Friday, January 12, 2018

Say it out loud

Earlier this week I was picking up the kids from daycare and I noticed a birth announcement hung in the window of one of the classrooms. Specifically, it belonged to what I over the past nine years or so have come to recognize as the sub-category of "daycare birth announcement" where it's not an actual glossy photo printed on cardstock and suitable to mail to grandparents and be subsequently hung on the fridge for all to admire. Rather, it's a snapshot of the newborn blown up and photocopied in black and white with some handwritten details added on top. Which is fine! I have no beef whatsoever with this practice, which seems both practical, effort-efficient and appropriate for the care provider setting.

This announcement had two messages scrawled on either side of the grayscaled, very babyish-looking baby. On one side it read "Congratulations Jones Family!". I will pause here to note that, in the interest of preserving privacy (not to mention the fact that I legit do not remember the family surname because that's really not the point of this story), 'Jones' was not really the middle word. However, this next part is, I swear, faithfully reproduced verbatim: "Welcome Baby Hughie!"

Baby Hughie.



Not a thing in the world wrong with the name Hugh. Nothing particularly bad about indulging in the diminutive version Hughie, especially in reference to a newborn. And certainly I've been known to refer to infants (and, to be honest, all the way through toddlerhood) as Baby So-and-so. But put them all together ...

I mean, did they not hear it in their head?

Or did they just not know this was a thing?

Maybe they just didn't know it was a thing. Cultural literacy is a precious and rapidly vanishing commodity.

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