I’m Baby Evan

By Melissa Face

In my effort to hang on to each moment of his childhood for as long as possible, I have continued to call my son Baby Evan, even though he is no longer a baby. So naturally, now that he is a walking, talking two-year-old, he refers to himself by the same name.

“Well, hi there young man,” says a kind lady in the grocery store. “What is your name?”

“I’m Baby Evan,” he proudly responds.

The lady laughs, pats him on the head and continues down the aisle.

“Aren’t you just the cutest!” remarks the cashier at Target. “What is your name?”

“I’m Baby Evan,” he says, without hesitation.

And so it goes. Each time he is asked, his response is the same. It has been very cute for quite some time. But my husband and I are beginning to worry. We discuss ways of getting him to drop the “baby” and we talk about the possible results of him not giving it up.

He might scoot through elementary and middle school with minimal teasing, but problems could arise in high school, especially if he plays sports.

“And playing middle linebacker,” shouts the announcer, “is Baby Evan!”

It will definitely be more difficult to intimidate his opponents if his “baby” name continues into his teenage years. But that’s not all. My husband and I are concerned about his future career prospects as well. How will his name impact his professional goals if Evan decides to be a doctor, a judge, a policeman or a NASCAR driver? Oh, I can imagine all the potential hazards.

“Paging Dr. Baby Evan to the ER. Dr. Baby Evan, you are needed in the ER.”

“All rise for the Honorable Judge Baby Evan.”

“Officer Baby Evan to dispatch. I’m on the scene of a 10-30. Requesting back-up.”

“And here they come ‘round turn three. Who is that driving the Fisher-Price car? Oh, yes. I believe that’s Baby Evan.”

Okay, so maybe we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. But it is time to start working with him on saying his real name. The other night we sat down and practiced.

“Your name is Evan Face,” my husband said. “Can you say Evan Face?”

“Evan Face,” our child repeated.

“Very good!”

Evan went back to pushing his tractors and shooting basketball. Then we called him back over to see how our little lesson had gone.

“What is your name?” my husband asked.

Our child paused thoughtfully for a minute.

“I’m Baby Face. I mean, I’m just Baby Evan.”

“Evan Face,” Craig reminded him.

“Yeah,” Evan said. And he returned to his toys.

I talked to my mom about the situation, and she reminded me that almost everyone in our small town is known by a nickname. “Imagine moving here, writing out Christmas cards and trying to find names like Chicken Brown and Son Bailey in the phone book. Nobody is called by a given name in this town!”

I hadn’t thought about that. Our town has a “Blinkee” and a “Slic.” Heck, even my dad has been known as “Moose” for the majority of his life. So I guess Baby Evan will fit right in as long as he lives in Wakefield. But just in case he decides to move away from home, we will continue to practice and hopefully he will learn to say, “My name is Evan Face.”

And when he does, I will be so proud of my baby. No matter how old he is.

About this writer

  • Melissa FaceMelissa Face lives in southern Virginia with her husband, son and daughter. Her stories and essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort. Email Melissa at writermsface@yahoo.com.

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5 Responses to “I’m Baby Evan”

  1. Kim says:

    Cutest picture and story ever, and as his grandma, I am certainly not prejudiced!

  2. jane says:

    So agree with your mom! I just howled with laughter at your clever article and remembered one evening when my sisters and I sat around and recalled all of the nicknames in our small town of Branchville. Evan, as I will now call him, is just the cutest kid ever; and yes, John IV, finally was able to shake the nickname, Bunky.

  3. NoelleTheTeacher says:

    I enjoyed your article. I guess we’d better start referring to my son as MattHEW instead of “Matt-Moo”. Well maybe for just a little while longer…

  4. Scott Face says:

    I thought Face for a last name would be hard enough! Funny article and awesome picture! I can’t wait to see Baby Evan!!!

  5. Leigh Slater Green says:

    I thought your article was very funny, especially when “Baby Evan” called himself “Baby Face!”
    That cracked me up!
    Craig was trying so hard!
    I bet you two shake your heads sometimes with a big smile, trying not to laugh, because he’s so darn cute!

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