What is in a name?

Ashley Biles Associate Editor

September 21, 2013

Over our lifetimes, most of us will be called by many different names; sometimes it is your given name, others a nickname, mama, daddy or possibly grandmama and granddaddy. I have been called several names other than just Ashley over the years. For example, my daddy has called me Dude since I was little (I’m not exactly sure how that got started), one of my friends’ mother used to call me Ash-a-lia (it helps to sound it out) and for a short while when I worked in the after school program at an elementary school I was known as Ms. Ashley (seeing as I was only 19 at the time, that one and being called ma’am always made me feel a little weird). However, of all the names I have had, those I knew of and those I did not; there is still one that I have yet to be called… Aunt Ashley.

As some of you may recall, I have a nephew named Brayden. He is now 19 months old and talking up a storm. He can say things like “hi,” “bye,” “lawnmower,” “I do it,” and of course “no,” is one of his absolute favorites; not to mention he knows all of his animal sounds and will make them both when asked and at random times when he feels what the conversation around him really needs is a “cock-a-doodle-doo!” He has also had Mama and Daddy down for almost a year now and picked up Nana and Granddaddy pretty fast too.

All I have wanted him to say for the last year and a half is Aunt Ashley. I have even tried to bride him with a cookie and constantly refer to myself in third person around him to make sure he hears it often, but my efforts have been futile. I would even consider settling for just Ashley, because I know Aunt Ashley is a bit of a mouthful, but he denies me that honor every time I see him. That is not to say he has not said it, because I have been told many times that he says Ashley when he is around everyone else in the family. These instances just always seem to happen when I am not there or am in another room and by the time they tell me, he has stopped talking.

I am beginning to think he is doing this on purpose. What further proves that theory is when we are all sitting down for supper, he will randomly say everyone’s name at the table….until he gets to me, then he just stares in my direction. I think he knows that it drives me crazy. What makes it even more frustrating is that he can say Izzy, my dog’s name, plain as day. Now when I see him the first thing he says is “Izzy?” And if my sister calls me on facetime (where you are video chatting) on our cell phones to talk, he yells “Izzy, Izzy, Izzy” until I turn the phone where he can see her. While I am glad he loves the dog, I am beginning to feel a little slighted.

However, I must give him credit as he has said Ash once in my presence and at times calls me “Aa Aa” (making the short A sound) as a shortened form of my name. Not to mention his little face lights up when he sees me and it just melts my heart every time he runs up and wraps his arms around my neck for a hug or grabs my finger and pulls me to go play. I guess when it comes down to it, things could be worse and he could not like to spend time with me at all, but would it really be too much trouble for him to say Ashley just once where I can hear it? Hmmm, maybe I need to up the ante and buy more cookies to bribe him!