What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
 Rom.        I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
*Romeo and Juliet  Act II. Scene II.

Johnny was chatting with his sister, Princess, in her room after school today and I heard him telling her,

“I don’t like it when my friends call me John.”

She told him she hears it too and that he should use his words and talk to them.

He told her he calls Loo “****” and **** “******” like Grandma calls her sister and **** *** “M&M’s” because she wears socks with “M&M’s” on it and he loves M&M’s.

Princess told him that he should always call people by their right names.

“But Princess everyone calls me John, even Ms ****** and that’s not my name! They decided this when I couldn’t talk.  I don’t like that. ”

Princess yelled for me then and I listened to all of this again and she told Johnny that he should let his friend know that he wants them to get his name right he has to do the same.  I agreed but then Johnny said, “I can’t talk to the girls.”  I suggested that he could send an email to practice his writing and also let his teachers know what’s bothering him.

What is interesting is that on the surface teachers and caregivers thought that Johnny was being silly about other children’s names but  instead this exchange is giving us clues to why he teases everyone with their names instead of just saying what he wants to be called.  He told me that “Mrs ******** and Mr ******** call me Johnny” but everyone else does not.”  When I read between the lines I think he is trying to tell me that why should he call people by their proper names when others are not even trying to get his name right.   Johnny or John he is still my sweet little boy but in the end what is important is how he feels about himself and what he wants to be called.


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