Ivy has had a lot of nicknames in her short life. Apple, Squeaky Bobos, Little Chop, Little Cakes, Squiggles and Squirt have all come into play, and still make appearances from time to time. But the nickname that has really stuck is Naughty Buttons.
Its etymology can be traced in two ways. Firstly from one night way back in the early, psychedelically sleep-deprived days, when I asked Keith blearily 'Are her buttons open?' The second origin is Keith's irrational hatred of buttons, which helped the nickname to stick (all buttons, to Keith, really are naughty)... And he just made me remove the word 'fear' because it's 'only hatred'. He doesn't see that it is weird to have any psychological attachment to buttons at all.
'Naughty Buttons' has become not just a name for Ivy but a general expression of dissatisfaction with any person, place or thing. The other night a crime story was on the news while Keith and I pottered at different ends of the room. 'Naughty Buttons' we commented with disapproval at the same time.
Is this, I wonder, how words really enter the language? Perhaps, one day soon, sometime after 7.30, we'll see Kerry O'Brien take Howard to task over his treatment of the Hicks case. 'Naughty Buttons, Mr Howard', he will chide; with just the hint of a smile. 'You're a very Naughty Buttons'.