Sissy and Spike



I met Spike first, it was his fourth or fifth birthday. Spike's little sister is called Sissy but her real name is Veronica. I love it when kids have sweet nicknames like these. It seems like nicknames are so endearing. I learned Spike is not Spike's real name as I made balloons for them one day. I always try to use the birthday child as my helper if they're willing, in everything I do. That day I instructed Spike to wave the magic wand. Later I called Spike over to pass out the coloring pages. Once or twice I had Spike blow the end of the poodle's tail to inflate it. When I finished making the poodle I got out the marker to write Spike's name on his balloon. 
"O.K. Spike, I said, how do you spell your name?"
"J-U-A-N". Spike said proudly.
I was bemused, and the whole party erupted in laughter as I wrote Spike spelling it J-U-A-N on the balloon. Little did I realize that Spike had given me a cute bit to use in my clowning routine. Now whenever I am spelling a name on a child's balloon I always spell out loud something silly like, "C-A-L-L-A-T-T" or "B-O-L-O-G-N-A", meanwhile I am really spelling out their correct name. Because believe me a child will let you know if you have indeed spelled their name correctly!

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