Our youngest child is Hosanna K. Colvin. She is 1 year old in 17 hours, i.e. tomorrow, November 6th.
Each of our kids has had a different nickname in their early years. Some of these have stuck longer than others. Ezekiel was a “‘boo”. Naomi was, and still is, “a little bunny.” Isaiah is still our “boyo.” He can be quite ridiculous sometimes:
Hosanna’s first nickname was given to her by the midwife who attended her birth. She referred to her as “just a little peanut” because she was so little. But she has since received another moniker from A.A. Milne’s poem At the Zoo: “There’s a sort of a tiny potamus, and a tiny nosserus too” (“but I gave buns to the elephant when I went down to the zoo.”) There is a baby hippo at a zoo in England, named Imani. And — I don’t know, I guess we must have thought that Hosanna’s babyish behavior was reminiscent of that little hippo in the video: sort of wobbling, chewing on things, nuzzling its mother, etc.
Talia, being the sensible one in the family, was of course scandalized that we were calling our cute little baby a “hippo.” We replied that we were not calling her a hippo, but a potamus (“Don’t you know what potamus means?” And I hope you do, because that’s all the explanation you’re going to get.) But not even really a potamus. Just sort of. And not a large one. Just a tiny potamus. So there you have it.
To make matters worse, when Hosanna is being a particularly agonistic baby, wrestling and squirming and pinching her mother while she nurses, we say that she is “a tiny nosserus too.”
Sora complains, “That’s not a very flattering picture of the cake.” Yeah. But the potamus is looking OK, so I’ve posted it.