Our daughter has a perfectly lovely name, balancing family ties with a pretty sound. We opt for a nickname, though – a two part nickname, with one taken from her first name and one taken from her middle name. Sometimes, people ignore the second word, just calling her by her first name’s nickname, just as people often turn my husband, Matthew, into Matt.

But one of her little friends takes it a step further.

The world has to smile when a cherubic, towheaded child greets his friend with an enthusiastic grin and a wave and says, “Hi, Louie!” Even if it were nothing like her name, she’d have to smile and wave back. But it is, just enough.

And that’s how Johnny greeted her this morning at Itsy Bitsy Yoga. Ten months younger than her to the day, he is always there, as his mother teaches the class. In talking about him over dinner tonight, my daughter earnestly explained to her daddy, “He calls me Louie. It’s my knickknackname.” We’d talked about nicknames in the car, and how, by calling her that, he’s given her a nickname.

Or, better yet, a knickknackname. How could we correct her? She’s nicknamed the word “nickname”!

I think she’s got the concept down.

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