22 August 2008

Growing Up

For over a year now, Maddie and Riley have called each other YaYa. I think the name comes from Maddie's early attempts to say Riley, a tough name what with the R and the L. When she started calling him YaYa, he reciprocated, and so ever since they have called each other something, YaYa it has been.

I've watched their use of YaYa change over time. At first, YaYa meant both me and other. So Maddie would say, "YaYa ball," both if she were holding a ball or if she were commenting on the fact that Riley had a ball. It seems like it could have been confusing, but it was always clear from context who was being referred to, and I loved that they had the same name for each other. In fact, I think that their calling each other the same name was in part connected to their not totally understanding that they are two separate people. 

As they got a bit older, the use of YaYa changed. For a few months now, YaYa has  only meant other. Riley will say, "I have snack," or "Riley want it" when referring to himself, but "YaYa listen music," or "YaYa wear pink shirt" when talking about Maddie.

Today, things changed again. I overheard this conversation:

M [handing Riley a toy]: Here you go, YaYa.
R: I no YaYa! I RILEY.

All right then, big man, Riley you are. And you're growing up.


WendyB said...

That's adorable.

lct said...

What a great story. I can totally hear him saying that. It's great that you record these things. In the years to come, you and the kids will enjoy looking back and reading stories like this one.

Anonymous said...

Snick - I have taken the time to read your entire blog from when you first started. Yes, I admit, it was when I saw it on the CNN news or newspaper, forget which one. I admire you greatly. I love hearing about your two wonderful children, including today with the whole name issue. Yes, they are growing up. Thanks for sharing your story...I, for one, have had to put some things into perspective after reading your blogs and some of the responses. I admit, I'm addicted to the blog world now :) Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

My kids were "Wawa", now they are older and have their names, but lots of good love and memories, today there is a teddy bear in the house that the youngest has claimed, it's passed through the hands of the older 2 many years ago, it has the name Wawa now.

lots of love to you and the kids.


Anonymous said...

This made my day! Love it!!

katia / crazy for trying said...

We have a "yaya" too -- my younger daughter can't pronounce her older sister's name, Maja, so she calls her Yaya. I love it.

G Love said...

My name is Jill, and my baby sister (11 years my junior) had a hard time with my name as a baby. J, L, both are kind of hard. So she called me dodo instead. Hmmmmm. Hope it wasn't a comment on my smarts.

Love the story.

Anonymous said...

This is just precious!

My baby brother could never say my name, Amanda. It always came out as Duh.

He also used to call gingerbread men "Benjamin men".

Anonymous said...

I love that they have a name for each other.
Will calls Maggie "Dee-Dee" I think he just couldn't say Maggie. Even now, that he can say her name, he still calls her DeeDee. She calls herself DeeDee when she talks to him. "Here Will, let DeeDee open your juice box."

Nancy said...

That's so sweet!

Burke couldn't say Maggie...she was Gee for a while. The GeeGee. It was sadly sweet when he was finally able to say it right.

He also couldn't say mommy - so I was NeeNee for a long time. Brought tears to my eyes when he said "mommy" on Mother's Day for this first time.

Kids are so cute :)

Giovanna said...

Phew! I was a little nervous they'd go into college being called Ya-Ya!
Yeah for Riley! Now we gotta work on Mads.

mames said...

it makes me wonder what my boys will call each other as they get older. my blog name came from my little brothers' version of amiee, hence the mamie. i have to say, i loved hearing the explanation of snick awhile back. cleared up some questions, for sure.

Silver said...

That's so cute! The boys used to call each other by the same name for a while, and I think one of them is still confused as to who he is! :)


Astrogirl426 said...

I love this stage, when they're still having trouble pronouncing words/names. Bunker Monkey calls restaurants "Astronauts", and lobsters are "monsters".

The other night he told me he wanted me to call him by his nickname instead of his full name (for example, Bobby instead of Robert, although that isn't his name :)). Kind of made me a little sad... But I'm still calling him by his full name :).

Anonymous said...

I've been lurking here for quite some time. I have twin boys who just turned two. They too call each other Ya Ya. I doubt it, but perhaps it's a twin thing.

django's mommy said...

Adorable story!!

My 3 year old has a stuffed lion, dubbed El Ritchie by his dad... but N has always called him 'Itchee-Ree'... it actually made me sad when he started calling El Ritchie 'El Ritchie' 6 months ago. Sniff.

My fave current mispronunciations:

poskible (popsicle) and

Keen said...

Aw, Riley's growing up. How cool, and sad, and sweet.

I was so sad when the boys outgrew their baby names for each other. When I use them occasionally, they laugh like it's the funniest thing they've ever heard.

RB said...

My sister was "wawa" until she was four (means little sister in Chinese). One day, she stamped her foot and said, "My name not Wawa! My name Shirley Ann." Of course, her name was no such thing, but from that day, that's what we called her and on her 18th birthday, she changed it legally. Recently, well after her 40th birthday, she asked us wistfully, "Why didn't you guys say no to Shirley Ann?"


Kristin said...

A little late posting, but I'm laughing because my twins called each other YaYa at first, too. Their names are Mia and Alex and I think the Yaya comes from Mi-Ya. After she called him YaYa for awhile she finally started calling him A-Ya. Maybe all twins do that?! ha!