"Because they like to--it's a cute name," said Joel.
"But I don't like it."
"Who calls you Sophie?" I asked her.
"Ehbody in the 'tire, whole world"
"What do you want them to call you?"
When we named Sophia, we had every intention of calling her Sophie. I adore the name Sophie. In fact, I think I would have just named her Sophie, except it didn't seem to work with the middle names we chose, and Sophia seemed like the right name. And we did call her Sophie for a long time and, obviously, many people do.
For about a year now, I have realized that she actually prefers to be called Sophia. Only because I noticed that she will always refer to herself that way. If someone asks her what her name is, she invariably says "Sophia." Knowing that, I have started to gravitate to calling her Sophia pretty exclusively--I've even noticed in reading through old blog posts that there has been a definite changeover from Sophie to Sophia.
And yet, it still surprised me last night when she expressed that she didn't really like being called Sophie. She's only 4 years old, and I suppose I don't think of someone so young as having such a definite opinion of her name. Of course, this is Sophia we're talking about, and she has definite opinions about everything!
Like she hates wearing pants, especially if they're denim and would rather wear a skirt or a dress every day. She loathes pizza, she insists her hot dogs be served "normal" (without anything on them) and refuses to let a single person leave the house without kissing and hugging her.
And she wants people to call her Sophia, and it was worrying her little soul that not everyone does.
So, I taught her to say, "Please call me Sophia. I like that better," whenever anyone calls her Sophie. And then we practiced. We all took turns calling her Sophie and she would politely correct us, while looking down at her plate so she didn't have to make eye contact.
I hope she really does tell people her preference. I know it's hard, because I've had to do it my entire life so that people won't call me Lora (rhymes with Cora) or Laira (rhymes with bear-a). Sometimes I just give up on trying to teach people what I prefer to be called, but I always regret it while I am answering to a name that really isn't mine.
And the nickname thing that Sophia will have to deal with is a whole different issue. People just naturally shorten names, which is fine and great for some people, and not so much for others. Maybe someday she'll prefer Sophie again, and then again, maybe she won't.
But for now, she is Sophia.
And it fits.