November 30, 2011

I say Jacoba, you say Jehovah's Witness

I never got a personalized key chain or pen growing up. But I do have my own FONT. Be still my beating heart! (And if you think I'm joking, you need to read my blog some more, apparently...)
So this may blow some of you non-Dutch people's minds, but...(brace yourself)...Jannika's name is pronounced "YAH-ni-kah."

Not "JAN-i-kah"
or "JOHN-i-kah"
or "Jah-NEE-ka"

And she's already hating us for it.

A month ago she decided she was going to change the spelling of her name. It was fine, she announced, to spell her name with a "J" at home. However (just for our information), she was going to sign all her papers with a "Y" at school, thankyouverymuch. I just gave a noncommittal "Hmmmm..." and kept on making supper, wondering where my sweet 4-year-old had disappeared to.

I did not like this so-called Yannika.

Two days ago she dropped the bomb. Yannika (née Jannika) was actually now Suzie.

See, I don't remember hating my name growing up. I found it funny when people asked if I were a Jehovah's Witness (Jehovah...Jacoba...nice try, folks).
It doesn't help when Rob thinks it's hilarious to have me take a picture of him like this.
And I found it funny when high school teachers would try to read my name on the roster and just give up. ", Jacob?" Like the "a" was a typo or something. And then there's the lady who announced she couldn't cut African American hair and dug an awkward, semi-racist grave for herself. Which I found really funny. (Oh, poor hair-cutting she lives on in blogger infamy.) Read the story here if you have no idea what's going on right now.

I'll tell you what's going on - I love my name. Maybe it'd be a teensy bit cooler (don't tell my parents) if it were pronounced how it's supposed to be pronounced in Dutch ("ya-COH-ba" instead of plain ol' "juh-CO-ba").

But what's really cool is that the very first person EVER that I met with my name was Rob's grandma when I was 19 or so.

I felt an instant bond with this feisty, funny lady. And then she announced that she hated Jacoba so much she changed her name to Corrine.

You can't win 'em all.

p.s. I'm keeping this family factoid on the DL - don't let Suzie (a.k.a. Yannika née Jannika) know. Luckily she doesn't know how to spell her third name yet. Every time she asks, I slowly spell out "J - A - N - N - I -" whereupon she halts writing, rolls her eyes, and groans, "Moooooooom!" Oh, funny mom humor, how you keep me sane.

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