Names My Sisters Call Me

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Forgot Password? A mother's stammered attempts at calling the right kid by the right name is no new phenomenon. Sure, it may feel like she thinks of you as last on the list when she goes through your older sisters' names before saying yours, but that's not the case. Probably not, anyway. When your mom calls you by the wrong name it basically means she loves you , and she also loves the kids whose names she called you first. Don't get salty with mom if she calls you the wrong name from time to time. This little cognitive glitch is totally normal.

Jumbling up names before landing on the correct one happens, but it only occurs with names in the same category. What that means is this: Your brain organizes familiar names into categories, so when your mom calls you by your sister's names, it's just her brain quickly grabbing a name from the "loved ones" pile.

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Kind of sweet, if you think about it. I felt myself flush. Married was such an adult word. It carried so much weight. Maybe even pleased. It took exactly one sentence from my bossy big sister. But Lucas squeezed my hand to keep me quiet, and we walked inside. Norah led the way into her house, calling out the news like the town crier.

And suddenly there was commotion, as my family crowded around us in the living room. I was still tugging my arms out of my coat sleeves as my mother rushed up to embrace me. I had never paid much attention to my jewelry preferences, I realized then. But I made my living with my hands.

I depended on them and enjoyed them. I was kind of amazed that Lucas had given the entire process so much thought. Norah reached across my mother and picked up my left hand. She held it to the light, turning the whole hand this way and that as if examining it for flaws. I tugged my hand out of her grasp. Because she, as ever, knew best. Norah was about control and had always been this way.

When she was a kid, her control issues generally involved the sanctity of her bedroom and her refusal to lend out her toys and dolls.

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These days she thought a bit bigger. She insisted that she was not in any way OCD, a laughable assertion, but one she felt comfortable making because, she would tell me, there was a right way and a wrong way to do things. She chose to do things the right way. End of discussion. The right way meant that we had Family Dinner every weekend at her house, and she always used linen napkins.

The right way meant that she and Phil refused to allow a television to pollute their home, preferring to read the newspapers from a selection of Eastern Seaboard cities, peruse the most esoteric literary fiction, and engage in stimulating intellectual debates concerning international politics and ethical dilemmas over fine wine. When it was pointed out to them that Eliot, their two year old son, might one day face ridicule in school for being completely out of the pop culture loop, Norah actually sneered. Someone had to step in and take charge after Daddy died, she would say with a sniff, and I was the only one who could.

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Because she was the only one capable , was the subtext. Mom had been lost in a haze of grief.

Calling me by my sister's name.

Our middle sister, Raine, had been acting out since she was a toddler. By the time I was ten, Raine had distinguished her sixteen year old self in our prudish Pennsylvania Main Line town by being wilder than all the other bad seeds put together, Mom had parlayed her grief into a continuing life choice rather than a debilitating incident, and Norah already had her first PhD.

In bossiness. At eighteen. The fact that Lucas and I had been together for three years without so much as a shared bank account confused and annoyed her. Norah maintained a constantly-updated spreadsheet of checks and balances, slights and alliances, and was always waiting to pounce. I assumed this spreadsheet existed only in her mind, but sometimes I suspected the existence of a hard copy, too. Not about some fantasy wedding Mom wished she had with Dad. Lucas reached over to grab hold of me, his hand warm and reassuring on my leg. About the food, anyway.

We were engaged. To be married.

Because Nora was nothing if not prepared. I felt the strangest urge to apologize for the possibility that I might want control over my own wedding. But then, hers had turned out to be a disaster, despite the kind of planning that would have done Napoleon proud.

We all knew better than to engage. The season in question was not winter, which was likely endless, but the more finite Philadelphia Second Symphony Orchestra concert season, which finished in late May. Now I was discussing my engagement party and feelings on elopement. With a straight face. The thought was appealing.

She was sliding into full-on lecturer mode. Sometimes I forgot she was only thirty-six, a mere eight years older than me, because she could sound as old as the hills. Lucas hated potatoes. With unnecessary derision, I felt. Or stuck one of the serving knives into her. Having never met my colorful, estranged sister, he was intrigued by all the drama that was kicked up any time her name was mentioned.

As was I, to be honest. Raine was nothing if not fascinating. Phil never said much, so we all stared at him and took in the uncharacteristic outburst. I know I'm probably overreacting. I'm my mom's caregiver. Oldest of 2 and the other one has fallen off the face of the earth. I suppose it could be buried resentment. My earliest memories are always seeing mom and sister together and it didn't change into adulthood. I was generally sent off with dad or others.

Calling me by my sister's name. -

Maybe it's a personality thing. It's just so time consuming at times to console myself that it's 'nothing'.

Just 2 syllables uttered by mom and I instantly get cranky. This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.

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In Go. My dad did the same thing to me. I cared for him myself with NO help from my sisters. He had dementia and cancer. He would always call me my oldest sister's name. It annoyed me, because she avoided any responsibility or even the consideration of a phone call or a visit for dad. She was the first born, but they weren't as close as dad and me. I think we need to realize they don't me us any disrespect, or hurtfulness when they do this. Just know that you are the one taking care of your mom, and she can't help calling you your sister's name.

I don't know if your mom has dementia like my dad, but my dad would go from calling me Fran or Faye my mom's name. Once in a blue moon he'd remember my name. In the meantime, maybe you could just take a deep cleansing breath, and say to yourself, "it's ALL good! Francis Apr