Boo Bear. . .
It was my dad that started calling her that when she was about 18 months old. It wasn’t because of the musical Winnie the Pooh that was her constant companion (which unfortunately met a terrible death when she was 4, but that is another story!), it was because she would get so excited when Yogi Bear was on TV and Boo Boo Bear made her giggle and clap her hands together and exclaim “boo boo. . .”
It was infectious to watch her and I couldn’t help but laugh when she did this. How enchanting she was at that age. Full of questions and life, her compact little body in motion constantly. She wasn’t really talking well at that age, but the few things she could say, she said a lot!
She was watching Yogi Bear late one afternoon, in the very inattentive way of an 18 month old child, but when Boo Boo Bear came on, she was all attention. Dad was there for dinner and saw this. When it was time for dinner, we picked her up to put her into the high chair and she immediately started crying Boo Boo. My dad was laughing and said to her, “we’re going to call you Boo Boo” and she just looked at him with her big grey-blue eyes, tears slowly leaking from the corners and said “Boo Boo . . .”.
The tears quickly went away as they often are for a hungry child, but the name stuck. For years she has been our Boo Bear. We don’t call her that too often anymore, maybe just sometimes when we want to yank her chain.
What is it about the childhood nicknames we hated? My dad called me “Snookie” or “Snooks” and I loathed it. I suppose it could be worse, but it drove me crazy. Maybe it’s because we don’t have any control over it, we didn’t pick the name ourselves? Who knows? But even though I hated that name back then, every so often my dad will call me Snooks now, and it melts my heart. I wish he could be around forever to call me that. . .