Wawa is my Filipino nickname. Family members and some old friends still call me by that name, and I don’t mind one bit.
However, when I was in 4th grade, Wawa was not the name I preferred to answer to on the elementary school playground. This didn’t stop my 7th-grade brother from using my nickname in public and revealing it to all his friends…his super cool 6th, 7th, and 8th grade friends. Having gone to a very small K-8 school in rural southeastern Wisconsin, almost every hour I’d hear one of my brother’s friends call out, “Hey, Wa!” or “Hey, Wawa!” as I lugged my french horn down the hall to band practice or perfected penny drops on the bars at recess. I would force a smile and look away with embarassment. My brothers’ friends were never mean-spirited — that was simply my name to them, like Joe or Jenny. To them, I was Wawa, Wa or Waz. While I’m perfectly fine with those nicknames now, back then as a little girl, I felt that using my nickname outside our Seldera household walls was just another way my older brother enjoyed torturing me.
The other day F came up with yet another nickname for our beloved Tingting. He was playing around with her current nicknames, “P-Nizz, Nizzlerod, P.Lo…Meatloaf!” I admit, Meatloaf is a cute nickname for Tingting given her incredibly cute round shape and her propensity for food. But could we really call her Meatloaf?
We had no choice. Ayay took it upon herself to start calling Tingting by Meatloaf. Is the sibling torture starting already?
“Hi, Meatloaf. You wanna toy, Meatloaf? I love you so much, Meatloaf. Let me give you a kiss, Meatloaf.” Aww. Well, when Ayay calls her little sister Meatloaf it sounds sweet. However, I just don’t know if Meatloaf will be a name Tingting will appreciate when she’s 25.
Ah, to be a younger sibling…destined to be tortured.
For the record, my brother’s name is Joselito and he goes by Jose (pronounced Hose.) His Filipino nickname is Kokoy, though at one point, I swear I heard one of his friends refer to him as “Jose’ll-Eat-It.”