Thursday, 18 January 2018

Naming of the Shrew

For the last 27 weeks I've been exercising my patience muscle - something that I maybe should have done a long time ago. It turns out pregnancy is not nearly as exciting as I expected. Not to say that it hasn't had it's moments; once the baby got over being shy when my hand was resting on Kay's belly, I finally got to feel it kick, which was an incredible moment for me. AND we just discovered that if we play some music out loud on my phone and place it on Kay's belly, we can watch the baby dance as the phone gets kicked all over the place. However, aside from the intermittent excitement of baby kicks, pregnancy is pretty boring, at least for me. For Kay, pregnancy is littered with bathroom breaks, and sleepless nights, tiny feet jabbing her in the bladder, and an insatiable need for anything citrus. I honestly marvel at the miracle that is my wife's baby bakery and although I'm somewhat jealous at times, I always come back to being extremely thankful I was born a dude.

We pass the time by shooting down each other's ideas for baby names, which reminds me of a show from my childhood called "Mad About You" starring Helen Hunt and Paul Riser. There was this episode where they had their baby girl, but it remained unnamed for a ridiculous amount of time because they couldn't agree on a name. Their family was all over them about not knowing what to call the baby, but they were adamant they would decide on a name in their own time. At the end of the episode they were fiddling with the baby (changing it or bathing it or something) and one of them said the name 'Mabel'. They both looked at each other with wide eyes and together in unison, with sing-songy voices said, "Maaaabelllll" - knowing they had finally chosen the name. That show aired from 1992 to 1999 - so its more than 20 years old, meaning I was 12 when it ended, and I have absolutely no idea why I still remember it.

What I do know is that I don't want to be like them and waiting till post-discharge to be giving our child a name, but not knowing the gender of the baby has added a whole new element to naming it that I didn't really expect. Having to choose suitable names for both a boy and a girl has recently been a lot of work, but for a while I thought we had it all figured out. Not too long after the second ultrasound, I was very close to writing an advice post because I was so confident that Kay and I had found the secret to agreeing on a name. We both had a list of boy's names and a list of girl's names we liked, and many of them were the same. So we took our lists, and each ranked our top ten names in order from most favorite to least favorite. Then we went down each other's lists, starting at the top, and circled the ones that matched. Both of us had matching girl and boy names near the top of the list. Voila - names chosen.

Unfortunately, having all this time available has allowed us to second guess our decisions. Or, I guess if I'm being truthful, I should say it has allowed Kay the time to second guess our decisions. Not her choice for a boy's name of course, since the one we ended up choosing was her number one - or if we're still being truthful, it really was her only choice. It is, however, the girl's name that she is second guessing. She still likes it, but isn't 100% sold on it. So after our tremendous example of compromise, we are back to square one - peppering each other with girl names, which are being rejected over and over - which is even more frustrating since we don't even know if it's a girl!

Now if I'm being fair, I also am having reservations about our girl name, but only because Kay has been sending me five new names a day for the last month and I've fallen in love with a whole new list. Kay also believes that having solid nicknames for the names we choose is almost as important as the name itself. This is a family trait of hers that comes from having at least sixteen nicknames for all of their family pets, which isn't a bad thing, but is not a catalyst for decisiveness. In the end, I'm confident we're going to find a name that both of us love, but until then I guess we're just stuck waiting for our own "Mabel Moment".

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