name game

(This story comes with the disclaimer that OF COURSE my youngest child's given name is not Yoda. I needed to clear that up before I went any further, because well, if it were Yoda, we might have seen this coming - but it's not, so read on):

Yoda comes home from school today and says this, "Travenyon laughs whenever anybody says my name. It makes me feel bad."

Kooka and I both stare at her for a minute. "Let me get this straight, " I ask, "Tra-ven-yon is making fun of Yo-da?"

Her brown eyes are serious and sad as she nods her head.

Yoda's name can be traced back to ancient Greece, Denmark, Russia - it was the most popular name in Slovenia the year she was born. Granted, you're not gonna find it on a toothbrush or a keychain at the Disney store, but, hey Travenyon it's not like I have to look in a medical journal or a 16th century cookbook to find it - it exists, it's a real name.

She is like the youngest kid in the whole school, the tiniest kid in her class. She's painfully shy, she doesn't need this crap. What I really want to say is, "Tell him you have a big brother the size of three Travenyons!" No need to mention said big brother is as fierce as a luna moth - we'll leave that part a surprise.

But I don't say that. Instead I say, "Well it sounds to me like maybe Travenyon hasn't quite learned how to be a good friend yet."

She tips her little pigtails to the side and scrunches up her mouth. "What do you mean?"

"Well, some kids need to go to school to learn how to read, some kids need to learn math, some kids need to learn how to follow rules, some kids need to learn how to be a good friend, and maybe he is still trying to learn that part."

"He is not trying very hard. It makes me sad when he laughs at me every day."

"Yes. It sounds like he needs some more practice."

"But I think is an alternate possibility," she says. (She might be the youngest kid in the school, but she's two grades ahead in reading). "It is possible," she says, "that Travenyon is a just mean person - like those kids on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

I was actually hoping she could hang on to the whole "Life is great, everybody's got potential" thing until at least the second grade.

I look at her, open my mouth to respond, but shorty ain't hearin' it. She shakes her head and says "bad nut."

Thanks Johnny Depp.