In most families, when a parent stands at the foot of the stairs and bellows their child’s first and middle name at the top of their lungs, the child in question is in big fucking trouble. That holds generally true, but according to my mother, I am the exception, being that I am the only child in the history of the world that was called by my first and middle name as a term of endearment.
At one point in my very young and adorable life, family and friends started calling me Rachel Shea Baby. Rachel is obviously my first name and Shea my grandmother’s maiden name. It got to the point where that is how I would introduce myself.
Stranger: What is your name, little girl?
Me: Why hello there! My name is Rachel Shea Baby. It’s a pleasure. (I was obviously far more friendly as a toddler than I am now).
One day my mother decided that she should correct me and let me know that my last name was not in fact baby, but something else entirely. My world was torn a part. I was in total disbelief, sad, upset and really fucking pissed. I locked my mother out of my bedroom, held the door shuts as well as I could with my 2 year old strenghth and shouted at the top of the lungs, “MY NAME IS RACHEL SHEA BABY!!!!!!!!!!!” for a very long time.
When I went to college, the nickname changed to Rachel Shea Big Girl and after I landed my first real job, Rachel Shea Grown-Up. No one needs to know that 9 days out of 10 I still feel like I should be able to have temper tantrums in my bedroom (and actually did- on K Street last week).
Man, I was so damn cute. And was also convinced for the duration of an entire dinner party that Rachel was spelled E-R-B.