Mar 19, 2008

Family Nomenclature

3/19/2008 — cori

Of course this story is set at the dinner table...aren't most of our crazy stories? This one is no exception. Everyone (except the adults) seemed to be in a goofy mood and felt like describing themselves and their siblings with many interesting adjectives. I was not liking where this was heading so instead of revoking speaking privileges I opted for a more creative, organic method to get my crazy, parenting advice into their still susceptible, little minds. I chose to tell them a story.

I recalled how, in a bygone era, maybe 12 years ago, when I attended college (in actuality it seems more like 20 years ago!), I had a class where we were supposed to introduce ourselves to everyone. Not such an odd request. But this teacher wanted us to really remember everyones' names, so she got creative. She explained that we were to stand up and say our name, but we were to precede it with a character quality of ourselves (preferably a positive one) that started with the same letter as our first name. Once the class was finished introducing ourselves, we played a little game of memory to see how many people could remember each others' names. Surprisingly, we all remembered because we had something to associate it with (obviously, this was a marketing class).

Not that I'm trying to teach my children to 'market' themselves, but I do want them to remember that their words have meaning. I also wanted them to think about how they want others to remember them. So we collectively tried thinking of character qualities for each person in the family. Each person decided on their favorite; thankful for the input from the others. Interestingly enough, most of us chose an adjective that someone else suggested.

Without further ado, let me introduce my family (and me):
Careful Chole
Benevolent Bennett
Good Gavin
Considerate Cori
Challenging Chuck
Excellent (Exiled) Elizabeth

A few of these need explaining, I know. First of all, I did not call my husband a 'challenge' as in a negative term. I came up with the word challenging because he loves to challenge the norms and think outside of the box. It was between 'challenging' and 'chivalrous' and he chose the one he liked best. Gavin does not like to mince words. He prefers to get right to the point. Chuck and I were spitting out G adjectives left and right. Instead, he chose his own, no-fuss, simple description which fits him perfectly.

Bennett was delighted when Daddy suggested 'benevolent' he didn't know what it meant, but it sure sounded good. It was better than his idea of 'bouncy'. I tried to explain that a character quality describes who you are, not what you do. Maybe this is a concept a bit above his head. Either way, who he is is definitely summed up beautifully in his character description. Chloe has an amazing attention to detail at just 3 years old. I'm always astounded. She's also not a risk taker and she is very precise. I think 'careful' depicts all those qualities perfectly.

Elizabeth (the dog)...there's a whole other blog. The kids came up with 'excellent'. Chuck and I, on the other hand, chose the word 'exiled' because...well, let's just say she's not in the 'inner-core' of the family and she's outside alot. And I just chose the old stand-by from my college days, hoping it would still apply. The family agreed and voila!

Maybe tomorrow night at dinner we'll come up with an acrostic for each of our names (NOT!).

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