What’s in a name?


Tom is fascinated by peoples’ names, whenever we watch CBeebies Bedtime Stories I have to make sure I know the name of the person telling the story as he will always ask. He sees names as an important part of identity, interestingly all soft toys are called by their creature name, above is Doggy, we gave him to Tom with our photo book we gave him before intros.

Tom has become upset on several occasions when he has been unable to remember his siblings’ names, we try to engage in meaningful conversation about them but we are still waiting for his life story book! (7 months since placement).

Today we were on our way to see a close friend of mine, we’ve seen her alone before with the boys and today we were meeting her with her children. Now I hadn’t thought much about this, we had told Tom the day before but this morning started our usual more detailed prep of what we’re doing today. It was at this point I realised a problem, her youngest has the same name as the boys’ other brother, the one Tom was very close to and loves dearly, the one he is confused about not being with. We put so much effort into planning and structure it hadn’t occurred to me about the names (it’s not a common name). 

We spent some time discussing the name and how this is a different boy not his brother, he sat and listened, asked questions, then we asked him if he was ok with the meet up up, he was calm and said “I think I’ll be fine”.

To his credit after some hesitation when we introduced them he was amazing, we had a fantastic morning.

To me a name is a name, I don’t give them much thought. To Tom they are so important, he wants to know everyone’s name and remembers everyone’s name and attaches an emotion to certain names (positive and negative). I expected today to be difficult because of a name but my precious boy showed me how far he had come in trusting us.

Tom introduces himself as Tom X, part of ‘Team X’. He loves his new surname and says it with pride, he loves hearing about names, to him there is a lot in a name.