Yesterday I met a woman in the park who described her panic as she went to the hospital with some mild spotting, only to be admitted, and have her second daughter delivered 7 weeks early. They had no crib, no nursery, and no names.
And then I realized–
We’re due in 7 weeks.
And we have no names.
Oh my God, we have no names.
This baby is due in less than two months and we’ve barely even discussed names. Which only worries me because by this time in my first pregnancy, we had finally agreed on Thalia. And that was after four consistent months of non-stop debating and negotiating and crying (mostly me) and cajoling and the occasional tantrum-having and hair-pulling and door-slamming.
If she had been a boy? No problem. We spit into our palms and shook on boys’ names in about four seconds. But for a girl? Nothing. Nada. No dice.
Here was the typical conversation between Nate and I about girls’ names last go-round:
Him: What about Gibson?
Me: Gibson? Like Mel? What part of “I’m a Jew” don’t you understand?
Him: Yeah but we can call her Gibbs.
Me: Why would we do that?
Him: For Joe Gibbs.
Him: Then how about Clinton Portis.
Second typical conversation:
Him: What if we name her Jezebel?
Me: Why, just to piss off your mother? I’m not giving her a name just so you can call your family and say haha, guess what we named her.
Him: Okay, then how about naming her Thereisnogod.
Him: Well you did want a T name…
Third typical conversation:
Me: I like the name Grace.
Him: BWAHAHAHAHA. Grace? That’s like the worst name EVER. No. Absolutely not. Who names their kid Grace? I don’t even think it’s a real name.
Me: You’re overreacting a little, don’t you think?
Him: Not at all. It’s terrible.
Me: You just don’t like it because I suggested it.
Him: Not true! Give me another.
Me: No. You’ll kill anything I suggest.
Him: No I won’t. Come on…
Me: Fine. How about Ava.
Him: Like the chick on Deadwood? NO WAY! THE WORST! YOU HAVE TERRIBLE TASTE! You want everyone to think she’s some 19th century idiot? Ava! Hahahaha! Terrible! Horrible!
Me: What? That’s a beautiful name. You’re a jerk. What the hell are you even talking about, Deadwood?
Him: Ava. On Deadwood. Terrible! The worst!!
Me: That’s Alma.
Him: Same thing. Horrible.
Me: Okay, so Ava is terrible but you are willing to name her Clinton Portis.
You don’t even want to know what we went through to pick out the crib bedding.
The name trauma was only heightened by our hospital-affiliated Lamaze instructor who put the fear of God into our class, assuring us that we would not be allowed (would not be allowed!) to leave the hospital until we had an infant car seat and a name filled out on that birth certificate form. And apparently, “my partner is an argumentative pain in the arse and would rather make jokes than help me come up with a name” does not constitute a valid excuse. Trust me, I tried.
Not that it was all strife and mayhem. What we were able to agree on for many weeks–at least until the name Thalia entered our consciousness, pulled up a chair, and refused to budge until we acknowledged its its claim as my daughter’s rightful and proper name–was what not to name her. I even saved the list (Yes, I made a list, that happy was I that we could come to terms on something, anything, name-related):
-Can of Beans (as much as we both like Tom Robbins)
Thank goodness that we can still agree that these names are out of the question. Although I think he does have a fondness for Can of Beans that he won’t quite admit to.
Even so, I’m worried that we have a long way to go, longer than the time we have left, for us to open up some dialogue and get past his “who came up with it” issues. I’m hesitant to initiate the discussion for fear that I will lose any legitimate suggestions I have. It’s like I have to give him some fake names, just to get Mr. Veto-Happy past his power trip of rejection. Or limit his number of challenges, jury selection-style: Okay, you’ve already rejected Apple, Mrs. Spongebob and Ingibjorg. One more than then you have to go with the next one I suggest, whatever it is…
Or if only there were a way for me to telepathically transmit my name list into Nate’s brain so that he could believe they were all his ideas. That might get us a lot further, faster. But something tells me it’s just not an option right now. And time is limited.
To make matters worse, he’s still suggesting Clinton Portis.
And he doesn’t always laugh after he says it.