Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Say your name

I have a very stubborn child.

In May she will turn 6, and I still have not heard her say her own name.

Her kindergarten teacher has. And so has her speech teacher. Her friends, too. But not me, or Daddy, or Tony.

Daddy: When are you going to say your name?

Natalie: When I'm 10.

We have come close. Natalie has a friend at school named Natalia. I often tried to coax her to say Natalia, but she wouldn't fall for it, instead calling the girl "My-friend-who-has-name-same-as-me-but-not-same."

But now she says Natalia because on Christmas morning Natalie opened up a box to find a new baby doll from Tony's parents. What will you name her? we asked.

Tony: How about Baby Natalia?

Natalie: Natalia??? Hahahahaha. Natalia??

We gasped. Then quickly acted as if nothing had happened and when she wasn't looking mouthed HOLY SHIT! to each other.

Natalie with her namesake, Baby Natalia

But she is dug in on Natalie. I've explored different tactics.

Gentle encouragement.


Ignoring the issue.


And now: Bribery.

Tonight Natalie and I will be going to Target for a few things. I made her offer that I thought she couldn't refuse: a Princess Tiana dress. All she has to do is say her name. I made this offer over my shoulder while driving us home last night.

I watched her in the rearview mirror mulling it over. Poker-faced. No telling what tonight will hold.

All I know is she would have made a great POW.

No comments:

Post a Comment