My family, and sometimes Michelle, call me Hill, while the husband uses my middle name, Rue. My mother and my sister, when she wants to be silly or irritating, call me Hilly. But that is not something I would tolerate from anyone else. To most of the world, I am only ever Hillary. I like that. I like that my nicknames are held dear for special people.
The Boy, when he was born, was covered in hair. Downy fuzz coated his shoulders and his hairline nearly touched his eyebrows. I called him our little Rhys Monkey, and that's stuck, though it's not something I use in place of his name all the time. At school, he is Rhys-y Piece-y Pumpkin Pie (don't ask, I don't know) and my in-laws call him Rhys-y. But mostly, we just use his name.
The first time The Lad and I were alone together, when he was just hours old in the hospital, I looked into his scrunched face and said, "Hello my little Wesdebeest." The play on wildebeest popped into my head and the thing is, it's perfect. He squawks and growls and snuffles. He eats ravenously. (His latest trick is to wail and shove away perfectly pureed baby food before trying to steal The Boy's food by force.) He roams the house. We call him Wesdebeest and The Beast and Beastie. Nothing is cuter than hearing The Boy yell, "Beastie! No!" And he IS a beast of a baby. He isn't huge in size, but he is in ambition and personality. He already is pulling up to standing and trying to walk behind things. When you talk to him, he flashes his dimples and laughs. Maybe it's because he's the baby or maybe because it fits so well, but we call The Lad by his nickname just as much as his given name.
The Boy has a rather deep voice for a toddler. Imagine if The Lad has the same voice, my mom said. He'll go to kindergarten and they'll ask, 'What's your name?' and he'll look at them and say, in that deep voice, 'They call me THE BEAST.'
It might very well happen.