Big Guy, Little Man
A few years back, right around the time that C was turning 1, I started calling him “little guy.” I’m not really sure why. It just sort of became a nickname that I used for him.
Then his little brother was born, and I found myself with two “little guy”s. That seemed like a bad idea. I felt like a needed a different nickname each brother. So, after a bit of thought, I switched C over to “big guy” and N to “little man”. C was thrilled, N really wasn’t old enough to realize what was going on. The scheme worked out pretty well.
The “little man”, however, just had his third birthday. Shortly afterwards, as I was driving him somewhere, he decided to make a change. I had just asked him a question, ending in “okay, little man?”
“No! I’m not little. I’m big. I’m three!”
That was fine with me. I didn’t mind switching. It could be our own little rite of passage for turning three. “Okay, big guy,” I said.
“No! I’m big man, not big guy!”
So that’s what I started trying to do. It’s hard, though. I’ve got three years of practice calling him “little man.” For the next two weeks, I found myself getting corrected almost constantly. It seems like every other time I talked to him, he corrected me with his “No! I’m not little. I’m big!”
And, of course, there’s the strangeness of calling a three year old “big man.” For one thing, his older brother isn’t too keen on the new nickname. He’s turning four soon – and I know he’s going to want to make a change.
How do I get myself into these messes?