Not Babies

Today Melissa and Everett were standing in the kitchen when Teddy opened a drawer and pulled out a pair of scissors. Everett remarked that we needed to go through the house and babyproof it again, to which Teddy replied “I am not a baby!” Wow, indeed. And neither is Gwen, though it still comes naturally to us to refer to them as “the babies”. Clearly it’s time to think of another way to collectively describe them. None of us like “the twins” and we have heard anecdotally from grown twins that they don’t like it either. Melissa sometimes calls them “the kiddos” and Chris calls them “the monkeys”, but neither of these sound like they will be in use for very long.

After Everett was born, Chris often called him “the kid” when talking to people outside our immediate family, as in “I took the kid to school on the bike today.” After the twins were born he added “the girl” and “the boy”, all descriptive and unique. Coworkers especially found these terms incredible amusing, though this was unintentional.

The need for these kinds of names and collective labels seems to be purely motivated by efficiency: time is one of our most precious commodities at this point in our lives, and we don’t want to drag out our sentences by saying things like “Everett Maxwell Butson, Gwendolen Rose Butson and Theodore Ansel Butson: please come to the table for dinner.” Also, we are often so frazzled that it takes two or three tries to call each child by their correct name.

We are curious to hear how other families handle this.

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