School Days and Preschool Days, Too:
A treasury of anecdotes culled from my work and play as a preschool worker and an elementary school after- school activities supervisor



       A couple of weeks ago a first-grader who's always been known as Daniel, informed me that from now on, he wants me to call him "Danny". I guess that's not so surprising. It was a little unusual to me that he'd wanted the more formal appellation in the first place—a family thing, probably. Now I can sing "Danny Boy" to him, if he ever wants to take a moment out from his first love, sports, and not be uncertain as to whether he'll get it.
     Around the same time another first-grader named Ezra told me that from now on I should call him "Pinky." A little while later he amended that to "Mr. Pinky."
     To tell you the truth, I was delighted. I've always loved the name "Pinky," though I can't remember anyone by that name except early TV's Pinky Lee. Oh, yes, and a childhood buddy of mine whose last name, "Minkoff," somehow got convoluted to the nickname "Pinkus" and then, for a little while, "Pinky".
      Calling our student "Pinky" especially tickles me because as far as I can tell, it's a total non-sequitur. His skin is a glorious bronze color. There's not a pink spot anywhere on his body.
     Once I asked him, "Why do you want me to call you Pinky?" Naturally, he answered, "I just like it."
     I've also searched in vain for anyone else he's asked to call him Pinky. His mother and dad both seemed amused and smiled broadly when they heard me say, "See you tomorrow, Mr. Pinky!" at the end of one afternoon.
      Soon I learned the reason for the broad smile. His mom had never heard her son's nickname before. Nor have the other playground supervisors been asked to use it. I feel kind of proud that I seem to be the only one. Pinky does sometimes refer to himself in the 3rd person, too, exclaiming things during a game like "Great kick by Mr. Pinky"!
     Postscript: Weeks after writing what's above, I finally discovered that "Pinky" refers to the fact that the boy in question is small, "like your Pinky". Fortunately, to have a logical derivation for the name doesn't entirely ruin the fun!

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