I wrote this quite a few weeks ago...
These are the halcyon days. Sitting on the grass in the late summer sun, no nausea or fatigue, my husband working on the vegetable garden that will one day soon provide food for our baby. Me with my legs outstretched, my loyal anti-nausea friend (a bottle of sparkling mineral water) by my side, the baby book of 75 000 names lying in my lap.
“Ohhh, Eden. That’s lovely,” I say, “what do you think?”
“Sounds like a porn star,” he says, turning the soil in what will be the strawberry patch. “My job as her father is to keep her off the pole. Not help her up onto it.”
“Ok, how about Mannix?”
“As in Mannix depressive.”
“From the planet?”
“Tuaco – it means the eleventh born child in Ghana.”
“We are not having eleven babies!” We both say in unison.
“Like the singer?”
“Are you ok today?”
“Sounds like a pro-wrestler’s name.”
“Like the dinosaur.”
“Nerd in glasses.”
“We are not Vikings.” He stops shoveling and turns to face me. “There are seventy-five thousand names in that book and this is what you come up with?”
“Seventy-five thousand just means that seventy-four thousand of them are dreadful,” I say and shut the book with a sigh.
Perhaps this is why Mother Nature gives you nine months. In the vein hope that by the time the baby arrives the parents will have at least decided what to call it, if nothing else.
Apparently when you are expecting a baby in Germany, you take your name suggestions into the name deciding office and they tell you if you’ve chosen wisely or not. In Denmark there’s even less freedom. There, you pick your baby’s name from a government-approved list.
Maybe we should try this with celebrities, then we wouldn’t have these poor kids walking around answering to Tree Bark, Thank-heavens-it’s-Sunday-Petunia, Stargaze-ray and Tarragon.
It is a very serious thing to pick your baby’s name. I mean forget the fact that you also have to rear it and teach it to be a good human and spell and make its bed and what-not, but the name picking is crucial indeed. Choose badly and you can really screw things up for them. You must consider the name’s meaning, make sure you say it with their surname and think of every conceivable nickname so you can try to avoid your kid being picked on in the playground.
With a newfound respect for the sanctity of the task, I reopen the book and start at A…Aba meaning born on Thursday.
Seventy four thousand nine hundred and ninety nine to go.