Due to my nightly trips to the playground to pick Eve up I have built up a small network of parents and nannies of Eve's friends with whom I am now on speaking terms. I know the names of almost all the nannies, but when it comes to parents I have a complete memory block on the names of other parents.
It's not like there are a lot of them. In HK, where help is so cheap and work hours so long, it is a small band of us who bother/manage to make it to the playground of an evening to collect our charges. In fact, I think I probably only know the parents of 4 or 5 of Eve's friends. However, remembering their names are beyond me. It's not that we haven't been introduced, we have. However, within a goldfish-memory-like split second I forget them and default to calling them Oscar's Daddy or Chris' Mummy. They are all designated in relation to the offspring. I know I'm not the only one either, all the other parents seem to have the same problem. We studiously avoid using each others names except when talking to the children, when Aidan's Mummy becomes a perfectly acceptable name to use. I know what Oscar's Dad does for a living, where his parents live in the UK, his favourite beer (Friday beers in the playground time), even his type and size of motorbike - but I'll be damned if I can remember his name.
Last week I shared a cab with a parent I know quite well (Kieren's Daddy) and the whole cab ride I had to studiously avoid saying his name. It would have been awkward were it not for the fact that he had clearly forgotten my name too.
The worrying thing is that I know, and can remember, most of the nannies' names.