What's That Thing's Name?

Julia's obsession with names and relationships only grows. Yesterday at the library, we were doing puzzles across the table from a mother and boy who were loudly stage-whispering back and forth to each other. Catching on to the poor demonstration of library etiquette (if you're going to be quiet, go right ahead and be quiet), Julia paused her own puzzle-solving to turn to me, three inches from her, and whisper-shout, "What's that Mama's name?" Everyone cracked up - but the woman didn't say her name.

As amusing as that incident was, similar questions are almost as frequently heard these days as Julia's diplomatic method of refusing to do something. During today's outing downtown, she must have asked fifty times either "What's that X's name?" or "What's that's X's Y's name?" X can be anything - "lady" or "man" or "kid" or "coffee" or "car" or "shopping cart" - and "Y" can be almost anything else - "mom" or "dad" or "auntie" or "kid." The world is nothing but names and relationships.

email: christopher at tassava dot com