It was some time last year that I first heard Isadora refer to her brother as “Errol Witchard.” I, of course, did a double take upon hearing it; his actual middle is not even remotely close to “Witchard” nor could it in any way be misconstrued as such. A bit sheepishly, she asked if it was okay to call him that. “Sure!” I said, confused but amused. A few days later, it clicked and I realized that she had gotten it from a mispronunciation of Errol’s full name as he was being called into the doctor’s office. Our last name, mispronounced and skewed by creative 5yr ears, does actually sound a bit like “Witchard.” Whatever the origin, the name’s stuck and become something of a naughty name.
We’ve started to see Witchard as something of an alter-ego for this guy. Witchard is a bit of an imp – he has a wrinkle at the top of his nose, crinkly eyes ablaze with mischief, and is LOUD. Witchard has chosen the rough time frame of Time To Make Dinner as the daily period in which he engages in his wild rumpus. So notorious in these parts is this rumpus, that it has been dubbed The Witchard Hour, akin to the crabby ‘witching’ hour that many of our little ones are prone to. Er-ROL WITCH-ard! is what we yell when he has sprinkled the contents of the salt jar on the floor, or spilled his water glass for the 8th consecutive dinner in a row, or steals the crayons away from his big sister. He’s a DICKENS, that Witchard.
Errol, on the other hand, is the little boy you’ve all come to know through this blog. He’s cuddly, sweet, and carefully pets his doggies and kitties. He listens pretty well, per the constraints of his age, and displays fantastic small motor skills. He loves to help and is trying his hand at potty training. He is notably interested in animals of all kinds – he lights up like a lightbulb, in fact, whenever he spots an animal of some kind entering his world. (lucky for him we have a few around, with plans of adding even more) And this boy loves music! Among his favorites are The Magnolia Sisters, The Decemberists, Tom Waits, and Zip Wilson (of square dance fame). He breaks into dancing at the mere hint of lively music and is my regular dance partner for our weekly Simply Folk broadcast. Witchard is also a big fan of Zip Wilson, come to think of it. It’s one of our tricks for calming the rumpus out of him.
Get it? Let’s review.
Also Errol, shown here wearing wool socks for mittens. Anyone know where I can find a good mitten pattern? Oh, crap. Nevermind. Another case of the shoemaker’s kids going without shoes…
I guess we all have a little Witchard in us, don’t we?