Over the years I’ve acquired many nicknames. Some of you will know me as Chez, others Meryl, Beryl, Cherry and weirdly Flo. This week however, I’ve been given a new name by my youngest daughter, Eva. That name is….Carmella.
Since starting pre-school 3 weeks ago, Eva has not only fallen in love with the place, but with her keyworker, the wonderful Carmella. Eva is obsessed with her. Every time I pick her up she talks about what Carmella did and what Carmella said and when she can see Carmella again. This clearly isn’t enough, because 4 days ago, Eva told me “You be Carmella” and “I be Eva.” I chuckled to myself and happily went along with this new role play. What I didn’t realise is that it would last all day and indeed all week. Over the past few days, whenever I’ve made the mistake of saying something like “Mummy needs to put the washing on,” she looks at me as if I’m stupid and says “You’re not mummy, you’re Carmella.”
Advantages of Being Someone Else
The upside of all this extensive role playing is that as Carmella I can get Eva’s attention more than when I’m being the real me. At the age of 2 we are going through a quite demanding phase. I have noticed this week that when she’s stamping her foot and screaming for chocolate buttons, I can get her to stop or listen to me by saying something like “Carmella doesn’t like that.”
A Bit Weird
Let’s face it, the disadvantages are that it’s just plain weird isn’t it? I find it weird that I’m having to pretend to be someone else all week, if anyone overhears me talking as Carmella or being called Carmella then that would be weird. And if Carmella ever found out how detailed this little crush has become I’m sure she would find it ever so slightly strange. I dropped Eva off at pre-school this morning and could barely look Carmella in the eye thinking how bizarre it is that I’ve been pretending to BE HER all week.
I hear about plenty of other children who have had pretend imaginary friends, but I’ve never heard of a child who has insisted on calling their mum after another real person ALL WEEK. Whilst I’m pleased that she’s settled into pre-school so well, I can’t help feeling a tiny bit freaked out by how obsessed Eva has become with this other woman.
It Can’t Last Forever
Surely this phase won’t last forever. We finally had a break through last night when Eva tiredly murmured to me “You be Mummy now.” I’m hoping that will be the end of it. As much as I have nothing against the real Carmella, I’d quite like to go back to being me again. But who knows what will happen later when I go and pick her up today. If Eva’s had another enjoyable day, I may end up being Carmella for a while longer yet.
I’d love to know if anyone else been given an unusual name by their child or is it just me?