Sorry About The Name Change

Oftentimes I find that if you begin with an apology people flip out a little bit less. It doesn’t mean I’m sincere or apologetic. It just means I can type the word Sorry.

I’m room mom for my daughter’s fifth grade class, there are 22 kids and 44 parents. There were about 30 last names.

Then I changed them. You see I love my friend Anna Vocino, but her daughter isn’t a Vocino. Today I changed Anna’s name, along with all the other moms in the class who dared to keep their maiden names, divorce or remarry. Repeatedly my daughter was asking me to call a friend and I couldn’t remember the Mom’s names. So I changed them. Anna is now a Tarquinio like her husband. Now I can call Anna and arrange for her to babysit Jane the girls to have a playdate.

I hope it doesn’t bother them too much, but sheesh it’s just a name change. Call Jessica Valenti, burn your bra, I don’t care. Just make it easy for me to figure out who you are.

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Comments 14

  1. As someone who kept my own last name when I got married, I don’t love this. But I also don’t have kids yet (and am not sure what we’ll do with the kids’ last names when we do have them), and I don’t think I would be particularly offended by being lumped in with my kid’s last name. It definitely cuts down on confusion, and hopefully they aren’t too bothered by it.

    But in this case, with 22 kids and only 8 additional names, would it have been that hard to make a note (on your call list or wherever you’re changing these names) about the several names that are different? Would it be different if it was first names you were deciding to change to make your life easier? It’s a bit off-putting to be lumped into the “the eight of you are different so I can’t be bothered to write down or remember your name” category.

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      1. Oh! Well that makes all kinds of sense then, and shouldn’t bother them, as they’ll never even know. I was kind of wondering where you had changed their names… I actually do something “worse,” but with first names – I regularly interact with eight “Kim”s, and have them numbered in my cell phone. (Sorry Kim 1 through 8!)

  2. Different last names are not much of an issue here as common-law partnerships and Francophiles (in Quebec you are not allowed to take your partner’s last name) are common. My last name is different from my daughter’s – I dared to remarry, so I guess I had that coming – but here teachers and friends parents don’t seem to have trouble or think it odd.

    If we were back in Iowa, it would not have been the norm in the Montressori school she attended. I was one of 3 single moms then. All the other children had two parents, though I never inquired as to whether they were blended or pure-bred.

  3. You are so much nicer on your phone than I am. I don’t bother learning names, the door swings constantly at a private school. I put them down as I see them: Samantha’s mom, Plastic face. Joe’s mom, Triple D’s. Sarah’s mom, tennis skirt, etc. As long as the list isn’t public, you’re good. And I am guessing by that logic, I am too. Heh.

    1. This made me laugh out loud. If I did this, I would be perpetually worried about accidentally calling someone by their nickname! Knowing my luck, it would probably be the most offensive one…

      (On a similar note, my step-dad once asked me if my “fat friend” was coming over to the house because he couldn’t remember her actual name.)

      1. Generally speaking, I say “Hey you.” “Hello Ladies” when speaking to most of the moms, (they travel in packs) hardly using their real names, ever. We are only in Kinder right now, so maybe by the time we leave in 8th grade, I will know a few more. Now if only I can get Stalkerella to leave me alone…

        (Fat friend would have been kind in my house. I am appalled at what some of my friends (and me) were called. No wonder I have the issues with nicknames that I do.)

  4. My God-in Mayberry there are exactly two parents to one child, all with the same last name. Except in the event that Joey’s mom is a power attorney and hyphenated.

  5. It’s confusing when parents and children have different last names. Of course, couldn’t you have just added the kids’ names to the list and then sorted the list by kid? That way, you wouldn’t have had to change any name. You simply look up kid and there you would have the parent’s name right next to it.

  6. Relatively new to your site. Like you a lot. But not with you on this one. My name is my name is my name. I know there are people who think names are “just names.” I’m not one of them. It’s my personal history. It’s my parents. It’s my stories. It’s me. I am not Mrs. My Husband’s Name. Nope.
    We hyphenated our children’s names.
    Lots of things in life are confusing at first blush. Many things take patience to learn. Figuring out names seems like a pretty small one in comparison to some of the bigger challenges. I guess I just hope that people will take a few extra minutes to learn… about me. about my husband. about our children.
    In the end, I’d rather be called Esme’s Mom than Mrs. My Husband’s Name. It’s more accurate.
    Thanks for hearing me out. No malice intended. Just a different perspective for you to consider.

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