When we told Julian we were having a baby, one of our first discussions had to do with names. J didn't really grasp the life-long implications of and the importance of the naming process and he threw in some truly odd suggestions at first...mostly inanimate objects like "Lego" and "Truck". Being the brilliant parents that we are, (coughcoughcough) we backed up a bit and suggested that maybe we should pick a nickname for the baby first. He liked that idea and we settled on a nickname of "Digger". Many conversations in those days were about Grey-before-we-knew-he-was-Grey...back when he was called "Digger".

I suppose you'd have to know Julian to know how important it was to him to have a brother with the proper appreciation for moving dirt around. Some of you know...the rest of you will have to trust me--the art of digging in the dirt is perhaps what we girls refer to as a "place of bliss" for Julian. He's into it with intensity and always has been. (There's a reason all the pictures I take in our back yard are close-ups...) :)

So as it turns out, the name "Digger" didn't stick. I don't know why. I use it occasionally, and I think I've heard maybe 2 of our friends use it once or twice...but otherwise, he's "Grey". He enjoys getting dirty as much as any boy...but it's not quite a passion for him, like it is his brother. As soon as he was communicative, he let us all know right quick that he doesn't like any nicknames. At. all.

So now, I say it to myself once in a while, just because it's one of those "mommy-things" that I like to remember. I mutter it, under my breath, where no one can hear--especially the boy who hates nicknames.

He so dislikes nicknames, that he has an ongoing feud with a certain little girl in another class at pre-k. It seems that Claire took it upon herself to call him "Greyson-hotdog". I have no idea where she got the idea for "Greyson-hotdog" but it does not fly with him. If we pass her in the hall, he turns his head away and growls. If he sees her on the playground, it always makes the daily report on the ride home.

"Ughh. I saw Claire on the playground. She did it again." he says with as much visible disdain as a 5 year old can manage.

"She called you that name?" I say.

"Ughhh. Yes." he says with a wrinkled nose.

"What did you do?" I venture.

"I didn't like it." he says. Like there's any way I didn't know that.

"I'm sorry she does that to you."

"She's just a silly gur-rul." he announces...and we move on. I've offered to have a talk with his teacher about it, and he always declines. when I looked out my window, this was what I saw. (see picture above) I couldn't help just seemed to fit. So I did it - I muttered "Digger" under my breath. And it made me happy. Sometimes, the Mommy needs to be a little sneaky, even knowing he would hate it. Look at him. He was blissfully engaged in sitting in the hole and digging around the edges. I couldn't help it.

He's still my "digger". Shhh. Don't tell.

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