Mary Brooks was named, as you may know, after beloved members of our family. Mary is after my late aunt, and Haulbrooks is my mother-in-law's maiden name. Bradley's much-loved grandparents had five daughters, so there were no Haulbrooks boys running around with their last name; it meant the world to pass it on.
Mary Brooks has always been her moniker; we knew while I was pregnant we'd shorten her name that way. What we didn't anticipate, though, was how many other nicknames would arise from it.
When she first came home, "Mary Brooksie" was our pet name for that bundle of pink when she was unhappy.
At one, as she learned to say her own name, Mary Brooks pronounced it "May Boo" a few times. Precious as that sounded coming out of her little mouth, it stuck right away. (It does get a lot of stares in public places. What kind of name is that?)
When she started to get a little sass in her, MB shortened "Mary Brooksie" to just one word. "Brooksie do it!" or "No! Brooksie's turn!" is heard daily.
Now that she's two, Mac has been teaching Mary Brooks everyone's whole names. (For ages, Jackson McNeal Smith thought his name was "Jackson Mackson Neal Smiff." He's quite motivated to ensure she learns her correct name early on.)
Mary Brooks likes to tell people her "baby Chappers," aka Chapman Collins, is named "Chappin Cahns Smiff." She hasn't mastered Mac's full name, understandably, but is learning quickly that her name is Mary Haulbrooks - and she hears that occasionally from me when she sprints off in a parking lot.
So this morning, her daily "interview" question for a keepsake book I've been doing with them lately was: "What are your nicknames?"
Since she doesn't know what a nickname is, so Mac asked, "What do we call you?"
She read the full litany:
May Boo and, most adorably,
"Mayra Haulboots" - the toddler version of her legal name.
We always knew she would have a double name, but this poor child will never know what to write on her school papers. It comes from a place of love, May Boo! (Well, "Mary-Haulbrooks-Smith-there-are-cars-out-here" comes from a place of terror. The rest comes from love.)