Shame in my Name(s)

When I was in school I used to have nightmares about the first day of class when roll was called that first time. They would call Elizabeth and I’d have to tell them,”I go by Libby.” 4 words but they caused pure terror for a shy girl like me.

When it came time to name my own children one of the the things I was adamant about was naming them a name that wasn’t shortened. I hated the name game the first day of school and didn’t want them to have to go through that. Little did in know how I would spend the rest of my life correcting my name. Heck-little did I know I’d have so many names in my adult life. 

Today was meet the teacher. I had 3 kids in 3 schools. The elder made the elementary trek to the kindergartens class. Baby girl had the same teacher that middle child had. Teach seemed suprised when she saw us. It confused me until I realized she didn’t recognize the name of baby girl. Until she saw them standing together nothing would have alerted her that they were sisters. Once she put two and two together she seemed tickled.

I got a packet of information to fill out. All I had to do today was sign to verify all her information was correct. How hard could that be?

The only thing right was her name. Uh oh. I glanced down and was seized with pre-teen-name-horror. “Uhh…..” I pointed to my name. “That’s wrong.” Little para-pro looked at the names. Mine matched the girls so she didn’t see my issue. “And that ones wrong..,” I pointed to the name in the dads column. “That ones waaayyyyy wrong.” That name matched the middle child’s name whom she had just been introduced to. All in all there were 4 names and none of them matched. The big kids heard my voice and came up to look. One glance and they started laughing. 

“Ummm. Uhhhh….” She looked uncomfortable. “I don’t know where they get this information comes from..,.uhhhh….ummmmm….”

I laughed. “It’s okay. Just my worst nightmare coming true,” she laughed nervously not sure if I was kidding. That’s okay. I was only half serious. “You might want to get a piece of paper—a flow chart might be even better.” She dug around a minute and now looked seriously embarrassed. 

“This is all I have…” She slid a pad of paper to me. It read SCRATCH PAD and had a drawing of a naked behind and a hand scratching one bare cheek. 

I laughed harder then I should have,”oh it’s totally appropriate for this,” I assured her. The main teacher had a break in the action and came over to see what all the ruckus was about. The para-pro explained that somehow some wrong information had gotten on the little ones permanent record so she was going to make notes to get it corrected. 

“…and that’s all we’ve got to write it on…” She said when she spotted the SCRATCH PAD. My giggles stared all over again. The teacher got called away to talk to another student. 

“So Ms. Pyle…” Started the para-pro. 

“She’s Pyle. I am Hayes,” I corrected. Para-pros head cocked to the side. “Sadie’s name is Pyle. I am Libby Hayes,” she nodded and started to write but then stopped. I knew why. I could see her struggle to form a question in a delicate manner. 

I decided to put her out of her misery. “It might be easier for me to do it.” She  gratefully handed over then pen and sheepishly slipped the offensive pad over. “Believe me-the pad is the least of my humiliation. I’ve had nightmares about this.” 

I talked while I drew the diagram. “I am now Libby Hayes. The name here…” I pointed to illustrate. Next I pointed to the Fathers Name area. “Evans is her brother and sisters dads name. Her dads name is …Pyle. So is hers. Her brother and sister are Evans,” this was seriously embarrassing. She looked as embassed as I felt. “See this…this isn’t her dad. This is their dad,” I point to the big brother and sister who are finding this terribly amusing. I shushed them again when they start laughing aloud all over again.  “She has a different dad. Their dad isn’t her dad. I don’t even know how his name got here.”

“This name isn’t my name anymore,” to my horror I kept talking. Words were slipping out before I could stop them, “…it was my name once. It was my name when I had her. Then. I was married. Was. Not now. Now I am back to Hayes. So Pyle was my name It’s just not now. Ya know. Because-well because it’s not. It’s hers though. And mine is different. Different then all theirs…” My mouth wouldn’t stop. I literally had to put my hand over it to stop the ridiculous word dieherria. 

“Okay,” deep breath. “So we probably need to fill out this form too,” she slid a Pick up Restriction form. Her skin had taken on a slightly greenish tint. 

“Nope. Don’t need that one.” Relief washed over her face. “Just need to get the names right. I warned you that you were going to need a flow chart.” The main teacher came over. Para-pro tried to give her a brief synopsis. It was bad when I explained it. It was worse hearing someone else try to explain it. I buried my face in my hands. “This is mortifying!” Visions of me trying to transfer my power when I moved last year were dancing in my head. Read about that fiasco here:   

Luckily she just laughed. As a seasoned teacher I am sure she’d heard it all. “Psheeh,” she waved her hand as if waving away my shame. “I’ll get it fixed” she took the SCRATCH PAD note with the triple name corrections and arrows and tucked it away. Poor para-pro just took the page that I had initialed and scratched out my initials. “We won’t count this,” she said. “Since technically none of the information is right.”

Big kiddos laughed all the way out of the cheerily decorated room. I was not as amused but I did think I am so gonna have to blog about this. Sometimes all you can do is write and hope you make someone laugh.

what an ordeal


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