Childrearing

Everyone Seems To Think My Nephew’s Nickname Is Their Business

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baby nicknamesFrom the time my sister’s son was born he was a big baby. His hands were huge and he reminded me of when you see a puppy with big paws and know that he is going to grow into a huge dog. It’s because of his size and general cuteness that I started calling him “Moose.” The name caught on and my sister started calling him that as well. His cousins too. It seems though that not everyone is so keen on the idea of calling a sweet little boy a name that is usually designated for football players. My sister has been told by more than a few people that “Moose is a horrible name for a baby.”

Perhaps it’s because they think we are going to give him a complex about weight and size, becoming a casualty of childhood obesity when he gets older. Whatever the case I’m not sure it’s anyone else’s business what nickname we choose to use.

It’s just another example of people giving their opinion on how you raise your child. Whether it’s commenting on what you’re feeding them or what time they go to sleep, people feel like they have the right to tell parents what they should and shouldn’t do.

I also don’t think that these opinions would be shared so freely if social media didn’t exist. I know a lot of parents use Facebook to get advice from other parents, which I think is wonderful but only when the advice is solicited. Just because someone posts something about their child does not make it open season to passive aggressively share your opinion on their childrearing.

Those against “Moose” are usually commenters on Facebook posts my sisters puts up. You know, like a picture of my nephew with a vacuum in the kitchen with the caption “Cleaning Moose.”  Or after my sister posted that Moose was 27 pounds at his one year check up someone said “Aw such a big boy, but he’s not a Moose!” I doubt if they heard my sister call him “Moose” in person they would pull her aside and say, “I really don’t think you should be calling him that.” And it wasn’t as if my sister was posting his weight as if to say, “look how fat my son is.”

I see that a lot, people posting the weight of their kid like they’re a prize fighter. “And in this corner weighing in a 14 lbs…”  which I think is fine as long as they’re not posting how much they weigh in eighth grade. My nephew is actually not overweight but just a big solid Moose of a child who just happens to weigh five pounds more than his 2-year-old cousin.

We aren’t the sort of family that has crazy nicknames for everyone. Usually our nicknames are some shortened variation of our actual names. With the one exception being my Uncle Red who if you saw him you’d know that’s exactly what he should be called. So we are embracing the Moose. Plus it gives us the opportunity to buy him clothes and toys that are Moose themed. We must not be the only ones with an affinity for the name because there are an awful lot of Moose onesies out there.

This is a nickname that we will most likely outgrow. I don’t think I’m going to tell everyone in 17 years that I’m going to my nephew Moose’s high school graduation. His actual name is a very nice one and we do use it from time to time. So for right now lay off the keyboard and let us call the Moosiest little boy whatever we like.

(photo: Apostrophe / Shutterstock)