out there all called the same thing. And then it gets confusing when they meet people with similar names or the same name as someone else they know.