The Names We Give Them

Edward Steven
Edward Bear
Eddie Bear
Number One
Brother Bear

Charles Thomas
Charlie Bird
Bird Dog
Charlie Tom
Buddy boo
Number Two
Birdie Boo
Brother Bird
Middle Child

Alice Katherine
Alice Beans
Bean Dip
Beansy Girl
Beanie Boo
B Girl
Allie Buckets
Pickle Pants
Little Sister
Sister Bear

Sluiter Sibs
Sluiter kids
Team Sluiter
Sluiter Crew
Cortney Sluiter Family

Whatever we call them, they are our favorite three people on this Earth.

Photographs by Erin Barkel Photography

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.