I don’t know what to call my children.
Oh, I know what to call them to their faces: their names, love, my love, sweetie, pickle, pickle pie, doodle.
And I know what to call them here: Mr. Pickle and Miss Plum.
I just don’t know what to call them when I am referring to them individually.
Because in most instances, I don’t like the word “kid.” I know. Weird.
It sounds strange to me, almost low brow. It sounds condescending. It sounds mean, “Hey Kid! Get off of my lawn!”
It clangs against my brain like hearing people refer to their spouses/wives/partners/girlfriends as “the old lady” (in my house that is grounds for immediate, no-contest divorce).
The only people who gets passes for using the word “kid” are boxing coaches, bookies, and Bogart.
Plural? That doesn’t bother me. “My kids are great, thanks for asking!” or “Time to go gather the kids from Grandma’s house!”
I know I’m not the only one with a weird word aversion. My college roommate (and about 30% of the population, it seems) doesn’t like the word “moist.” (Pondering: I wonder how they would describe their perfect cake?)
So here’s the problem… I can’t figure out the right word to use. Sometimes it just isn’t appropriate to use their first name (for example, looking for shoes in a store, the sales person will think I’m weird if I say, “Mr. Pickle needs shoes,” since he/she doesn’t know Mr. Pickle.)
- Child – too fancy-formal-pants-y. And a little Priest-ly? (Not 90210 Jason Priestly – the Churchy, collared type.)
- Kiddo – I don’t mind it, but recently it has been seen on some lists of overused words/phrases alongside amazeballs, awesome sauce, DH, hubby, OMG, and Ryan Gosling.
- Peanut – No.
- Kidlet(te) – I like this one, but I sound like a schmuck saying it out loud. And it maybe too close to “piglet”.
- Son/Daughter – Probably the best option, though a bit formal.
So what are your word aversions? And how do you refer to your offspring? Inquiring minds want to know…