I am the first to admit that I have a serious lack of knowledge when it comes to religion or racial slurs. Oh, and politics. Oh, and geography. I can’t tell you all the capitals of the United States, but I know where Bahrain, Riyadh, Khobar, Dhahran, Abquaiq, and Ras Tanura are. So there.
I mentioned my grampa’s nicknames in a previous post (Why Bubble Head?)… I just had no idea that they were bad. If you recall, the bubble I live in is a clueless, happy place (now filled with bananas). Coming from this place, please understand that my use of these terms is not intended to be racist, but rather as an example of my ignorance and the fact that I didn’t grow up with the standard U.S. racism (damn).
For the first two years of my daughter’s life, I called her “my little jungle bunny.” It’s true. I believed this to be a cute, sweet term of endearment, that I had made up in my sleep deprived mom-mind. I would call her this at the park, at Target, probably everywhere. It wasn’t until I said it in front of my husband one day that I realized maybe this wasn’t an original bubble headed nickname.
“What did you just call her?”
“Jungle bunny. Oh. Uh. Oh. That’s not a good look. Oh crap. That’s a bad word?”
And then my husband collapsed on the floor in tears of laughter. When he could talk again he said, “Where are you from? How would you not know that’s racist?”
“Well, duh. I’m from the middle east. It doesn’t even make sense. There’s only deserts there!”
And then he proceeded to have me list off all the nicknames I had been using with my daughter so that we could make sure I wasn’t running around like some racist swamp dweller, testing the Political Correct-ness of my Boulder County bubble.
We cut out a few. I can now call her by her name. I am scared to call her “boo bear” or “cuddle bunny” or “peanut” or “monkey.” Who knows what these might mean to other people! Are there fuzzy white people in Europe who would lynch me for calling them “cuddle bunnies?” Are there hour glass shaped people in Timbuktu who are offended by the term “peanut?” I just don’t know any more.
I need some sound proofing installed in my bubble walls to keep people from hearing me!