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Not a big deal, but it's driving me crazy

16 years ago

This is two parts about the same issue. I feel silly that the first one is bugging me, but I need to get it off my chest and would like some suggestions for what to do about both parts.

Let me first explain that I was raised to only call people who are my relatives by blood or marriage "aunt" or "cousin" and genealogy is hobby of mine. So, it bugs the heck out of me when people use family names as terms of endearment.

Also, let's continue to pretend my name is Callie.

My BF's son, A__, (age 8) has taken up calling me Auntie Callie. The first time, I chuckled and cheerfully said "Oh, I'm not your auntie, A__. You can just call me Callie." He did it again, so I said "I'd like it better if you just called me Callie." He started hopping around saying "You're my auntie! You're my auntie!" because he had now figured out that I didn't like it. I asked my BF what to do, he suggested I ignore it because A__ was just trying to get a rise out of me. So I ignored it, and he continued to call me "Auntie Callie" but stopped taunting (for lack of a better word).

After awhile, once we figured the trying-to-get-a-rise-out-of-me was out of his system, I said that I prefer to just be called by my name, because "auntie" would mean that I'm his dad's sister. We apparently underestimated the length of time it takes an eight year old to get something out of his system, because he went right back to hopping around like Rumplestiltskin again.

I don't like that he's not accepting what I would prefer to be called and especially don't like that he's being a little bratty about it, but that's mostly a minor annoyance. He calls close family friends "Auntie" or "Uncle", so in one way, I suppose he's acknowledging that I'm close to his dad and showing that he accepts that, and I guess that's a good thing, even though I'd prefer we chose some other term of endearment.

My solution to this: I'm going to try to not let it bug me, but tell him that he's being rude if he does the Rumplestiltskin-style hop and taunt again. I'm also considering asking him if (since he seems to be more comfortable having some sort of title for me), if he'd like to look at a site like Babelfish with me to see if we can pick a word that means aunt in another language and use that.

Any thoughts?

Now for the bigger part of the "auntie" issue.

A__ talks to himself a lot (A LOT), and while I was getting him breakfast yesterday, I could hear him talking to himself about how 'since Mom stopped talking to Auntie Jamie (her sister), he had one less auntie, so maybe I could be his auntie now because I make him breakfast and stuff. But what if Mom is friends with Auntie Jamie again? Would that mean I'd stop being his auntie then? Would I still help take care of him if Auntie Jamie was his auntie again? What about if Mom finds a different new auntie for him?'

Putting aside that I'm not keen on that he's decided I'm his auntie, I'm worried about what he was mumbling and that he's forming really insecure attachments. This all seemed very strange to me - his idea that he needed to trade for a new "auntie" because his mom stopped talking to her sister...

Any insights on any of that bit? On if this is strange? On what I can try to do to help him make more secure attachments?

I think I'm up against a long history of women being booted out of A__'s life. Apparently (according to my BF and some mutual friends) BM runs really hot and cold with her friends. She spends 24-7 with a new friend for about 6 months or so, and then 'dumps' them when they disagree with her about something.

For example the 'breakup' between BM and her sister... They'd had some fight a long time ago and had only started talking again about a year ago. Then, last month, Jamie punished A__ for punching his cousin in the face and refusing to apologize because the cousin called him a dork (FYI, cousin is 10, apologized for being mean, and was also punished for the name-calling part of the incident). BM was mad that her sister punished A__ and cut ties talking to her again.

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