December 12, 2005

Baby Games

The number is down. I wrote the unrelated chunky hunks of the disembodied scramble formerly known as "Chapter Four" into an ACTUAL Chapter Four. It even has plot points! And segues! And a circulatory system! AND A BEAK! This is the part I LIKE, taking some half formed mucalage and turning it into WRITING. I was very pleased with myself all weekend, AND we painted the trim in the basement. I want several gold stars. I also got into a discussion on an e-mail list I belong to about reproductive choices (NO NOT THAT DISCUSSION, A different one...)

You know, after I had Sam I really felt I was done because as much as I adored him, he ate up 93% of my life. I could live and work just fine in the seven percent left to me. But then when I thought about another baby, that would be ANOTHER 93% of my life, leaving me with Negative 86 % of a life, and I thought my sanity deficit would rival the Federal Government's if I were trying to live and work in Negative 86% of my life.

By the time Sam was five, I felt I had it as together as I ever have it, and we made ourselves a Maisy with Malice of Forethought. BUT, I have to say, for the four+ years I did not want any more children I was driven INSANE by The "when-are-you-having-the-next-one" People, who then looked at me like I was a BUG, an INSANE BUG, a BUG who had clearly gone OFF HER MEDS if I said I did not think I WAS going to have any more kids. And of course, when I then DID decide to have another one, all the SAME people who had driven me crazy to have one EITHER puffed up with smugness and had to get in my PREGNANT FACE and say "Oh, well, we KNEW you did not mean it" or worse, they would say, "Well, if you were going to have another why did you wait so long, goodness you have to start all over and they WON'T play together."

WORST were the ones who BOTH smugged to me that they had TOLD ME SO and ALSO fussed at me for spacing them five years apart. YISH! And really -- you should not bait the pregnant. They are lucky I didn't leap at them and chew their throats open. I am a VERY grumpy pregnant person. I got VERY fed up with and one time when a couple with three kids brought it up again, AGAIN, I launched into a HUGE and very descriptive riff about what my OBGYN had said my CERVIX looked like at our last appointment, and when they got flustered and embarrassed said, "Oh. I thought you WANTED to discuss my personal business...." <---lie. I never did that. But it was a HUGE fantasy of mine.

I also loathe it when people ask you, when you are pregnant, what you are naming the baby, and then wrinkle up their noses like they just smelled poo and say, "Really? No but....REALLY?"

I remember when I was about 3 thousand months pregnant with Sam, we had to go for another ultra sound because he was late and big. And I was in the room with another hugely pregnant women, a pretty little blonde who was about 75% belly, and she was also having a boy, as our side-by-side monitors clearly showed, and she asked me what I was naming my baby. I said, "OH, we aren't positive. Maybe Samuel, maybe Harold or Maxwell, we have to see who he is when he gets out....what are you naming yours."

And she said, "Simian."

And I said, "I love Old Testament names---are you guys spelling it like S I M I O N?" (Which means, by the way, "He Who Hears")

And she said, "We are spelling it S I M I A N." (Which means, by the way, "monkey.")

And if I could restrain myself from saying HI YOU DO REALIZE YOU ARE NAMING YOUR CHILD MONKEY???? (and I did!!! I DID!!!) you would think that the three hundred people who wrinkled up their noses at me and said, "Maisy Jane? Two names like that sounds Rednecky." Or "Maisy? Isn't that a CARTOON MOUSE?" or "You mean, MACEY, right? Not MAISY. MACEY. Because, you know, MACEY is a nice, normal name. Very popular!" would have been able to control themselves a little better. Alas. They were not.

I better shut up now. I was PRODUCTIVE all weekend, but this blog entry is PROOF that productivity makes me GRUMPY. Sane, but GRUMPY. Or GROMPY as Maisy Jane (who was, BY THE WAY, named after a character in a Henry James novel, NOT A MOUSE) would say. Perhaps I can use this as an evidence that I must henceforth lie on the sofa and eat cheese popcorn and read Lee Child novels all day....

Posted by joshilyn at December 12, 2005 7:07 AM

1. When are you having another one?
2. I think it's now.
3. Maisy Jane is a name which is perfection itself.
4. Other People are stupid. I keep having to remind you of this, so perhaps some index cards with this message should be posted around Joshilyn's World.
5. There is a brother-sister combo here in Boise name BoRue and Twanny. You can predict their futures right there.
6. I'd rather be Simian.
7. So you see what I mean.

Posted by: Jilly at December 12, 2005 8:29 AM

The one tiny saving grace for poor little Simian is that there are vast numbers of people in the world who won't know what that spelling means any more than his mommy did. And if he knows, I suppose he could just quietly start spelling it with an "o" some day. Or then again, maybe "Simian with an a" turned out to suit him perfectly. Ya never know! Ahem.

I think the cheese popcorn/Lee Childs plan sounds good. You might find name inspirations for a new baby. Or a parrot.

Posted by: DebR at December 12, 2005 8:57 AM

Pregnant women should be allowed to spend their nine months vacationing at a spa where all the staff is trained in pampering and SILENCE. And NO ONE can touch their bellies without permission. (I never minded when it was someone I knew. But strangers in the grocery store? C'mon).
Maisy is a gorgeous name and perfect for the child in question. Simian is child abuse. Glad you are getting the grompies out with some shopping...wish I was there! ;)

Posted by: Amy-GO at December 12, 2005 9:02 AM

Not to make myself unwelcome here, but I am tired of getting harrassed by all the young pregnant/ trying to get pregnant/ was recently pregnant women I run into who think I am subhuman because I do not have any kids and probably never well. Nor should I have to explain why. And if I do explain why, I shouldn't have to put up with the consolation plans they come up with so I can live their dreams. I love kids, I do, and I will be happy to play with yours and go see their plays and the rest of. Just leave me alone about it already.
Hhm, sorry, you hit my own sore spot with this.:(

Posted by: chris at December 12, 2005 9:10 AM

Wait, are you saying there is something wrong with naming your child Monkey...?

Posted by: Mir at December 12, 2005 10:01 AM

I think people need to stay out of all of our pants unless they are invited in there. When folks ask us if we are ever going to have a child (god forbid because we are middle-aged and husband is fixed, and what kind of fiasco would that be?), I like to tell them "Well, no, but are you offering?"

Posted by: laura at December 12, 2005 10:23 AM

I gave my sister a really hard time when she announced they were naming their second baby Indiana. "Have you ever even BEEN to Indiana? And besides, it's going to be a boy, right, and that ends in A, so hello????" And now he is just Indy, and he couldn't possibly be named anything else because that is Just His Name now of course and it suits him.

Except I still like the story that when a mutual friend in Ohio's babysitter saw the birth announcement, she said, "'Indiana Fuller Hicks Read?' What is that, some literacy program? 'Indiana, full of hicks who can't read'?" (No offense to anyone who lives in Indiana. It was the babysitter who said it.)

Indy did have a week there a while back when he informed us all that he would henceforth only answer to "Horatio," after they did a Hornblower-DVD-watching marathon the previous Saturday.

When I was pregnant with our girls, I told everyone we were naming them Tonya and Nancy. It was right after the Kerrigan-knee-whacking-with-a-lead-pipe incident before that winter's Olympics, and I watched a LOT of skating, since I was beached like an orca on the sofa for pretty much the entire third trimester. And then every time I hear the word "orca," I think it is really good that Oprah's parents put Oprah on the birth certificate by accident instead of Orpah, which they were intending apparently. Because A) think of the mean orca jokes the poor woman would have had to endure and B) it is cool that she got to call her production company HARPO, which is Oprah backwards, instead of HAPRO, which sounds too much like Hasbro.

Me. Overly Verbose again. Last night I dreamed I was going to sign up to start a blog, only I couldn't figure out what to call it. Speaking of names.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at December 12, 2005 12:24 PM

I am with Amy, WHAT ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH, GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO TOUCH MY SWOLLEN, RELIEF MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, VERY PAINFUL STOMACH? It was 30 years ago and that is the pain I will never forget. Giving birth was an utter 36 hour moment of screaming joy.

Tanya and Nancy too funny. The only class in high school I FLUNKED was Child Development, I always swore I'd take my daughter in when she was 18 and get my score changed. I didn't, should have but didn't - we went to the same high school and the teacher was still there. The only thing I learned in that class was to deeply consider all the nasty things that can be done to your child's name.

The thing I learned from life is that Maisy Jane is a great name. I was born Deborah Calista, now in kindergarten alone there were 6 Debbies. At 16 I dropped the Debby, Debi, Deby and just started going by Calista. A beautiful name. So instead of Marcy, Macey, or some other common name you chose a name of distinction that for the most part will be all her own. Kudos.

Posted by: Cele at December 12, 2005 1:04 PM

Wow, you hit close to home...I am asked at least once a week by some well-meaning parental policeman, "When are you having another one?" Still, even now when my daughter is almost 7 yrs old, and I'm creeping up on 40!! Why is it such a horrible thing to have only one child? I think it iritates me so much because I have my own doubts about whether I should have had a second child. Oh well.

Posted by: Kimberly at December 12, 2005 3:11 PM

When I was preggos, I always thought it was FAR too much responsibility to ask someone to name another human being - with a name they will have FOREVER. I wanted to wait until the kids were old enought to pick out their own names - then THEY could be responsible for anything it rhymed with or any odd linkings to the same or similar names. Y'all would think I could handle such a RESPONSIBILITY since I was set to handle caring for another homosapian (sp?) for 18 years, give or take, depending on my mood.
The first, our daughter, was easy. Breanne, as a feminine take on my husband, Brian. Middle name was after my grandmother. The second, a boy, was torture. I didn't like ANY names. We bought a baby book and looked at every page. Finally, we got to the last page and now his name is Zachary. I couldn't bring myself to look any further.

Posted by: Carolyn H at December 12, 2005 4:41 PM

Naming children is an exercise in unintended consequences. When my mother was pregnant with me (many long years ago), my father was a graduate teaching assistant. His students were always saying to him, "Don't call me Timothy; call me Tim" or "Don't call me Margaret; call me Maggie". My father decided that his children would have names that could not be shortened. As a consequence, I have spent a fair portion of my life explaining to people that my name is just Jan, not Janet, or Janice, or Janine.

As the poet said, "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men/Gang aft agley."

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at December 12, 2005 4:59 PM

Maisey is a prefectly adorable name and I love it. I have gone through live as a Robbie. A girl Robbie, middle name Lynn. I was sent a letter by the Selective Service on my 20th birthday saying I had failed to register. Ummmm, they wanted proof. All the men that found out about it, wanted me to take a "nudie" in the store room and they would sign Robbie is def. a girl. Perverts, I was a naive 20 yo that worked in a fish/hunting/hardware store.

The best is when people ask my questions about my pregancies. I look at them so innocently and answer I don't know. How could I not know? I have 2 step-children and one adopted. Actually, I lived through the preganicies fine. It's the teen and pre-teen years I am having trouble with.

Posted by: Robbie at December 12, 2005 9:34 PM

P.S. We found out that my daughter is having another boy. I asked the name they were considering, she said Matthew Christian. I looked at her straight faced and asked and the nick name is Satan? She got a kick out of it and so did my son in-law. We already have an Austin and he is getting so way out of control, I can just imagine this one. Actually, can't wait for him to get here!

Posted by: Robbie at December 12, 2005 9:37 PM

My daughter was almost an only, but hoo boy, the celebrating from my family when we announced Superboy's impending arrival. When people ask how old my kids are, they usually say WOW at the 7 year gap, but it works well for us ;)

Posted by: Angel at December 12, 2005 10:37 PM

Hurray for Chapter Four!

And then, after you have the baby, people think they have the right to tell you how to raise it, and what you're doing wrong. Ugh.

The main character in my fantasy YA novel is a teenaged girl named Avatar. There actually is a child running around my hometown named Avatar, and when I heard his Mom calling him in the park one day, I wanted to say: "Do you realize that you have named your child 'a representation of godhood come to earth'? Wow. That's a pretty heavy moniker to lay on someone. Of course, it's working well metaphorically for my character.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at December 13, 2005 7:52 AM

So I'm slow.

Was this your first announcement? 'Cause back on November 23 you announced: "No one is going to let me have a baby, so now I want a parrot."

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