Beach Week 2016
Three Days In

Small, Medium, Large

So I just dropped three entire children off at school, one FIFTH GRADER who is already so over it, a second grader who was like BYEEEEEEE PLZ LEAVE NO YAY, and sadly, the world's most terrified-looking kindergartner. 

Ike was expecting, I think, for us to walk him into his classroom, but since the school is approximately 97% made of kindergartners (rough estimate) at this point, they instead were corralling them in the gymnasium where each child was labeled and instructed to line up by homeroom and wait.

Ike's face was like, "I'm so confused. I've made a huge mistake. Also they labeled me as Isaac." 

I spent ages filling out multiple forms listing both Ike's legal name and preferred name, and was assured that would be noted in "the system." It was not. His teacher promised him a new label once they got to the classroom but of course as we left we could still hear people calling him Isaac. So anybody on the to-nickname-or-not-to-nickname fence out there, I must report that a different legal name CAN be a bit of a pain in the ass, leading to blank dumb stares in doctors' offices because who the hell is Isaac, and also your child might get labeled wrong on the first day of kindergarten and you'll be chirpily saying goodbye to a kid on the verge of tears, no buddy it's okay, it's okay, you're gonna get a new label and it's all gonna be GREAT.

(My whole "I don't get emotional about sending kids off to school anymore" facade was thoroughly cracked and I may have come home and curled up in a sad little worry ball for awhile. HE LOOKED SO SMALL AND SCARED MY BABYYYYY.)

They're all riding the bus home today and I basically begged Noah and Ezra to make sure Ike was on the bus before it leaves, like LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER. YOU'RE ALL YOU'VE GOT HERE IN THIS BIG ASS JUNGLE OF A SCHOOL. 


I took approximately four dozen of the obligatory front-step first-day photos.


Did I get a single one with all three of them looking at the camera?


Or at least one where someone's "smile" wasn't slowly morphing into that of a serial killer?

No. I did not. But I did get one where EVERYBODY closed their eyes, so hey. They match. 


Close enough. 




I've spent my entire life correcting people because legally I am Elizabeth but my parents nicknamed me Betsy pretty much the minute I took my first breath. And since Betsy is not the logical nickname people think of when they hear Elizabeth, it has more than once led to me just not even correcting people, who then decide to shorten my name to Liz. And then they get confused when I don't respond because who is this "Liz" you are speaking to? I'm Betsy. Ugh.


We are in week 2 here, and I went up to the school for my first volunteer shift in the library. I legit passed two sobbing kinders on the front step refusing to go in. My HEART! Of course, my 3rd grader ran away from me and wouldn't even walk in with me.


It was first day of school here too and my boys rode the bus so we did the whole obligatory catching the bus photos. I have a highschooler and a kindergartener!


Both of our kids go by their middle names (so do my husband and I). It was not complicated in our day. Not so much today. My younger son once had a substitute taking attendance call out "E" (first initial of name we don't call him) - is "E" here?

Sherry 《~ Not my legal name

I'm a 3rd generation with the same first name. My middle name is not unusual, but it isn't a common name. But did they call me either of those names? No. They called me Sherry, which isn't close to either name. When official people call me by my first name, they tend to pronounce it wrong thanks to west Texas, cotton pickers four generations ago and their iffy spelling. My cousin's boy named their daughter the same name, but, yay!, they spelled it correctly! I feel your pain, not-tired Isaac/Ike.


Aww, it'll be OK mama. Give us an update once the bus comes around this afternoon!


My son Robbie came home from preschool and said to me in a mystified tone "At school, they call me Robert." There hadn't been a place to note preferred name, so everything had his legal name on it. I explained that yes, his name was actually Robert but we call him Robbie, and to let his teachers know he preferred to be called that. It took another year before he would agree that he also had a last name.


Aww, poor Ike. Maybe update us? Once the bus shows up? So we don't worry?


My neighbor across the street, same age as my daughter is "AJ". Well, actually Aiden James. But his parents just picked that so they could call him AJ. The school doesn't really allow "AJ" for spelling purposes (too easy?? want to make sure he knows his legal name??), so he's Aiden at school, AJ to his family and friends.


Well, geez, who wouldn't be terrified by that? Take bunch of already stressed parents and small children, and throw them into a gymnasium to be processed like cattle. Surely there had to be a better way!
My little started on a Wednesday and a had an SST by Friday last year, and that was with me walking her to her classroom and sticking around for the first ten minutes while the kids got settled on the carpet (with all the other parents.) I can't even imagine what would've happened if she'd had to deal with that chaos on top of it. Hope things settled down quickly for Ike.


No matter how many times I fill out the preferred name section or correct people/bosses/etc. I am constantly called by my legal name, not the nickname I exclusively go by. How much effort I put into correcting them is based on how much I interact with them, so I insist on correcting professors/bosses I interact with on a daily basis, but more or less let everything else slide. (It doesn't help that sometimes *I* can't remember which name I've given people, since I usually use my full name on forms since they might be official.)

It's a constant, if low-grade, frustration, but on the other hand, I like my name and I wouldn't want to change it. Cait is short for Caitlin, and I like that Cait is spelled differently without it being a common name that is spelled weird just for the hell of it (which I think is dumb). I'll put up with the annoyance for a name I like.

Dori P

I had to "correct" everyone on my name my whole life, too. It becomes habit. I know now that I will just have to accept being called Dorothy a large part of the time.

Also, how can Baby Ike be in Kindergarten already? :(


We started a week ago, and I sent my pre-k kid off to join her sister at the same school for the first time in three years. I'm ridiculously excited. My pre-k kid was...slightly less so. But she didn't cry at drop off, and I can't remember the last time that happened. (Because it's never happened. Never.)


My daughter's name is Kinsey and people are always trying to make it longer to McKenzie.She learned at an early age to say "it's just Kinsey."


When my daughter started kindergarten, her seat was labeled Juliana (she goes by Julie). She's in 4th grade now, at the same school, where everyone knows that she goes by Julie, yet her seat is still labeled Juliana. *Shakes fist at sky*


A tennage boyfriend was Brian(legal name)/Sam (preferred name) and my younger brother is Alexandre (ln)/TiWill (pn). Acquaintances will call him William. He's now 25, this is still going on...


My kids literally never use their legal names, and Im always surprised that it's been a non-issue. Organized sports, preschool, school, what have you, have never had a single problem or any kind of confusion with them going by nicknames. What you get called is such a personal & important part of your identity, schools need to support that!


I go by my name, which is Susan. I hate it when people call me Sue or Susie. Those aren't me!


Awwwww! His little face... and little backpack! Too sweet.

Amy A

Been there, felt that. In a week or two Ike will know the ropes like nobody's business. It doesn't lessen the worry now, but know that he'll be fine :)
Please explain Ezra and Ike's faces in pic #2 --an airplane? Weird cloud? Extraterrestrial sighting? Maybe just boys being boys??

Melissa, Missy, Who Knows!

My name is Melissa, but until I started school I was exclusively called Missy. My kindergarten teacher sent home a paper with Melissa written on top and according to my mother, I was very upset that she wrote another child's name on my paper! Then in first grade I had a teacher who did not let us use nicknames. No exceptions. So, I have forever more been Melissa.


For as long as anyone in our family can remember, my little sister has been called Shoo-Shoo, or simply Shoo. No one remembers why. She's 30 and it has never been another way.

When she started kindergarten, her teacher called out "Erin" and she sat there completely clueless, waiting for someone else to raise a hand. And that was the day my sister learned of her actual, given name. It's a funny story now, but I remember how strange it felt to her at the time.

Here's to you and Ike laughing about this down the road -- and just to be clear, I still don't associate the name Erin with ANYONE in my family. :)


My son, aged 16, is named Jefferson Taylor but has always gone by JT. School gets it but forbyears at doctor's offices, he would look at the offender like they were an idiot. He also called Thomas Jefferson, "the man named after me" while at the Jefferson Monument.

I am a school administrator and would be horrified if my staff and I called a child a name he didn't recognize.


Oh man, do I feel Ike's pain! I'm legally Katherine, but I've been some version of Katey/Kate since birth. But I just started a new job and there was already a Katie in my work group, so now I'm Katherine at work...and I have NO IDEA who that is. Katherine is NOT me, she's some alter ego that I'm completely unfamiliar with. It's an identity crisis for me at 31, so I can only imagine how tough that is for Ike right now!


My son's first name is John but he goes by his middle name, and so we get a lot of "who is John?" at the pediatrician and on first days of school when a "John" is listed on the new homeroom door. He's in 4th grade, been at the same school since K, and oddly it wasn't an issue till last year. Maybe a new computer system, who knows.

My daughter is one of THREE girls w/ the same first name in her class this year. Not sure why the school couldn't assign each one to a different class.


I have another story like Caitlin's sister Shoo-Shoo above. My husband goes by his middle name and always has (it's unusual and they wanted him to have the option of using his "normal" first name as an adult). They even registered him for elementary school with his middle name so it wasn't until the first day of middle school (!) when the teacher was calling roll that he learned he had a completely different first name.


Not quite the same but for the longest time the male nurse at the pediatricians call my oldest by his middle name. No idea why, but it was every time until we ended up with a different doctor/nurse combo and they got it right.


Just wait. When they tell him he has to write Isaac on his work because...well..."that's his name and he needs to learn to write his name." My son is Samuel...but EVERYONE calls him Sam. According to the school, however, he had to write SAMUEL on all his papers in order to get credit for turning them in. He still hasn't forgotten this...and he still thinks it was "stupid" (I tend to agree).

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