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In some Native American cultures parents give their children names centered around the events of their birth, to define their spirit.  Like, “turtle laying it’s eggs*” and “he makes noise*”.  Which may or may not offer some insight into who those children will be later in life.  Recently I began to dream of how cathartic (read: dangerous and vengeful) it could be if all parents were to do this at any time in their kids’ lives based on their daily spirit.

Like if I changed my three children’s names right now – while they are all under age 6 and home oh so much of the day – I might call them Crying, Whining and Ignoring.  All said with love and the kind of honesty that could slow down the world population faster than China’s family planning laws.

For instance my oldest – Crying (as I would call him even though it ensures a publishing deal for his childhood memoir) – has no interest in anything that isn’t on a screen.  A handheld phone, an iPad or computer would work – or the meta goal of his daily life: the highly rationed TV screen.  Now, Crying is not just doing so when he can’t get this form of adolescent crack.  My son sheds more of his tears when screen time is over and he wants more – and that goes on in perpetuity until bed.  Despite having pointed out, NUMEROUS TIMES, that this does not inspire me to give him any electronica at all, the crying has not ceased.  Thus, the new moniker.

Then there are my twin daughters – Whining and Ignoring.  Clearly this is just a phase for each – she who high-pitch moans 3000 times a day because she can’t yet extricate the feeling of disappointment from that spot between her throat and nose – and the other who (please please please Jesus/Buddha/Allah let this be due to age) has such selective hearing that she only listens to that which interests her.  Leaving out things like ever putting on any shoes or even using toilet paper regularly.

I know that in five years Whining and Ignoring will have moved on from these states of mind – hopefully not into new names like Reality TV Star and Can’t Pass The Bar.  Perhaps they will become Meticulous and Empathic, or better yet Understanding and Comedic… which might allow me to someday be forgiven for this article.

Speaking of forgiving, if I am going to throw my kids under the Spirit Name bus – which is probably just a more PC way to call them names like parents did in the old days – perhaps I should look at who their Dad and I have turned into at this juncture of our lives.  Truth be told, duh hubby and I are not exactly the Santa’s Reindeer Names we once were.  Dancer and Vixen left our spirit, life, and bedroom right around the time of the twins’ births.  Today my husband and I are more of the “seven dwarfs” ilk.  Specifically Grouchy and Sleepy.

So I can’t really fault Crying, Whining and Ignoring.  The only way to get my kids to Happy, Secure and Living-Out-Of-The-House-By-Age-35, is to find my own spirit.  Or recover it at least, without the use of all the tools I utilized before having children.  When I had time for tools… like exercise, reading, sports, dancing, singing, (even listening to music,) eating good food, (even just eating my own food), sleep, (or just rest actually), flirting (even with my husband), sex (even with my husband), conversations with interesting people, (or uninterrupted conversations with any adult), never mind the real tools of drinking or prescription drugs.

No, my only option to free my children’s true spirit is to transform my own in the next three minutes before they break into this closet where I have locked myself in to have these quality thoughts on spirit.

Perhaps it might just be easier to rename myself while in here and then start acting like it when they let me out.  Sort of projecting my future self into the future.  Wonder Woman, comes to mind, as does Master of the Universe, and truthfully, Kenny Powers. Which is probably a sign of Mania – which has a nice ring to it also.

 

*The sample Native American names used are translations of actual Shawnee names from http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/native-american

 



  1. Dan Mackey on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Funny but precious stuff this time out. Thanks for writing this as it has added a happy lift to the day. I was worried for a minute you going after Twitter pests and I would be in big trouble. Take care,

    #Crankystepdadofgiantfamilyusesstrangethingstomakenoiseformoney

    (What should be my spirit name)

  2. kiki loveline on Wednesday 28, 2014

    omg this is so funny thank you Diane

  3. zelly on Wednesday 28, 2014

    My children would be Perpetually Exhausted and Not Interested. Wait until they are teenagers Diane

  4. Diane Farr on Wednesday 28, 2014

    thank you Dan Mackey for always playing the game I put out there!
    df

  5. Diane Farr on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Ha ha thanks Moms. Teenagers scare me. df

  6. mary on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Omg I have seen your kids and they are perfect. So glad to know everyone’s child is obsessed with electronics as much as mine

  7. beatrice on Wednesday 28, 2014

    My kids would be Beauty and The Beast. And in time, the world will know which is which

  8. karin on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Just having the one child, I think the best name for him, much to my dismay is Jesus.
    Because of who his Dad thinks he is and him too now.

  9. laurie b on Wednesday 28, 2014

    I’m so not playing this one with you as my children can read…
    Hilarious piece though.

  10. Diane Farr on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Yes, Laurie B my kids can read also but they can not turn on the internet with out my changing the settings still…
    which buys me time. df

  11. Gigi on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Dancer and Vixen are who I want to be in my marriage.

  12. george c. lucas on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Chewbaka and Princess Laia. Neither meant as a compliment

  13. yb on Wednesday 28, 2014

    how about The Year of Living Dangerously and Footloose.

  14. nancy p on Wednesday 28, 2014

    What are the characters names on Shameless? I got one of each of those

  15. chong on Wednesday 28, 2014

    Tarzan (for my tree climber who wants to be at the zoo all the time) and retail slave (for she addicted to Disney)

  16. inez on Wednesday 28, 2014

    My children are perfect . I call them Perfect and Amazing.
    Yeah right!

  17. Diane Farr on Wednesday 28, 2014

    thank you for playing everyone. Except Inez.
    You, I’m not believing so much :)
    df

  18. Nicole Baugh on Wednesday 28, 2014

    My mom would be Moody (she’s a Cancer), my sister would be Lazy (she doesn’t like to clean up and she loves to take naps) and for me, Hungry (I would eat anything and every midnight, I have to get my snack on) ! :D