I have dear, dear friends with two lovely boys, who on occasion have been known to drive me to drink but who I love anyway. Seriously, it’s embarrassing how much I love those little buggers. I’ve known them since…well, the oldest is currently 10.5 so for 10.5 years.
A few years ago I picked up their youngest (currently 6.5) from school. 6.5 (who was 3.5ish at the time) had been on a big “Miss” kick. Miss Mommy, Miss Daddy, Miss Next-door Neighbor, Miss Shireen. 6.5’s mommy is very big on proper manners. Which is great. Just not for me. For weeks every time I heard Miss Shireen 6.5 would be immediately corrected. I had been around for far too long to be Miss Shireen. Miss was too formal. Miss was distancing. Miss Shireen would not be happening, oh no. “6.5, it’s just Shireen. Or Aunt Shireen. Or anything, please Lord anything other than Miss. I have known you all of your days and those who have known you all of your days are not to be called Miss.”
After correcting him again on the drive home from school with chubby little legs kicking dirt all over my seats 6.5 began to sing a little ditty (that I still sing on request). ♫6.5 is in the car. Just Shireen is driving 6.5 in the car. We are going home♫ I looked into my rearview mirror. “6.5 what did you say?” He started again. ♫6.5 is in Just Shireen’s car. We are going home♫ This time I turned around. “I’m sorry, 6.5 what is my name?*” The biggest, bluest eyes you have ever seen blinked and said “Just Shireen”.
And thus began the rein of Just Shireen. Neighbors, parents and friends alike were corrected (as he had been) that this was not Shireen. Oh no, this was Just Shireen.
*And yes, in my head then as I am right now I thought ‘What’s mah name bitch?’ b/c I have, if nothing else, the maturity level of a 12 year old boy.