I’ve had a few readers ask why I call my younger son Chia. This post is for you all. It’s also for those who love nicknames and have children who’ve tried to thwart you, lol. If you have a child; have helped raise one; or teach them–you’ve been thwarted. 😉☺️
It all started long ago, when my younger son decided that he didn’t like having his hair cut. Both he and his brother have epic hair–it’s thick and curly and I tended to have the barbers and stylists leave it a little bit on the longer side of a short haircut. It’s funny because Monkey (what I call my older son) likes getting his hair cut, especially since his hair changed so much over the years. If he’s not careful, his hair ends up looking like Syndrome from the Incredibles it gets so out of hand. The younger one, however, is a totally different story. He’s never really embraced a super short haircut or haircuts in general. That’s how he wound up with a near bowl cut one time and a few years later, the nickname Chia.
Our hair stylist was feeling a little irritable that particular day, and Chia was squirmy. He was still a toddler at the time. That day was a vortex of inevitability because Chia usually sat very still for Josh, and Josh normally had more humor. Eventually, or should I say inevitably, Josh took the scissors and chopped the hair straight across Chia’s forehead. Josh had become a family friend over the years (he had already been cutting Chief’s and my hair for over ten years prior to the children’s births), and I was at the end of my patience with my younger son that day, too, so I’m not assigning blame. I will say that my eyes were probably comically wide at the whole thing as a whole range of thoughts and emotions ran through me. It’s a good thing I wax philosophical about some things because I was not a fan of that cut, but it all was funny in an exasperating and embarrassing way. Hair grows and my young son’s hair grows like a weed, hence the name, Chia Pet or Chia.
Chia would beg to hold off on a haircut (and not because of the “bang” incident which didn’t bother him a bit). He just didn’t want to go and be patient and do the thing. Years laters in middle school, after we’d started calling him Chia and right before we were having photos taken for a Christmas card, he took scissors to his own hair. There were two years I decided that family Christmas card photos were a thing–note: I hate having my pic taken. After that incident and Chief’s grousing about the pics, I canned the project and we’ve barely sent out cards since. I really should say me–I tend to get a little salty about the cards, but I digress. The barber couldn’t fix Chia’s hair and Chia didn’t get out of a “real” haircut like he intended with his personal “styling.” Oh, and his weed-like hair decided to slow it’s roll and didn’t grow out enough come picture time, two weeks later. Normally, he gets a haircut and it quickly looks like it’s “growing out.” The whole exercise only served to test my patience. That particular photo is on our dining room wall for all to see. The pictures are cute and the hair wasn’t terrible it’s just not what I would’ve chosen. 😅
At any rate, during his grade school years all the asking, semi-bribing, and whatnot could not entice him to get his hair cut. Chia’s a hermit until you get him out of the house and then he’s fine, which sounds a little like me these days.🤔I finally told him that he needed a hair cut because his hair was looking like a chia pet (this was pre-Christmas card debacle). I held off on this even as I’d been thinking it for weeks. Of course, I thought it was funny but I didn’t want to insult the poor kid; I just wanted to get him to pare it down. Even just a trim–plants and bushes need trimming and pruning (after explaining what a chia pet actually was). That went on for weeks until I finally got him to agree to a cut.
I would grab the top of his hair and play with it, telling him he looked like a Chia pet. Yes, we sang the jingle around him. It was almost became his “walking song” (baseball reference–my trainer likes to use them; my walking song is either Rock you like a hurricane or Crazy Train, depending on the soundtrack of that day 😄).
Haircut day finally arrived and Chia was still digging his heels in about it. Again, he was in grade school when this all started. I remember bending down to his height (laughable writing this–they’re all well over six feet tall, now) and asking him what was wrong.
Can you guess?
He liked the term of endearment, because that’s what it had turned into. I love his hair even as I prodded him to trim it up. He asked if I would still call him “My Chia Pet,” even after the hair cut 😭 Needless to say, he’s still my Chia. Of course he is! It’s not just for the newsletter and blog posts, I really do call him that and have continued to all these years–it’s only partly a smoke and mirror thing (they are teens, after all). And no, it’s never been a mean thing or something said in anger or annoyance. It’s always been for fun.
Most everyone gets a nickname and that’s because they’re fun. Do you have any good nicknames?