Wouldn’t Name My Kid After This Teacher

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 9, 2018

(My son shares a name with a character in a series of children’s books. I understand the series is popular and often read to children of his age, but I have never been a fan of the character. The books themselves are fine, but that character, I just can’t stand. If it weren’t for a promise I made my great-grandfather, he would have a very different name. He comes home from school and tells me that they read a book in class today and the teacher told the whole class that my son was named for the character. I tell him to tell the teacher, “Mommy says I’m not named after the book character.” He says he did, and then a few days later, he says the teacher read another book in the series, and again claimed that he was named for the character. He also says that some of the kids are making jokes about him being like the character. I arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss this.)

Me: “If [Son] told you that he wasn’t named for the book character, why did you say he was?”

Teacher: “Oh, I just figured he didn’t know what he was talking about. I mean, with a name like [Son], who else could he be named for?”

Me: “There are plenty of possible namesakes besides the stupid [species of character]. He could be named for, oh, [Famous Historical Figure], [Famous Author], [Secret Identity of a Superhero], or any of the many politicians, actors, artists, or other authors who share his name. Or, maybe, just maybe, he is named after the man who saved my great-grandfather’s life in WWII.”

Teacher: “Well, I already told the class he was, so I’m not going to tell them otherwise.”

Me: “Fine. Whatever. Just stop pointing it out every time you read a book to the class. They are starting to tease him.”

Teacher: “Oh, no. I always point out when kids are named after book characters; it helps the class relate better to the books.”

Me: “BUT HE ISN’T NAMED AFTER THE CHARACTER AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE COMPARED TO HIM!”

Teacher: “But the class thinks he is; that is all that matters.”

(After much more yelling, and a talk with the principal, I finally had to have my son transferred to a new class.)

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