A Bear & A Bird

I never intended to give my kids nicknames other than a shortened version of their given name.

We named Eddie “Edward” because we liked the shortened versions of Eddie and Ed.

Charlie got “Charles” because we thought Charlie was good for a baby and a man.

We never really thought about other nicknames they would end up with.  I mean, I guess we figured once they were in high school, their friends would probably nickname them for us.  Cort’s name is Cortney and he has super curly hair (as in he can grow a white man’s afro.  And not just big, soft curls.  We are talking full on ‘fro.).  In high school soccer, he would let it get unruly.  His teammates started calling him Curly Sue, and when he didn’t care, it got shortened to Curly.

Curly stuck so much so that our nephew calls him Uncle Curly.

Both of my brothers have nicknames they got in high school at their jobs at Pizza Hut.

That kind of nicknaming we expect.

When I was in the hospital after having Eddie, I sort of imagined myself calling him Prince Edward.

But then…that just wasn’t him.  He was not so much royalty.

But he was snuggley.

And instantly he was my Edward Bear (like in Winnie the Pooh), later shortened to my Eddie Bear.

I still call him Mr. Bear or just Bear.  He loves it because it’s just my name for him.  Cort calls him by Bear every now and then, but it’s definitely my name for him.

And then there is Charlie.

Again, I thought, “maybe I will call him Prince Charles,” but again he wasn’t a prince. (I’m not sure why our boys aren’t royalty, they just aren’t).

As soon as I saw him he was my Bird.  He was smaller and had finer features than Eddie had as a newborn.  And, as my nephew pointed out, his hair was as fine and soft as feathers.

He also had a nose more like Cort’s in that it was a bit more pointed and curved at the end…like a bird beak.

And then there is the thing he does with his lips when he is concentrating.  I call it “Bird Lips” and everyone is always pointing out that birds don’t have lips.  Until they see Charlie do it.  Then there is complete agreement that he does Bird Lips.

And so he became my Charlie Bird.  The Bird.  Birdy.  Bird Man.  Birdy Bird.

My Bear and my Bird.

I’m pretty sure no matter what other nicknames they get, to me they will always be my Bear and my Bird.

Do you have any nicknames for your kids?  Did you plan them or did they just “happen”?


Yesterday I posted over at Imagine Toys about what we do around Sluiter Nation to get the boys prepared for school/back to school time of year. Imagine Toys send us the backpack, musical rattle, bendy toy, and dog stacker.  The fun and the opinions were all our own.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. When I held my daughter for the first time, I called her Pumpkin.

    Which has evolved over 10 years to various things.

    She has been my Pumpkin. My Punkin Butt. And my Pumpy Lumpy.

    Right now I call her Pumpy.

    And yes, I do it in public.

    I’m THAT mom.

  2. I love the “spirit animal-esque” nicknames you’ve come up with for your boys!

    My youngest has been everything from Q (which is what I mostly call her) to Qball, grumperstiltsquinn when she’s grumpy, and her “formal” name Quinnifred Peanut Jones. She does “Tae Quinn Do” instead of taekwondo and sometimes we play Quinnopoly. The other kids have more “traditional” nicknames: Kallan shortened to Kal, Kieran shortened to Kier (Kierboo or boo boy – it’s hard being the only boy!) and Chayse “shortened” to Chayse-Chayse – with an occasional “monkey face” added for good measure. The names the kids sometimes call each other won’t be repeated… 🙂

  3. This is great! My girls all have nicknames. Taylor is tater tot. I’m not sure why we started calling her that it was just cute. Lyla is bug. She was tiny as a baby and have a ladybug on her car seat. So that name just stuck. Carly is goose. When she was a baby I would tell her she’s a silly goose. And when she started walking she waddled. Taylor started calling her goose because of that.

  4. Nicknames come and go around here. The current ones are:


  5. My daughter – Ainsley – is our bug. When we first brought her home from the hospital she was all swaddled up and just reminded me of a little glow worm or catipillar all wrapped up in a cocoon. So that has evolved into Ainsley bug, buggy, buggity boo.

    My son – Frederick – goes by Freddie. Which I thought I hated (family name) but I actually totally ADORE and I can’t imagine him having any other name. He is so a Freddie. But we tend to call him Fredders or Monster…because he is absolutely and completely a little monster.

    And, no worries on the royalty thing…no one calls my kids Princess or Prince. Just doesn’t flow.

  6. My dad had nicknames for me and alex when we were kids, every now and again he still calls us by them.

    Alex was molino because he was always getting into things and making messes.

    I was always called keenie or keenie weenie because keenie was my moms nickname when she was a little girl. i guess my dad liked it and thought i was a little version of my mom. haha

    my mom just calls us by our names or mijo and mija. typical mexican cariños. lol

  7. I don’t think nicknames can be planned. They just happen. When our daughter was born, we started to call her Bean, because that’s what she looked like all swaddled up in her crib. Then as she rapidly began to lengthen and take the long, lean form she has to this day, it turned to String Bean. Or SB for short. Which is what I call her on my blog. 🙂

  8. I have a couple nicknames for both of them. Abbey is actually Abigail, so in a way Abbey is a nickname, but we’ve always planned on calling her that, so I don’t count it.

    I call her Abbey Rose Twinkletoes which shortens to all sorts of different things.

    Dylan is Dylan Do for some reason, which becomes Mr. Do, DD (what he calls himself). We also call him Dylan P a lot (his middle name is Patrick.)

  9. All 3 of mine have nicknames and they all sort of developed over time.

  10. oh yes, nicknames. We have tons.
    when the boys were in the NICU, in those incubators…I don’t even know why I started calling them BUBBA. I hated it, it sounded so “SOUTHERN” and uncool…but it stuck. Bubba became Bub..just Bub and Bugga…never Bug, not really. More like Bugga and “bug” when I’m lazy.
    Our Family and close friends still call them “the Buggas”.

    or “Baby boys” I call them ” baby boys” quite a bit.

    and “BUDDY” “BUD” , in fact Gio asked me over the weekend, “why do you call me Buddy mom? Because Aunt Fran’s dog’s name is Buddy!” LOL

    now seperate: Gio(which is short for Giovanni) is “Gio-to-the-van” (oh yes, just like that!) and Geeg (long e)
    Jacob is Jakey anytime he isn’t one of the above.

    (loved reading this…I really enjoyed reading how your sons got their nicknames)

  11. When my now 3-yr-old was an infant, he would giggle like crazy when I made the sound “beezoo.” Somehow I just started calling him that. “little beezoo,” or just Beez, even though it sounds ridiculous and it kind of embarrassed me… It just stuck. We recently found out that “Bisou,” (same pronunciation), is French for “a little kiss.” Doesn’t seem so ridiculous now. 🙂

  12. The way you describe Cort’s hair is exactly like my husbands. Thick, coarse and TONS of springy curls. Makes it easy to cut though, no one can tell if I mess up. 🙂

  13. I call JDaniel “rabbit” and “bigs”. I am not sure why, but always have.

  14. All of ours have nickames, some of which they know and some of which are kind of a joke between Jason and I. 😉 (not that we make fun of our kids or anything…just to clarify)

  15. My older daughter’s name was chosen because we liked the nickname Aly (Ally, Allie, etc) and we decided on Alyson. She was Aly from the beginning, with an Aly B thrown in (Brooke is her middle name) which became a ton of bee references and they do kinda fit her. My husband has lengthened that to some ridiculous combinations, including Albert Einstein and Albertson – which she does occasionally answer to. My younger daughter’s name wasn’t planned with a nickname from the beginning. It was actually a name my mom came up with about the time we started trying for a #2 and we loved it so it stuck – she’s Emma Leigh or Em or Emmy or my Emma Bear (she resembles both real and teddy bears depending on the moment).

  16. When my daughter was around 1 we called her silly goose all of the time. Over the years it was shortened to Goose. She goes by that with just about everybody she knows well and she is now 21.

  17. We named our daughter Ariyah, pronounced “R-E-UH”. People often mistake it for “A-RY-UH” similar to my own name, ick. So we started calling her “Ari” for short. She prefers her full name but sometimes it is just easier to shorten it! Nearly every adult in our family has a different nickname for her, its nuts. Maxwell tends to call her Butt-Butt or just Butt. I call her Bunky. Her grandmother on her fathers side calls her Munchy Moo, and my mother calls her Bunkin. My father calls her “My Love” (which is what he used to call me until I had her lol), and her great-grandfather calls her “Baby girl”. I am amazed that she could even keep them straight, even now she can go through the entire list and associate them with the person that uses it. Nicknames are CRAZY around here!!

  18. That was so me! I didn’t plan on giving my children nicknames, I don’t even have one myself. I also don’t like to shorten names, so I certainly didn’t expect me to have a nickname for my children. My son’s nickname is Bunny because he has bunnies as his favorite toys and he’s just “one of them” and he has boundless energy just like a bunny! My daughter… I don’t have a nickname for her yet. She’s only 9mos old. Maybe in the future.

  19. Jude-lebug. I don’t even know. But that’s what I call him.

  20. Love. Those names are so precious.

    We call Ryan “Bubber” (or The Bub, as in “Where is The Bub?”). It started when Ryan was just a day or two old. I walked into the bedroom and found Mike sitting on the bed, staring at him. He looked up at me and said “Doesn’t he look like a Bubzy?” And he so totally did. I have no idea what a Bubzy is, but he looked like one. As he became a toddler, it morphed into Bubber, which is the more mature version of Bubzy. Apparently.

  21. Oh… and Jude Bird. Because… bright minds. 🙂

  22. I don’t have kids and all of my siblings go by our given names. But one of my best friends goes by Buffy because her older brother LOVED Buffy the Vampire Slayer and when my friend was born he told their mom that she should name the new baby Buffy and it stuck.

  23. It’s awesome how they grow into their nicknames right?

    Monkey has been Monkey like, forever. I don’t even know how that came about, but it did and it stuck. He has a few other nicknames which I can’t reveal in public because it involves our last name, but he was called that in utero. Same with Scrumplet, he has a few nicknames too. Scrumplet is just his ‘public’ persona, we hardly call him that at home!!

    I actually call Scrumps Baby Bear. 🙂

  24. Aw, I loved this story. Your boys are so cute.

    I call all my boys Bubbie… it started with Hayden because you can’t really shorten Hayden to anything and then just became the name for my boys.

    With Claire, she was Little Miss and then it morphed into Miss-e-Claire.

  25. Well there is Chunky Monkey…which was only created for my blog. We used to sing Brass Monkey only switching the lyrics to Chunky Monkey because he…well was chunky and his favourite animal was a stuffed monkey. It was only fitting.
    We did call him zam…why? Because we called him ham bone and it changed to zam. Weird.
    We are weird.
    It should be expected.
    But I secretly call him sweets. If Shawn found out he’d kill me.

  26. We call Lucas all sorts of things… piggy, lovey and buddy, bubba, or bubs most of all. It’s funny he likes “his” nick names so much that if we ever slip and call the puppy one of them, he gets upset. It’s pretty adorable.

    I love bear and bird.