When our little ones arrived, they immediately got nick-names. This, mainly, was to protect their identities; by referring to them by their nicknames in conversations amongst ourselves, someone overhearing could not determine whom we were speaking about. We live in a city but it’s a “small world,” and the kids have a lot of extended family nearby.

TInker was the exception. She got her nickname because she earned it. She was an adorable and hefty 21-month-old; as a consequence, walking was a lot of trouble, so she spent most of the day scooting around on her bottom and messing with anything she could reach. She had little interest in toys, but the outlet covers, door stops, and and bits of trash on the floor provided endless fascination. She tinkered with any grown-up thing she could find, and I quickly learned that she had to be right at my feet all of the time.

Over time, her ultra femininity came to the fore as well, and Tinker was lengthened, occasionally, to Tinkerbell and just as frequently to Tinker-Tot. The Captain called her Tink so much that his birth mother expressed concern that we had changed her name. I was able to allay her fears with my explanation of their nicknames.

We’ve come a long way since then. Tink is now a champion player of toys, creating imaginative games with whatever toys are nearby and weaving her brothers into her spell. She has a lively sense of humor and an equally lively penchant for mischief. If water is played in, the toilet overflows, older sisters cosmetics are corrupted, or something regarded as “inside” (books, dolls) winds up outside, Tinker is your suspect.

On the other hand, if someone needs a kiss, or a song, or a friend in time of trouble, she’s your girl. If the flatware needs to be sorted, the floor swept, or the laundry moved from dryer to folding table, she’ll be the first volunteer.

She’s a bundle of energy, an imp with a sharp mind, and a true beauty. While she makes most of my work every day, she makes a big lot of the joy, too! She’s four, she’s beautiful, and she’s mine. I couldn’t be prouder.