Tuesday, February 09, 2016

What's your name?

Charlotte has been going by the surname Buchanan since she was about twelve but without her (absent) biological father's consent she couldn't change it legally till she turned 16 last month. Needless to say, when that date came, it was her top priority to finally get a passport and bank account that matched everything else that she had already managed to change over the years.

Coconut pandan cake for Granny's birthday

The younger kids have obviously overheard bits of conversations about 'I'm 16 now', 'I'm old enough to change my name' etc. So with the absolute clarity of a six year old, Amaia got it into her head that you had to change your name at 16! One day over dinner, I heard Amaia ask Charlotte (who, of course, she has only ever known as Charlotte Buchanan) if she had thought about a new name for herself. She suggested Sophie, then Holly (the two most common names in her class). Charlotte decided to have some fun with it and told her she was going to change it to Baby-Magic Buchanan. (When I was pregnant with Lots, Marcel was two years old and had insisted two things throughout my pregnancy - 1) that she'd be a girl (I didn't know what I was having) and 2) that she'd be named Baby-Magic!) I couldn't guarantee the gender but there was never any way she was going to be Baby-Magic. When she turned up and we named her Charlotte, Marcel cried for two days solid. I even asked if he wanted to choose between the final two names on our list: Charlotte and Élodie. Nope, he still wouldn't talk to me, feeling I'd betrayed him!

So the surname changing came and went without Amaia noticing any change in Charlotte's name... but it is still leading to some rather odd questions and conversations. Tonight I was lying in the bath minding my own business when Amaia burst in: 'Mummy, see when granny was six? What was her name?' 
Me: 'She was called Ann, even when she was six'
Amaia: 'So did she change it back then?'

This is starting to get surreal!

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