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What’s your name again?

When I was growing up, my mom often called me my sister’s name, and my sister spent years being called Jennifer. To this day, my family jokingly calls me Dennifer because my mom would often start to call me by my sister’s name, Denise, and then realize her mistake. But I have to say that I always thought it was a bit odd that my mom couldn’t get my name right.

Fast forward more years than I’m going to put in print, and not only do I realize why my mom often called me the wrong name, I have actually become my mom.

Many times each week I find myself calling my kids by the wrong name, usually while looking right at the child. I call them each other’s names and their friend’s names, and sometimes my husband’s name gets thrown into the mix.

But last week, I reached a new low.

As we were walking through a parking lot, I said “Katie, stay near me. I don’t want you to get hit by a car,” while looking straight at Trevor. Oblivious to my mistake, I couldn’t figure out why Trevor was pretending he didn’t hear me.

A kind woman overheard me and told Trevor that his mom was talking to him, but had called him by his sister’s name. My 8-year-old boy looked at her and said, “Actually, it’s worse. Katie is our dog.”

The woman burst into laughter, and I found myself being thankful that we haven’t named the goldfish yet.