My Favorite Name

By  | 

When I was 5 years old, I changed my name to Tina.

It was the most beautiful name I had ever heard.


My family called me Tina at home.

And my mom – always wanting to support and encourage me – talked to my teacher so that I could be Tina at school too.

I signed all of my kindergarten papers Tina Anna.

I changed my name to Tina

When it was nearly time to start 1st grade, my mom said she needed to talk to me.

“I have bad news, sweetie. Your 1st grade teacher won’t call you Tina. She says you have to be Anna at school.

And your dad and brother and I will still call you Tina at home if you want us to – but we think it might be confusing to have two names.

I’m so sorry.

Should we say goodbye to Tina now?”

No one ever called me Tina again.

Looking back – I’m pretty sure this was all a huge lie. What do you think?

And – now that I think about it – should I go ahead and change my name back to Tina?


  1. Jessie

    May 10, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Hey Tina!
    You should absolutely go back go being a Tina if you want.
    I used to be called Freddie – I wanted to be a boy.

    I think they may have lied to you a little – my Grandad still called me Fred until he passed away a few years ago.

  2. reba

    May 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

    i think it is a wonderful way to express yourself at that age. much better than say tattoos or body piercing. i have nicknames for my kids + i call them by their middle names,and first names randomly. i have actually had other moms approach me wondering what the heck their actual names are. i went through a phase of wanting to be called sara. after hearing the song when i was 8. i am 34 now and to this day a old neighbor of mine still calls me sara. all in good fun!!

  3. Natalie

    May 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Haha I was Ruth – I soooooo loved that name when I was like 4 or 5! I was just told to stop being silly….. sniff poor me….

  4. Erin

    May 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I think your mom might have told you the truth. My kid Ethan likes to be called Ethie because his older brother called him that as a baby. So when I signed him up for school I put “Ethie” on the “preferred name” line. I mean they HAD a preferred name line! But they refused.

    And he let it go and now he’s just plain ole “Ethan” *sigh*

    I’m totally going to think of you as “Tina” now.

  5. Erin @ How to Nest for Less

    May 10, 2012 at 8:10 am

    My 4 year old daughter named Ellie wants to be called Marissa Taylor Swift. All of our neighbors even call her that! I guess I’ll keep calling her that for now 🙂

  6. Jenni

    May 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I love it! When I got married, my little brother heard that I was going to change my name. He decided that when he got married he would change his name from Jared to Stephen. He’s only 18, but I totally plan on calling him Stephen one day when he gets married!

    You can change your name to Tina; however, I love the name Anna. I was going to name my second child that had he not been a boy.

  7. sue

    May 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

    My kids call our old neighbor Lucy. Her real name is Sue, like me, but she had a big old dog named Lucy and she died. I don’t know if my kids knew her real name or not. So, Lucy still lives on…lol.

  8. Steph at The Healthy Mom

    May 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

    So funny. I used to make people call me Jenny. In Disney World when I met other little kids, I introduced myself as Jenny. And my parents played along. That said, I think it’s fine for a bit. But there probably is a line that can be crossed. I think your mom and teacher did the right thing. Doing it for fun is one thing. But doing it in an official capacity, maybe not.

    Anna is a really pretty name. But do we ever really like our own name?

  9. Michelle

    May 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I always wanted to be Nikki. It was just sooooo exotic! A name that ended with an “i”, ahhhh…. Since I couldn’t change my name, ALL my barbies were named Nikki. I’m glad I got it out of my system early though or all three of my kids might be named Nikki! 🙂

    My sister is a school teacher and told me a story about a boy in her class named Alexander who came to school one day and wanted ONLY his teacher to call him Oscar. No one else could call him Oscar. So his teacher started calling him Oscar. Then then next year, he wanted EVERYONE to call him Oscar. So this year, she asked him if he was Alex or Oscar and he said, well why don’t you just pick the one you like best. I’m good with both! There were teachers who really thought this kid’s name was Oscar and when he started going by Alex again, it confused them! Kids are great!

  10. Mom

    May 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Okay, the truth is – I knew your kindergarten teacher and she was kind enough to humor us…I still have a Mother’s Day hand print signed “Tina Anna” ! I didn’t know who your 1st grade teacher would be and decided that summer was a good time to end this preoccupation of yours! My REAL reason however, was that you got the name from a trashy dressing floozy your Uncle was dating and you seemed to be heading in that direction yourself (at age 5!) I wonder if you had chosen to be called Elizabeth or something lofty like that if I would have worried as much? We’ll never know.

  11. imklvr

    May 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Marsha. That was the name I wanted. Marsha. So beautiful, so romantic. My mother said “don’t be ridiculous” when I asked if I could change my name. I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Later in in life I met a Marsha. Beautiful? Romantic? Ha! Not even close! You have the best mom in the world!

  12. Vanessa Pierson

    May 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Oh man I love your mom’s comment to this post! Made my day.

  13. Kim

    May 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Ahhhh…Tina! So funny, when I was a kid it was Elizabeth…I know, totally original, unlike Kim, right? My parents never would have supported my name changing, they would get mad at me having my friends call me Kim instead of Kimberly….So nobody called me Elizabeth. Sad, I know.

  14. Kim

    May 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    OMG…I just saw your Mom’s comment…she would have approved of my name! LOL, I am dying over here!

  15. Dhyan

    May 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I used to have my own name when I was young even when I get a bit older.. I really don’t like my name at all and sometimes I’m thinking to change it…LOL..

  16. Brooke

    May 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    So for the last 6months our 3year old, Lila, has been pretending to be a dog. Not just any dog: the tiniest, rainbow colored puppy ever, and her name is “love you”. She said this is her name because when we got her we said, “oh doggy, we love you!” Not only does she only answer to love you, she likes to bark, pant, ask for her belly to be scratched and talks in a high-pitched”puppy”-voice to let us know she’s “Love you”‘ not Lila. Luckily this is only at home, and not every moment, but at this point, I would welcome something as simplistic as the name Tina!
    Hope to see you this summer.

  17. nicole

    May 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    My real first name is EDITH! I’m not even kidding! So, everyday on the first day of school, the teacher would read “Edith” (when she called roll) and I would have to explain that I went by my middle name, “NIKI” or well, actually my real birth certificate name was “EDITH NICOLE” but everyone called me “NIKI” (which isn’t much worse than Edith)… so much to explain at 11 years old!!! Anyway, In 5th grade, I changed my name from “Niki” to “Nicole” and when I got married, I OFFICIALLY changed my first name to NICOLE and took my maiden name as my middle name so I was rid of EDITH forever! I’m sorry to my dear Aunt Edith (whom I was named after but who I never knew) but OMG, that’s the worst thing to do to a kid ever!!!! I totally understand about the whole “changing your name” thing! I was WHITNEY WILSON (as a play name) when I was a kid too and occasionally I would tell people that was my real name 🙂

  18. Paula @lkg4sweetspot

    May 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    So funny! I “changed” my name to Maria after seeing Sound of Music. I am pretty sure I did not get the whole idea of a Nuns job, but still…

  19. Claire

    May 11, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I totally understand about the whole “changing your name” thing! I was WHITNEY WILSON (as a play name) when I was a kid too and occasionally I would tell people that was my real name. Thanks that you’ve shared.

  20. Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista

    May 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I love it! I was luicky enough to have a ver changeable name, so at times I went by Jessica, Jess, then the Jess-ee phase: Jesse, Jessie, Jessy, Jessey and finally Jessi. Somehow after college I decided that Jessi was too young so i switched back to Jessica, which means my friends default to Jess.

    Honestly, my sister’s name is Jen, so I’ll respond to anything that sounds vaguely like my name. And of course, “mom, mommy, hey, ahhh, and he hit me”.

  21. Beth @ Free Stylin'

    May 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Seriously…every time I read your blog, I crack up! You are so funny! I think they were lying to you. Total pants on fire. I’m like you, though. I wanted to be Carlene. Where that came from I’ll never know. And since I couldn’t change my name, my mom let me name the tree outside my window Carlene. Yep. A tree. I still get crap from the fam about that one. Thanks for the smiles, Tina.

  22. Christine

    May 12, 2012 at 1:28 am

    This is funny! I also went through a Tina phase when I was in 6th grade. It was very short lived. In third grade I began writing my middle name of Diane on all of my paperwork. Also fairly short lived. I went by Chris (or Chrissy by my mom’s family) and finally began introducing myself as Christine when I was 19, after I had read that Christine was voted the #1 sexiest name by men. I think that Chris is too masculine of a name, especially now that my boyfriend’s name is Chris…..

  23. Steph at The Healthy Mom

    May 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Mom, you crack me up!

  24. Dora

    May 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    My parents gave me the shortened versions of both of my grandmothers’ names because they didn’t want to saddle me with the longer versions. I, however, dreamed of changing my name to the longer versions so I would be known as Dorathea Luella. I thought it sounded so musical the way it would roll of the tongue. Then, just as I had come to love my name as it was, one of my brothers brought home a wife who called me “Dora Lou” in the most condescending way you could imagine and I REALLY wanted to change my name.

    I’m back to loving my name now though, except for whenever some adds “the explorer” on to the end. I swear I’m going to punch that little cartoon girl out if I ever get the chance.

  25. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up – May 12, 2012 - My Life and Kids

You must be logged in to post a comment Login