Monday, September 01, 2008

Say my name

I just got a call from Anna's teacher, reminding us about the "milk and cookies" meeting with the teacher tomorrow. Which I will not be attending since I am working but Anthony definitely will. Also, the flyer about this little shindig is on my refrigerator, much to the amusement of my friends without children. They are amused by that and by the presence of so many step-stools around my house.

But back to the teacher's phone call: I wasn't sure who it was originally since I didn't recognize the caller ID, and when I answered the person asked for "Mrs. Vetmommy," not "Dr. Vetmommy," or "Jennifer." The Mrs. Vetmommy thing always sounds matronly and sort of proprietary to me. I mean, I don't mind sharing Anthony's last name, but that whole MRS. title is so foreign to me, especially since I graduated from vet school a week before I married so I started my new life with a new title AND a new surname.

And as much as I totally adored everything about Anna's teacher last year, she always called me Mrs. Vetmommy, not Dr. Vetmommy, even when I came to talk to the class about being a veterinarian! And, she did it in such a way (in the middle of a long sentence in front of her class) that I didn't feel like I could correct her, although I did talk to the kids about how I am a doctor, just like your doctor, except for animals.

(Don't take this to mean that I insist on being called "Doctor" all the time. If I am with someone socially, I really want to be called Jennifer. Don't call me Doctor while we are drinking margaritas together.)

So, Anna's new teacher says how much she is enjoying Anna in her class already. I'm a little surprised, because they've only been in class 4 days, but she sounds very sincere, saying Anna is a good listener and eager to complete her work. She also said Anna corrected her on the pronunciation of her name, but now she's sure she has it right.

Well, this is music to my ears. We pronounce Anna's name the German way: "Ah-nah," not "Ann-uh." Often Anna is too polite to correct people, especially adults. It can be hard to correct someone in a position above you, but I didn't want to get halfway through the year and find out the teacher had it wrong.

Of course, hearing from any teacher how great their child is will make any parent happy. I am particularly pleased to hear that she is both following the rules and clearly telling people how she wants to be called, something even grown-up me finds difficult.


Joey said...

I feel exactly the same way about the MRS thing. In fact, when someone calls me "Mrs Supermom", my kneejerk reaction (in my mind only, I never say it out loud either) is, "I'm sorry, my mother-in-law isn't me Joey."

get2eric said...

Good post.
Good job Anna.

ColeBugsmommy said...

I hate when people call me Mrs. too, but that is a different story than yours. :-)

paula said...

Yep, I really avoid using my surname as much as possible, mainly as nobody every gets it right, the amount of times I spell it out to people only for them to still get it wrong is dreadful. At least I am used to that though as my maiden name is one that nobody could ever get right either (something I'm sure you are only too familiar with). Good on ya Anna XX

Emily said...

Oh, Jenn, correct them! You worked too hard for that title for it not to be used. I think if you do it politely, such as, "oh, I go by 'Dr. Vetmommy'" they should get the hint.

Good to hear Anna is asserting herself (about her name) and impressing the teach already. I'm sure she's a model student!

mainlyclearskies said...

I'm not even a Dr and I don't like the Mrs. Husband'sLastName. It makes me sound like my husband's grandmother.

And good for Anna! Our names are important.

Anonymous said...

Ok....I'm slow That is your real last name? I thought it was a cute name for your blog....DUH!!

EdamameMommy said...

I like being Mrs. Me. I see it as respectful. But if I were a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, I'm sure I'd prefer the D.V.M. or Dr. acknowledgement. This whole entry reminded me of that time we went dancing...and you ended up shouting (rightfully so) "I'm a bleepin' DOCTOR!"

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the first time you have a reason to send a note to the teacher (even if it's just to compliment her on something she is doing in class), you could sign it Dr. Vetmommy. This would give her a subtle hint without coming right out and correcting her in person. The latter might embarress her, or worse, lead her to believe that you are a bit stuck on yourself (which we know you're not). I'm sure the teacher doesn't intend to diminish your degree. It is likely just habit to refer to all parents as Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so.

Shoshannah said...

Speaking about the full title lastname thing, does anyone understand what's the story behind doctors (and vets) introducing themselves as "Dr. FirstName"?

It happened to me just last week- I brought my cat in to the clinic, and there was a new vet there (his first day on the job, no less), a silver haired man who introduced himself as "Dr. FirstName".

I felt somewhat uncomfortable- I don't know him well enough to call him by his first name (I do call my regular vet by his first name, but we have been working together for a long time, and it took me a while to switch to that), and I had to ask the tech when he popped out of the room for a moment what his last name is.

Very strange.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that it is strange at all--especially if you live in the south. It is very common to call the doctor, Dr. Firstname. It's a friendly way to show respect. I work at a vet hospital in SC and many of the clients call the doctor by his first name. It tends to take down barriers, and possibly makes the clients trust the doctor more like a friend.

Michelle said...

I am so totally calling you Doctor Vetmommy if/when we ever go out for margaritas.