My Name is NOT Peter

Peyton had been pushing for a name change from very early on. I think the name was something that he wanted changed even before he asked about boy clothing. In the beginning I didn’t notice that this was what he was asking for. He subtly hinted at it by repeating the name over and over for no particular reason. I thought it was because he simply liked a boy at school that has that name. Everything was Peyton this and Peyton that. And I don’t know, maybe he wasn’t really trying to hint at wanting the name change, but not a day went by that the name was not said at least twenty times. Since he has transitioned to a boy, the only time the name Peyton comes out of his mouth is if someone calls him by the wrong name.

He is not called the wrong name very often but it does happen. When this happens he gets sort of angry and corrects the person. His feelings are typically hurt for the rest of the day and he can’t get over having been called something other then his name. This often leads to a discussion between him and I. He is so young that he doesn’t understand that sometimes people make mistakes and get confused with names. His siblings are sassy and call him by his old name once in a while which of course is not okay and we talk about that. In these instances the other kids are reprimanded because what they are doing is wrong.

Peyton is bussed to and from school every day because that is how things work in our town and it makes things easier for me. The kids on the bus are all four year olds and for safety reasons, there is an aide on the bus. Sometimes this aide calls Peyton the wrong name. Instead of calling him Peyton, she calls him Peter. I get it. There are a lot of kids to have to remember their names. I do not at all fault teachers or aides when this happens. I know that there are a lot of kids that they are in charge off. And this woman does not call him Peter on purpose. I can see that it is genuinely a mistake. I’m a parent of multiple kids so my brain often scrolls through all the names before I get to the correct one of the kid that I am addressing. This even happens out loud and the kids know that I do it. It happens and it’s not done purposely or maliciously. Peyton however finds this so very offensive when it happens on the bus. The very first thing he says when he comes off the bus is, “She called me Peter again.” I find it amusing. I know I shouldn’t. I could see how it would be offensive if he was being called by his old female name but being called a different boys name, I don’t get why he gets mad. So we talk about how people sometimes make mistakes and it is not done intentionally to hurt him in any way. How it is not done to be mean. I can see in Peyton’s face that he has no idea what I am talking about. In his eyes the lines are all very pronounced. He is a boy and his name is Peyton and nothing else so everyone should call him Peyton. Comments like this reinforce to me that this is who he is. He sees meaning in the smallest of things (at least to me they are small). So I know, I know that he is a boy and this is not going to change. Not that I want it to but so many people think that this is just a phase…

I’m kind of glad that this happens because it will eventually help Peyton to understand the difference between people discriminating or just being human . I hope he learns that he can let go of the things that mean nothing so that he doesn’t feel so hurt by others all the time. It’s an important lesson for him to learn now. For me as a mom, I just keep thinking of that suicide rate, that 58%… I hope that the lessons he learns now, he can carry throughout life so that he can handle things appropriately.

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