Have I Become My Mother?

I love my mother. She’s a wonderful woman. She brought me into the world. She taught me not to talk with my mouth full, not to burp at the table, and not to go swimming until at least one hour after eating.  She loves me very much.

And sometimes, she even remembers my name.

My name is Joe. I have a brother named John. And, for as long as I can remember, my Mom frequently calls us by the wrong name. She calls me John almost as often as she calls me Joe. If I had a nickel for every time my mom called me John instead of Joe, I’d have half as much money as I would if I had a dime for every time my Mom called me John instead of Joe! (That’s a little math humor for you.)

And, as her sons, John and I have teased my Mom mercilessly about this. We have called her out about not getting our names straight seemingly innumerable times. (If I had a quarter for every time….)

But now, the tables have turned a bit. I am a father, and I have four kids (two boys and two girls.) And yes, I have started to call them by the wrong name. Frequently, actually. Some might say it’s poetic justice for all the grief I’ve thrown my Mom’s direction over the years.

Oftentimes I’ll catch myself halfway into calling one of my kids by the wrong name, so I’ll correct myself in midstream, giving my kids weird hybrid names. As an example, if the names of my boys were Chachi and Roger, I might often find myself calling them “Cha-Roger” or “Ro-Chachi.” Or if the names of my girls were Tammy and Wendy, I would probably call them “Ta-Wendy” and/or “We-Tammy.” Sometimes I might even cross genders and go with a “Cha-Tammy,” “Ta-Roger,” “Ro-Wendy,” or maybe even something like a “Ta-We-Ro-Chachi.”  It’s to the point where I now frequently call them, “You!” or I’ll point at them and say, “That one!”

My wife told me that she has noticed times when I don’t catch it at all and call my kids totally by the wrong name and don’t even notice it. I’m sure this isn’t true. I would never call my child by the wrong name, and if I did, it’s got to be my Mom’s fault. I blame genetics.

So, yes, I have become my mother. The question is, the next time she calls me John, should I cut her some slack? Maybe. (I just wish I had a dollar for every time….)

Joseph Capell
Joseph Capellhttp://slowjoe40.com
Joe Capell is a husband and the father of four children. When not herding the kids or working, he enjoys writing funny-ish things for the amusement of others. He’s also fond of naps and eating ice cream with his wife.

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