My mom's cousin Burt lives less than a block away from my parents' house. He's actually in Andrew's parents' ward, which is in my parents' stake. I never knew Burt too well when I was really young but I got to know him and his family a bit better when we moved to Utah, probably because of our close proximity.
I'd watch their cat when they went on vacation and would babysit their grand kids when their kids were in town and wanted to go out as "grown ups." I don't know any of Burt's children very well because most of them were grown, married, and had kids of their own before we'd even moved to Utah.
Once I had agreed to babysit Burt's grand kids on a day that I was scheduled to work at the pool. Forgetting that I was booked to babysit, I promised to take Josie swimming when my shift was over. So instead of picking me up from work, my mom just dropped my little sister off and we went swimming together. And then one of my coworkers called me out of the pool, saying that I had a phone call.
It was my mom. I was supposed to be babysitting Burt's grand kids. I panicked because that's what I do best, but it was really no big deal. Burt had dropped his granddaughters off at our house and Dad was watching a movie with them. She'd come and pick me and Josie up and then I'd take the girls over to Burt's house to get them ready for bed.
The only problem was that my dad couldn't remember their names. I asked the older girl what her name was.
"Snow White," she said.
"Oh, really?" I asked, "And what's your little sister's name?"
"Emily," she answered honestly.*
"So, your parents named your sister Emily and you Snow White?"
Alright. I took Emily and Snow White and walked over to Burt's house. Periodically throughout the evening I would test Snow White.
"What's your name?" I'd ask in the middle of a story.
"Snow White," she'd answer immediately.
"What does your mommy call you?" I'd ask while helping her brush her teeth.
"Snow White," she'd answer confidently.
The child was never swayed. For all I knew she really was Snow White. Then her parents and grandparents got home.
"How'd it go?" they asked.
"Fine, except I have no idea what the oldest girl's name is," I admitted, "She told me it was Snow White, so that's what I called her all evening."
"Oh, she probably loved that!" her mom said.
She did. Trust me, she did. But she also had a real name. Something normal. Like Caitlin.
My cousin Jenna's daughter Savannah went through a stage where she would answer to nothing but Kitty Kat. She'll answer to Savannah now, but they still call her Kitty Kat sometimes.
I'm glad mine is not the only child who insists on being called something other than their actual name.**
*As embarrassing as this is, I can't, for the life of me, remember these girls' names. I haven't seen them for years and years.
**We talked with Andrew's parents on the phone this evening and Rachel wouldn't tell them she was a Pretty Princess, but she did say Cinderella. But only once. As soon as we got off Skype she not only said goodbye (which she wouldn't do while they were still there), but immediately began insisting on being called Princess 'Rilla again.
"Get up in your chair, Rachel, and you can have some cake," Andrew said.
(We promised her cake hours ago.)
"No, I'm Pen-cess 'Rilla!" she corrected.
"Get up in your chair, then, Cinderella, and you can have some cake," he corrected.
I've never seen her be obedient quite so fast...