When my younger sister posted the first picture of herself holding her niece Claire on Facebook, she captioned it: “In the words of Phil Dunphy: ‘Claire? Isn’t that gonna be hard for her to say?'”
(If you don’t get the joke, go watch the pilot episode of Modern Family. Hilarious! What a great show!)
My sister’s words had a ring of truth to them, because according to my mother, we couldn’t have picked a worse name for Asians to enunciate — it has both an L and an R! — and NONE of the grandparents can pronounce it correctly.
In fact, one night my father mistakenly called Claire “Cloudy” instead. Where he got the extra syllable, no one knows. But the error managed to crack everyone up and Claire’s first nickname was born.
My sister took the joke a step further and gifted Claire with a teddy bear wearing a shirt embroidered with the word “Cloudy” (and as an added bonus, the bear plays the theme from Star Wars when you squeeze its left paw). Here’s a snapshot of Claire — the first Cloudy — with Cloudy the bear:
J loves Cloudy the bear so much that he plans on taking a photo of Claire and Cloudy together every night to record her growth. Right now they are about the same size, but we have no doubts that she will soon become significantly larger than the bear…after all, we discovered at her pediatrician appointment yesterday that she had gained almost three pounds in just a month!
As for the grandparents, they have given up on trying to pronounce “Claire” correctly. They now call her by her respective Chinese (君婷) and Korean (다정) names.