Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You can call me --what-- ???

Now that the Bug and the Bunny are settled into a Better-Manners Routine, wherein they both speak when spoken to by adults at school/daycare, we're ready to fine-tune the process.  But as we set out to do it, Joker and I realized it's not as straight-forward as we thought.

What do our friends, and the parents of our kids' friends, want to be called by the wee ones?

For me, there is only one answer.  Call me Angie.  Yes, I took my husband's last name, but I NEVER signed on to be a missus.  I don't use "Mrs." when filling out forms or on my federal identification; I use "Ms."  I just don't think that my marital status is anyone's business, thank you very much.  And I'd prefer that kids, regardless of young-ivity, call me "Angie," too.  Period.  I'm not a teacher, I'm not a mother-in-law.  I'm just Angie.

But there are other equally acceptable positions.  For example, the traditional "Mr. Lastname" and "Mrs. Lastname" work for plenty of people.  Around Evergreen, I frequently hear "Miss Firstname," which sounded alright to me (added respect for your elders versus your preschool peers, I totally get it)... until I realized I have more than one friend who'd be "Mr. Bill."  And I cannot say or hear that without thinking of the play-doh character from SNL.  The Bug's teacher correcter her when she called one friend's mom "Christy" at school... only two days after Christy and I had discussed our severe dislike of being called "Mrs. ---".  (I, on the other hand, was pleased that she was addressing an adult by name.)

Leading me to ask around about what other kids' parents want the Bug to call them.  I think it's up to the person being addressed.  Thus far, my (rather limited) market research shows that very few people have a strong opinion here.  If left up to me, I want the kids to use names instead of nothing - I think it's far more polite - and I'll prompt them to use first names for my peers by default (my grandparents' peers will default to more traditional means of address).  I mean no disrespect to anyone; we're just trying to raise polite kids here.  And I hope grownups will correct me (or my kids) if they prefer some other form of address. 

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