Broadly speaking, there are two types of families – those who use nicknames and those who don’t.
In our home, everyone and everything has a nickname. Actually, nickname probably isn’t the correct term because often the names are much longer and more complicated than the original. At one point in their lives, I was convinced our dog and both our little ones had no idea of their actual government names.
The nicknames we have for each other evolve with time too, depending on funny things that happen or are said. Now the two of them join in and come up with their own silly nicknames for us and each other – it’s quite fun to have so many ‘in’ jokes between us. My littlest one (one of the human ones) has had one consistent nickname though, to the point where it’s almost become an over-arching theme of their life so far, and that nickname is Bean. We aren’t sure where Bean came from; it’s reasonably common as cute nicknames go, I think.
They were called ‘Berry’ while I was pregnant, but we called them Bean even then - perhaps because they jumped around so much, which is a trait they have embraced Earth-side too. After birth, they were Bald Bean because they lost all their hair, and then Bean became a defacto middle name, that we add after shortening their first name. Now they are a toddler, we use Bean as just ‘B’ in their most common nickname of DB. And let’s not forget the favourite rhyme: Beans, beans, good for the heart,
The more you eat, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel,
So let’s eat beans for every meal!
What Bean vibes they’ve always given off is hard to quantify but as they get older the links to the nickname only strengthen. A month or so ago, they learnt how to use their mouth on the frame of their siblings bed to make a LOUD trump noise. One day, after a bad day of teething, when they were feeling really sorry for themselves, they got up after bouts of being incredibly grumpy and made that noise again, seemingly to cheer themselves up. It left all of us in hysterics. It did cheer them up.
It makes me wonder exactly what is the connection between toddlers and giggles over bottom burps … in fact, the connection between humans overall and toilet humour, as it seems to be as universally funny today as it was hundreds of years ago – much of Chaucer’s work is just elaborate (and not so elaborate) fart jokes. You can even find them in Shakespeare too.
“A man may break a word with you, sir;
and words are but wind;
Ay, and break it in your face,
so he break it not behind.” (Comedy of Errors)
Growing up as a girl, you’re often told that it isn’t polite to trump and burp or even laugh at others who do. It isn’t polite. It isn’t what ladies do. In fact, we’re encouraged to pretend to all that, as a ‘lady’, we do none of these natural bodily functions that are part of you being an alive and healthy human. So it’s actually been quite liberating for me, in a way, to now laugh and giggle along at trumps and burps with my toddlers.
But giggle we do. All my two want seem to want to do is make themselves and each other laugh, and at the moment, a perfectly-timed emission brings the whole house down in hysterics. It’s lucky therefore, that our little Bean is perhaps the gassiest person I’ve ever come across. Every time I pick them up, it seems, they greet me with some bottom toots and then they giggle at themselves. I am starting to think they save them just for those moments; it can’t be a coincidence surely!
They love baked beans too, and when I make them beans on toast, Bean eats all the beans, their sibling eats all the toast. They’ve now taken to swapping plates. In this way, they are a perfect match (sometimes) – much like beans on toast, beans and trumping, toddlers and giggling at bottom burps.
Banner image courtesy: Hand Knitted Baked Beans Can with Individual Beans
Gemma Wilkinson-Lowe is Roy's Second Boy's First Girl - AKA first grandchild of her generation. She is a mother to two toddlers (otherwise known as Roy's Second Boy's First Girl's First Boy and Second Boy).
Gemma is an editor and writer of children's books, with a particular passion for making reading and stories fun, enjoyable and accessible for all children of all abilities. You can also read other interesting blogs from her at Gemma Writes Stuff.