Friday, June 19, 2009

A Baby by Any Other Name Would Look/Taste/Smell as Sweet

So, here we are with a mere two months to go before this sweet little ninja in my belly makes its arrival. If this hard punching, swift kicking child is female in nature she may not have a name until she is twelve years old. Dear old Dad and dear old Mum just can’t seem to find a one.

In all fairness that may be because my tolerance level for endless name-book perusal is pretty minimal. After about the first two hundred names my eyes start to water and a sensation not unlike vomit-inducing nausea begins to well up in my gut. My husband, on the other hand, can find lots of names he wouldn’t mind slapping on some poor innocent, unsuspecting child. (In other words, I think that some of them are a bit queer).

This is one argument some people would use to encourage certain unwilling parents to find out the gender of their unborn munchkin. I don’t think that would help us much: if it’s a boy then we don’t have to worry about picking a name; if it’s a girl then it doesn’t much change the fact that we still can’t seem to agree on a name. How do people with eight children pick out names? That’s what I’d like to know.

We didn’t have this trouble when it came to naming our cats. It generally takes about one day to name a pet. And ours even have middle names, although those didn’t get tacked on until a bit later, when they started to misbehave. I find it much easier to shout at something with two names.

In my sweet pregnant stupor I really believe this baby will be a boy. There are some things a person just doesn’t mind being wrong about, so if it is a girl I’m just trusting that the right name will come along in time. Besides, I’m already starting to mix up the kids’ names when trying to untangle their little intertwined arms during a brutal tug-of-war with a favorite toy and they’re not even the same gender. In all likelihood the new baby will end up as “hey you!” anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beware of Harmless Questions

There is a spot in my chest that trills with fear whenever someone asks my son, “how are you?” When he was a little younger he would reply something like, “I’m two,” and I could totally deal with the cuteness. Now I just haven’t a clue what his response is going to be, and I’m the type of person who is generally not fond of surprises.

Last week at the doctor’s office when the nurse inquired after his health, “Gloppity-glop,” was his response. Had I not known that he picked up this phrase (and many others) from Dr. Seuss, I may have been a bit concerned as gloppity-glop sounds like it might be catching. I do a lot of smiling and patting him on the head when we’re out in public. Thankfully he hasn’t said anything bad or inappropriate. Yet.

Quirky phrases and odd quotes I can live with. However, some of his responses make me yearn for the days when he would hide behind my legs if a stranger addressed him. “Miff muffered moof” doesn’t sound so rude, but I could definitely live without his desire to wow the world with his facial muscle contortion control.

There have been times when a polite greeting has been returned with a roll of the eyes into the back of the head and a fantastical tongue lolling instead of a sweet blue-eyed toddler smile. I frequently find myself hoping that the recipient whose benign question elicited such a response has raised boys, or at least some sort of child who was once three-years-old.

As if these things aren’t enough to make a mother ill at ease, there is another charming habit he’s picked up that should really be exercised only at home. After a few minutes of watching Daddy play some Zelda video games, the little man became magically adept at reproducing the sounds of the main character, Link, attacking his foes and jumping off of high places in a single bound. The child now trots about (literally trots) whilst shouting a guttural “heeeeyyy-hey!” and whacking the furniture with a plastic golf club.

Aside from the furniture beating, the whole act is really rather cute. Inside. When taken outside I’m sure the entire block thinks he’s being forced to do something against his rather strong will, or he’s just being very rude and angry with mommy. It’s even better when he takes up his attack stance in a physician’s office or grocery store. This type of behavior tends to startle people. Perhaps I should set aside five minutes every day to indoctrinate about the proper way to greet people; especially people we don’t know.