What did I just call my baby?!?
Written by: Laura Goeglein
Parenthood is a constant source of frustration and wonderment, exhaustion and exhilaration, happiness and hysteria—and those are just today’s highlights. Parenthood reveals things that make me say “Hmmm...” One example is my perplexing endearments for my kids.
When my almost-five-year-old son was a newborn, I mostly called him baby boy—“How’s my little baby boy doing?” I’m not proud to admit that I often used the same voice I used with the cat. For weeks after we brought home our tiny new son, nothing seemed out of sorts when I called him the typical sweetpea, pumpkin, etc. Soon after, I spiraled out of control.
Not sure why, but I started calling him Choochie. This quickly turned into Choochie Boochie or Choochie McBooch, which evolved into Boochie Boy, shortened conveniently to The Booch, then condensed further to Boo Boo. For a time, it existed as just plain Boo, as in “Let’s get goin’ Boo!” I was also prone to frequent and unexpected episodes of attacking the baby in a crazed fit of affection while saying “Mommy loves her littlechoochieboochieminimunchkinbabyboy!!!” I’m thankful this (typically) happened at home. To add another layer of peculiarity, I started adding Little Mister in front of almost anything. This caused raised eyebrows in public depending on my word choice.
- Little Mister Cutie Boy (sounds like a toddler pageant held in the South)
- Little Mister Chunky Thighs (could be an exotic dancer?)
- Little Mister Munchkin Man (no comment)
- Little Mister Baby Buns (now all organic!)
- And to bring it all home... Little Mister Choochie McBooch (where is this Irish stuff coming from?)
One day, I accidentally called my son Boobie at the grocery store, driving me to self-reflection. It was intended to be a boochie or a boo, but it came out boobie. Sadly, it wasn’t uttered in a quiet voice. My son was unfazed, but it had an impact on me. Let’s just say I left a full cart in aisle four.
I wanted to understand—where did this come from? My husband and I aren’t nickname people. Of course there’s honey or sweetheart, but there’s not any sweetcheeks or T-bone at our house. My parents weren’t nickname people. My grandma was a different story! We called her Bubby (nothing unusual), and what a Bubby she was—always dancing, singing, laughing, eating—usually at the same time. She was a ball of energy and affectionate to the point of assault. I have early memories of her chasing me around the house uttering an endless stream of urgent declarations of love: “Come to Bubby my little bubalahzheefcalailttlepoulkies!”
So these must be the genes I inherited—yet another surprise in becoming a parent! Should I fight nature? Maybe I’m destined to have verbal eruptions of the most benign kind—love-filled explosions of nonsensical nicknames. I suppose I’ll just go with it—until my children are old enough to cringe when I call them Boobie.