While I’ve been prone to calling my little girl The Moppet of late, I never truly settled on a single nickname. Moppet works well because she’s little, precocious and has a wild head of hair. But in the past it’s been a cycle of diminutives from pants-less to naked girl to goober with the occasional scutch thrown in for good measure. There’s also been some less than favorable ones when the day stretches too long, but we’ll ignore those for now.
With this lack of consistency, it seems as though Kayleigh decided to take matters into her own hands. A couple months ago she began referring to herself as “The K” – seriously. As cute as it is to hear her answer questions like “Who wants a cookie?” with an exclamation of “The K”, it does come across as a tad George Costanza-ish. Maybe I should tell her to call me “T-bone”, you know, because I eat a lot of steaks…
Strangely enough I think the moniker did rub off on me. Every so often Kayleigh would call me “Dad” instead of “Daddy” and my typical response was to shorten her name to simply Kay. Between those exchanges, her own nickname and the feeling of formality that the overuse of her full name can brings, I’ve come to find myself calling her Kay with far greater regularity. And that’s despite the fact that she has switched back to the more proper “Kayleigh” when make self-referential statements.
Hopefully this won’t have any negative impact on her impression of her first name. I grew up with great affection for “Thomas” and it took me quite a long time to accept its abridgment – even today refusing to give up the h. Aside from its beauty, one of the main reasons I love the name Kayleigh is the ability to shorten it to a pleasant nickname – two, actually. I really do want The Moppet to be able to enjoy all aspects of her name and to choose whatever form suits her best – preferably one without a definite article attached.