Sunday, September 27, 2009
When Jonie and I were growing up, my family called me Kris most all of the time. Kris isn't much of a nickname when your name is Kristy, so I've never really thought much about it. Jonie did though. She went through a phase, or perhaps several phases, where she decided that she was going to be nicknamed Jo. The thing she didn't understand about nicknames was that you can't force a nickname; it has to happen, naturally, almost accidentally at first, and then even if a nickname does begin, it's hard to tell what names will then cling to that person forever, perhaps even taking over the person's real name. At any event, fate was kind to Jonie by forcing her to just be Jonie, since she grew up to marry a Joe (and a very wonderful Joe at that).
Fun nicknames are undeniably interesting though. You meet a person with an interesting nickname and you know they automatically come with a story, an adventure, an alternate identity, a rebellion against their birth certificate. Okay, so maybe that's a bit over the top, but nicknames do usually provide interesting stories.
Ryder will call himself Ry Ry and answer to it, but that is a nickname that deserves little explanation. Carter (who is a year younger than Ryder) is called Car Car, and also deserves very little explanation,although I did love how Ryder would say "Car" and sign it (waving his hands like they were on the steering wheel as taught by the My Baby Can Talk dvds) whenever he would talk about Carter.Camden is often called Cam, but he also has a nickname that warrants not only an explanation, but a story.
Camden is eight months older than Ryder, and when Ryder was just a few months old, Camden's favorite expression was "Oh wow!," and it was said with such enthusiasm and a wonderfully cute facial expression to match the sweet, exciting baby voice that of course, we would create situations (not very hard to do) to elicit the comment. The expression stuck for a long time, and Ryder got older and older and started babbling some on his own. He was saying a few words, and we thought it was so cute that he was saying "Oh Wow!" just like Camden. We were so amazed at how much he was learning from Camden, and that certainly hasn't changed. (I'm hoping that Camden will teach the whole using the potty business to Ryder :)
Gigi (known as Fay when she is not being referred to as Mom or by her grandmother name) was at our house one day when Ryder was just about a year old, and she asked if Ryder was calling Camden "Oh Wow!" I stopped and looked. We have a picture of Camden in the living room, and Ryder was looking at it while saying "Oh wow." Surely not, though, right??? Yes, Ryder had stopped saying dada, and had started calling Cody, Papa Bear (otherwise known as Cody's dad, Rick, or Bear-a story for another time), and my dad "mama." Yes, Ryder said upbo, instead of just saying up. Yes, Ryder would constantly hum "mmMMmmmMM" as he ate his food, but to have named Camden "Oh Wow!" was just, well, pretty unbelievable and very, very strange. But we began testing Gigi's theory. We showed him pictures and asked who that was. We would ask "Who is this?" when we saw Camden, and sure enough, his name, according to Ryder was consistently "Oh Wow!"
Soooo, well, now we realize that Ryder is just very quirky, and calling Camden "Oh Wow!" just really seems pretty normal. We sing Happy Birthday Dear Oh Wow!, and we have conversation such as, "That's not Ryder's drink; that's Oh Wow's drink." We know we don't hit Oh Wow!, and we like going to Oh Wow!'s house, and it isn't even strange anymore.
Ryder will now call Oh Wow! "Camden" sometimes.(haha...I put it in quotation marks, like Camden is not really his actual name), but he still calls him Oh Wow! much of the time. I hope Oh Wow! is one of those nicknames that stick. It is pretty impressive for your name to be Oh Wow! How could you not be fun, and interesting when the very words that name you are Oh Wow!, and when your name, by definition and necessity includes an exclamation point?
The latest update on the story came today when Jonie told me that Camden was at a friend's birthday party yesterday, and a lady there asked him his name, and he said "Camden ....and Oh Wow!" There are no word to describe the awesomeness of that, and I think no words are needed. Of course, Jonie had to explain to the lady why Camden had just said that, but for me, I just think Camden is awesome enough to be Oh Wow! without explanation at all!
(Pictures left to right top to bottom: 1-Oh Wow! and Ryder playing at our house recently. 2-Oh Wow! and Ryder when we bought our house in Cleveland in October 2007. 3,4-*Denise's photo session with the boys at my parents house when Ryder was about 3 months old. I LOVE the crying one, and I love how sweet Oh Wow! is holding Ryder's hand. 5- *Denise's photo at my parents on Halloween 08 with the cutest lion and bat ever! 6-Ryder and Oh Wow! had just gotten haircuts. It was Ryder's first one right before his first birthday. 7-This toy box was a gift from Geneva. It holds lots of toys, or two very cute little boys. 8-Ryder and Oh Wow! share Ryder's birthday cake at Ryder's 2 year and Carter's 1 year birthday party. 9-Car Car, Oh Wow!, and Ry Ry hanging out in the play room last month.)