And Don’t You Forget It

It started two years ago, when Quinn asked that I put down her formal name, Quinlan, on her preschool information. We call her Quinn around the house–the Mighty, as you know–and, frankly, David and I had named her Quinlan Grace just so that she’d have something more, I don’t know, grown-up sounding on her birth certificate. I’d really wanted to name her Quinn Elizabeth, but when that didn’t fly (“God Save the Quinn!!”), our Quinlan/Quinn Grace was born.

9.8.14. And Don't You Forget It. Quinn ipad

Lately, here and there she’d start correcting us when we referred to her by her nickname. “Call me Quinlan,” she’d say. Or she’d introduce herself to a new person as Quinlan, or give me a weird look in her music class when the whole group sang the little welcome ditty and, as they’ve been doing for years, said hello to her as Quinn.

Welp. The era of just “Quinn” has officially passed, my friends. Quinn–sorry, Quinlan–walked up to me the other week, in all her four-year-old power, and announced, “Mommy, I don’t want to be Quinn anymore. I want you to call me QUINLAN.” And then she gave me a look–the look, if you knew my Grandmom Peggy, because Quinn is her mini and that look is the same–and walked away. I have feelings about this.

9.8.14. And Don't You Forget It. Grandmom

Quinlan. We chose it, we really like it, but Quinn is a Quinn, if you now her. Quinlan is going to take some getting used to. We’re trying, though. You gotta respect the preschooler who knows what she wants. It’s her name, after all. If she came up to us and demanded to be called Sassafras I might have bigger issues, but at least she stuck with what’s on her health insurance card, you know?

The other day I was getting ready in our bathroom when Quinn walked in, as she does. She was playing outside the open door while I spackled concealer over the scary half-moons other people call “under eye circles.” I forget where we were going that morning, but I’d mentioned something to her about getting dressed or brushing her teeth, or trying to drag a comb through the Merida-like nest that surrounds her head and calls itself hair.

9.8.14. And Don't You Forget It. Merida hair

And I called her Quinn. I didn’t mean to. But I’ve been calling her Quinn for four years. What’s a mom to do?

“Mom,” she said. I swear, she used my grandmother’s tone, too. “Mom, I’ve told you a thousand times. It’s Quinlan.”

9.8.14. And Don't You Forget It. Quinn school

And Quinlan it is.


  1. Melpy | 8th Sep 14

    At least you only had four years. When my sister was 12 she came home and announced she would be Allie because there were too many Allison’s in class and the teacher was forcing them to use something unique to each of them. Al and Allison were no more and certainly not Albo in public. I still have a hard time.

    • Leah Ferguson | 8th Sep 14

      Because the teacher said so, though?! Oh my gosh–no wonder you’re still not used to it. It was forced on all of you!

      Though Albo is sweet and kind of hilarious, and you should totally still use that in public, in front of important people, when you introduce her to strangers… 😉 That’s what siblings are for, right?

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