Monday, May 23, 2005


When Stephen was born, Timothy was 22 months old, about the age that Sam is now. Also like Sam, Timothy was none to quick to begin talking, and so he wasn't able to say his brother's name, "Stephen." The best Timothy could do was Deedah.

My wife and I referred to the boys, when talking about them to each other, as Brother and Baby, which was fine until the new baby came about 16 months later. Suddenly Jonah was Baby and Stephen needed a different name.

Timothy remained Brother, Jonah was Baby, and we adopted Timothy's nickname for Stephen: Deedah.

Fast forward about 3 years.

There was a new baby; the titles Brother and Baby had fallen aside. Only Deedah remained. Sam was about 1 and was not talking at all. Why should he, when crying, screaming, and pointing communicate his intent perfectly well?

Stephen, having just turned 5, decided that he didn't want to be called Deedah anymore. He announced this to all who could hear. I was scolded once at a soccer game for yelling "Go Deedah!"

Then Sam started talking.

And guess whose name he could say first? And guess how he pronounced it?

So Stephen is Deedah again, all original protests thrown aside. Sam wanders through the house calling out, "Deedah, Deedah!" And Stephen smiles and runs to him, every time.

FYI, Sam pronounces Timothy as HiHee. Jonah's name is not attempted. A scream and a leap is sufficient.


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