|From 5 Minutes for Parentin|
I am very pregnant.
Ergo, I am the recipient of all types of random, potentially offensive comments.
“You stomach looks like a torpedo,” said a fellow mom at school last week.
“You’re not due for another four weeks?” said the incredulous cashier at Target.
Or, maybe the best of the lot: “WHOA!” shouted a man as I rounded a corner (belly first) at church on Sunday. “Way to go, Dad!”
Honestly, I’m more amused than insulted by the attention. It’s true that people might want to think before they speak to a woman who is uncomfortable, hormonal and weary. But I know most aren’t trying to be rude. Their internal censors have just been temporarily fried by shock. It happens.
But there is one question that makes me grind my teeth a little, and I get it all the time. It is, simply, “So do you have a name for that baby yet?”
The rational side of me recognizes this is an innocent statement. But the irrational side of me wants to tear my hair out by the fistful (being pregnant, I have plenty to spare) when someone asks it.
Because here’s the deal: My husband and I are horrible at choosing names for our offspring. It’s laborious. A name that I might like is almost guaranteed to be at the top of his Names I Will Never Name My Children Even Under Threat of Torture list, and vice versa. I do not want to discuss it with any one other than my husband, and I most certainly do not want my momentary favorites to be fussed over as if they are dessert choices on the potluck table.
Naming a baby is war, an intense battle that requires strategy and secrecy. Doesn't everyone know that?
This being baby number four for us, my husband and I are experts at the never-ending duel. We know to keep one ace in the hole for when the other person proposes something truly hideous. (Corey’s ace this time is the threat to name the baby Samuel Diego, or Sam Diego for short. I don’t believe we need to name our child after a city, even if it is America’s Finest.) We are grimly amused by baby name web sites. And we both acknowledge the name question will not be settled until we write the final decision on the birth certificate. We might walk into Labor and Delivery with a short list, but our babies are never named until after they are born and I have had at least one shower and a meal.
In the end, we aren't fighting each other so much as we are batting through the haze in pursuit of the perfect name. The one that is acceptable to both of us, the one that has a strong meaning, the one that doesn't sound dorky with our surname.
The one that fits the baby. After all, he's the one who's going to have to live with it for the rest of his life.
Thankfully, Corey and I know it's possible to navigate this mess without becoming enemies. And at this point, we really like the names we chose for our older three children. It's funny how a name, aptly chosen, seems to mold to the child, eventually seeming as natural and fitting as skin.
But for now? No. I don't want to talk about it.
Kelly is currently 36 weeks pregnant with her fourth child and yes, she's a tad cranky. You can also find her blogging at Love Well.