Father’s Night

It is 1:52am. I just spent the last 25 minutes being awoken by a crying baby, making a bottle for her, changing her diaper, feeding her, rocking her, cuddling her, and finally putting her back to sleep in her crib.

You know what? I couldn’t be happier this Father’s Day, not even at 1:52am, because I get to be among those celebrated today, because my beautiful daughter Julia is here.

I am a father. Interrupted sleep from time to time is nothing compared to that.

On Silly Baby Nicknames

Without any specific intent to do so, I’ve begun using a variety of nicknames for Julia. None of them are the kind of permanent nickname that sticks for years, but I use all of them often enough that they aren’t just one-off silliness. Maybe eight-off or nine-off silliness.

Different people have all different kinds of nicknames for their kids, formed in creative ways from funny circumstances, or sometimes with deep personal meaning. I, on the other hand, have become more of a nickname literalist. Now, these names are not without any sentiment or emotion, but they tend to be imminently practical and speak to something about the situation at hand. A few are timeless things that are true all the time, which I feel compelled to mention via nickname, but most are not.

All of these nicknames follow a basic pattern of adjective-noun, where the adjective describes something Julia is or exhibits, and the noun is invariably one of head, face, pants, or butt. For some reason, these four words just lend themselves to nickname suffixes. You can sometimes cheat on the true “adjective” requirement if you pick a phonetically similar word that gets the point across. It is just a nickname, after all. No need to be too strict.

All you have to do is pick whatever descriptive word applies at the moment, choose a suffix to go with it (though some work better than others depending on the descriptive work), and BAM! Instant nickname. Good candidates for babies include cutie, stinky, fussy, cranky, silly, barfy, fancy, poopy, chompy, smiley, happy, sleepy, giggly…the list goes on.

While some of these pairings are odd at best, some of them are downright hilarious. At least, they are to me, when saying them it a silly voice at Julia’s adorable face–even when the contextually appropriate nickname is cranky-pants. Heck, especially when it’s cranky-pants.

I’ve taken the liberty of putting all of the possible pairings in a table below, because that’s how I roll. Also, as an exercise, I’d like to see if there are any awesome ones I’m missing out on.

head face pants butt
barfy barfy-head barfy-face barfy-pants barfy-butt
chompy chompy-head chompy-face chompy-pants chompy-butt
cranky cranky-head cranky-face cranky-pants cranky-butt
cutie cutie-head cutie-face cutie-pants cutie-butt
fancy fancy-head fancy-face fancy-pants fancy-butt
fussy fussy-head fussy-face fussy-pants fussy-butt
giggly giggly-head giggly-face giggly-pants giggly-butt
happy happy-head happy-face happy-pants happy-butt
poopy poopy-head poopy-face poopy-pants poopy-butt
silly silly-head silly-face silly-pants silly-butt
sleepy sleepy-head sleepy-face sleepy-pants sleepy-butt
smiley smiley-head smiley-face smiley-pants smiley-butt
stinky stinky-head stinky-face stinky-pants stinky-butt

I’ve bolded the ones that I tend to use on any kind of a regular basis. I’m sure you’ll agree that some of the combinations above just don’t work for one reason or another. Statistically, it looks like I get the most mileage out of face and pants. This doesn’t surprise me. They’re hilarious.

I mean…barfy-pants? How can you not laugh?