Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cathartic vent #308 - Baby names

I’m fascinated with baby names. Not just because I’m perpetually pregnant but also because I find it interesting (and telling) what women choose to name their children (or allow their children to be named). Naming kids is important. It's not about YOU. And it's not about naming a baby. It's about choosing a name that a person can live with his whole life.

My children have odd names. But their names have history, we chose them for a reason, not to define ourselves or make a statement or because we saw them in a baby book and thought they were cute.

So, with that said, on with the rant!

Vent #1: Trendy or popular names with some freakish spellyng (Kennideigh Lygne Grayse) to make it 'more unique'.

Notes to masses: 1) there are no degrees of uniqueness! You can't be more unique, less unique or kind of unique. You either are or you're not. You. Are. Not.
2) In a classroom or a doctor's waiting room little Kennideigh will still be called 'Kennedy' along with, oh, twelve others.

Vent #2: “My husband’s name is Mark Anthony Dikhed IV and he wants to name our son Mark Anthony Dikhed V, what should I do?”

First thought? Ask him how he plans on carrying and having this supposed clone of himself. I mean, how egotistical can one human be? The moms-of-Juniors-and-Treys will say: “I want to honour my husbands name.” Uhm, is the child not getting HIS last name? Will your son not be a Dikhed? Is that not honouring the father enough?

Your child is an entirely new human being. Exactly half of his genetic make-up came from someone other than his father. Give him his own name. If daddy is a pushy, insistant bastard then give the baby daddy’s first name as a middle name. Geez.

Vent #3: "I love the name Reece (or any other name that's in the public domain) what do you think?" and 15 people post and go “OMG, no! I immediately think of candy!!

Uhm, so?

What, do you have some pathological aversion to Reeses cups? What’s the big deal? Were you involved in a freak accident with some Reeses Pieces as a child? The company was named after the founder who’s name was – brace yourself - H.B. Reese. Where’s the bad association there? It’s not like someone said “I love my Volvo so I’m gonna a name my baby girl Volva” THAT would be a problem.

Vent #4: “He names all the boys and I name all the girls”.

Howcome?

Clearly, because I have a vagina, I’m unable to fully grasp the importance and solemnity of naming a son and so must leave it up to a man to do? This is right up there with: “My husband will make the descision about circumcising our son ‘cause he has a penis and I don’t”

Makes no sense! This is MY baby. I made him. From scratch (and a half a strand of DNA). I carried him, birthed him, fed him, wiped his various orifices, taught him to read, to say thank you, to use the toilet. I will participate in ALL decisions on his behalf until university do us part. This is my job.

(Can you tell that this one really makes my arse clench?)


A very wise and funny lady expresses my frustration a good deal better than I ever could: Diana Goodman on her website www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com :

Here's an example of her wit. Excruciatingly stupid post gleaned by her from a bulletin board, and her comment:

"my hubby got on a kick of the names rhyming, believing we would have no more. lol, we are due in nov! so, i am in a tight place. my dd is kaesyn paige,(jason w/ a "k"), and my son is richard brycin (goes by mn).
if this bb is a girl, her name will be adecyn shai (addison shay)...
i need a name w/ the "sin" sound, not the spelling! lol! i am not fond of jaxon, but my dh likes aryxon (erikson) and i am fond of tycen. ... "


"New naming rule: If in typing the name out you have to follow it immediately with another version in parentheses, because otherwise no one would have the slightest clue this was supposed to be a name and not Klingon for "Wax my forehead, supple wench," this is a bad, bad, woah bad bad name."

(does it make anyone else itch that the names this twinkie suggest DON'T rhyme?)

This is from her website's FAQ - a hysterical must-read:

(rules for naming babies)

"- Generally avoid nouns. You're asking for trouble.
- Do a Google search for your name ideas. If all you get are porn sites, white supremicist groups and pictures of My Little Ponies - it's a bad name.
- Look at lists of the most popular baby names for the last three years. Steer clear of the top 10, and definitely steer clear of any names that suddenly jump from #150 to #25.
- No celebrity names. Your kids will immediately hate this celebrity, and be horribly embarassed forever.
- If you like a common name, but don't like how it's spelled, tough. Either use the usual spelling, or find a new name. Andrywe is NOT a name.
- Most Americans are assimilated cultural mutts, without much connection to their ancestry. If you want to reconnect with your heritage, go to the library. Do not name your kid Bronwyn and think you are now in touch with your 1/16 Welsh side.
- A stupid sounding name is still a stupid sounding name even if its meaning is "beloved queen" or something else nice.
- Do not name your kid with elementary school bullies in mind. If it isn't incredibly obvious (Gaylord, Fartoff), they're going to get that little bit teased like the rest of us were, and there's nothing you can do about it.
- Try these on for size: "Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to introduce you to the new CEO of MultiGlobal Corp., [blank blank]" or "Also on the presidential panel is MIT's chief biochemical researcher, Dr. [blank blank].
- Assuming your child will live to age 70, s/he will spend 16% of their life as a child, 10% of their life as teenagers and 14% as senior citizens. The remaining 60% of their lives they will be adults. Plan accordingly.

I worry a lot of people have kids either a) because you're "supposed to," b) they seek unconditional love, making them more pet owners than parents, or c) they seek the ultimate middle-class status accessory, making them more consumers than parents.
Notice how the girls get the weirdest names - some people are more interested in playing with dolls than raising future adults.”


Yeah ... what she said!

(note: all quotes from the website www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com are reproduced exactly and are copyright Diana Goodman)

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:24 am   2 comments

Thursday, April 21, 2005

What I learned this week

1) I've learned that I'm an idiot and not only have I failed to update my read-'em-every-day blogger's list but several ones that I do have have flitted off to that posh Typepad and I've not redone the links. I suck.

2) I've learned that chasing livestock around the neighbourhood (goats and sheep yesterday and a pony this morning) won't help me lose weight ... apparently. Bah! Or should I say: "Baaaaa!"

3) I've learned that a ream of printer paper can be spread to cover an astonishingly large area of a home in a breathtakingly short amount of time if three very small children apply themselves diligently to the task.

3) I've learned that I posted about Darling Hubby finding the puppy by the side of the road and never let you know what happened. 'Cuz I suck.



Here she is (she's the smaller one!) : fat, happy, and as slick as glass. The general consensus is that she's a lab/ bird dog cross which is exactly what the humungo Tall Dog in the pic is.

I also learned 4) that the Big Photograph Debacle is a non-issue. Apparently Mum's husband's daughter just happened to remember (after two weeks of planning and phone calls by my mum) that she has to work the day it's scheduled. She's actually off a whole different day ... in a whole different month.

And if it sound as if I'm intimating that this was no mix-up ... I am. I mean, I didn't want to go, but I agreed to please my mum. And - the way I was raised - one verifies details before agreeing and honours one's agreements. Perhaps it's just me.

And lastly I learned 5) - during our discussion on human eating habits - that there are many different flavours of opinions on this subject and you were very very cool when expressing yours.

In honour of the whole thing (and after witnessing the ghastly broccoli massacre that occured over on Summer's Blog ... oh, the humanity! Or would that be vegetability?) I've added a new shirt to my store:



This is on the front (in full colour) and on the back - in green - is written: "I can hear the peas scream ..."

It's available up to 3XL in several different styles. Stand up for our vegetable sibling's rights!!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:48 pm   3 comments

Monday, April 18, 2005

The emergency that wasn't

OK, so my cell phone rings just as I’m hosing down the Brood after lunch.

Now this phone almost never rings. I don’t get any calls from nattering friends or gossipy family members. Very few even have the number. This doesn’t necessarily spell disaster, but since my Darling Hubby and my Dad are at work and I don’t owe anyone any money it’s either an emergency or my Mum. Frightening either way.

“Hello?”
“Blue? This is Dr H’s (my OB) office. I have some bad news…”

Don’t ever, ever say this to a pregnant woman. Ever. Just on general principles. Just scream into the receiver or play ominous music or a recording of an air-raid siren. It will have the same effect.

Fortunately I’m one of those people who reacts extremely well in tense situations. This is why I need to work in emergency services. I get super calm on the outside while my mind races.

I instinctively located all the children. Isn’t it weird how your brain triggers this? I mean, they were right there at my feet, staring curiously up at me, their cherubic faces sticky with peanut butter, wondering why Mommy looked like Bambi in front of a Peterbilt.

I cleared my throte; “Oh yeah?” I asked mildly, “What’s going on?”

“Well, Dr H will be out of town on the 6th of June”

That’s when my c/section is scheduled. That’s it?! That’s what you scared the cervical mucous out of me for? Breathe …

“Ahhh …”
“He can do you the 8th”

(Do me? That sounds rude. He IS a looker, though … waitaminute …I’m due the 10th. Overweight, 4th c-section, big babies: we don’t like letting me get too close to my due date as I’m an excellent candidate for uterine rupture. The 6th was already cutting it close - no pun intended. Ohhh.)

So now it’s all up in the air. When it will be. Who will do it. Gah!

Now I know all of you ladies who just go into labour are snickering behind your hands at me right now. You have every right to. But you can understand how one can get used to having everything plotted out. Especially an obsessive planner like myself. I hate surprises. They make me itch.

I did learn that the other doctor on that day would be Dr. Cutie-Pie, who delivered my first son via emergency c/section (and did a beautiful job of his circumcision, I must say). I certainly trust him (and … uh … like looking at his fine, young self) so that’s good.

Well, we'll see. I'll keep you updated as the non-drama unfolds.

-----

I want to thank everyone who visited yesterday and who commented. Not only is it a thrill to have so many commentors (yeah, half a dozen is exciting for me *blush*) but it’s just plain cool to get to hear the viewpoints of some thoughtful people. Y’all rock. Thank you for dropping by.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:01 pm   4 comments

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Circle if life

Good morning!

I got a seemingly 'apropo of nothing' comment on the blog yesterday and thought I'd better clarify for my regular readers:

You should be ashamed of slaughtering animals. That's disgusting. The fact that you're NOT ashamed just shows how depraved you are. It's nothing to boast about. --Victoria Pond

First of all, thank you Victoria for visiting my blog and thank you for commenting.

For those who're scratching their heads ... Victoria is a vegan (if I'm correct?) whom I 'encountered' over on Grrl's blog during comments on her post about a delicious exchange with a veggie/vegan person.

Victoria declared that none of the meat-eating commentors would actually slaughter the animals we consume.

Well ... uhh ... yes I would and I do. I farm livestock, you see. I firmly believe that humans are designed to be omnivorous and I don't see one whit of difference between killing a pig to feed ones family and killing a virus to protect ones family. I don't kill for the pleasure of killing or disgard the meat. I do, however, respect anyone's decision to eat whatever they choose. That's entirely up to you, just as what I eat should be up to me.

I'm sorry to say, but things die. It's the natural order of the world. One can't hope to stop it; that'd be counter-productive. It's a finely balanced chain that makes perfect sense. How can one take out a single link and declare it an abomination based solely on the fact that a mouse is cuter than a microbe or that a cow breathes but a kumquat doesn't?

So for all of those whom selective death outrages, consider this: cattle are slaughtered by the thousands to provide leather for expensive basketball shoes (which come in size one, BTW, size ONE! Why would a non-walking infant need $35 shoes?!), mink are farmed for skins for vapid, talentless twinkies' clothing lines, babies are aborted in China because they're the wrong sex, men are slaughtered daily in the name of someone's god ...

... and I'm feeding my family.

Hmmm.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:47 am   10 comments

Friday, April 15, 2005

Driven to madness (takes abt 2 hours to get there)

My mum is driving me mad. OK, she been driving me mad for years, but she has her particularly outrageous moments.

Let me preface this rant with this: I love my mum. She was a superb mother when I was growing up (I credit her with many of my own child-raising attitudes) and she’s a good grandmother. But she’s … a bit odd. That and she drives me mad.

Here’s her latest notion: She’s decided that she wants a photographic portrait of my son, Boy, and her husband’s grandson. (Let’s call him Lexington Boy – LB for short).

This irks me on several different levels.

Both I and her husband’s daughter have other children: we both have two girls (her oldest is a daughter). Mum’s husband also has another daughter who has two girls. What’s up with this? Even if it was a ‘boy thing’ what about my own second son due in seven weeks?

Also, I have trouble with the whole fact that these two kids aren’t related. Not only not related but they’ve never met. AND neither mum nor her husband is particularly close to LB. As a matter of fact mum’s husband hasn’t had opportunity to spend more than a few minutes a few times with MY son since he was born.

Now, I understand the blended family thing and I have no problem with it. My mum, my dad and Darling Hubby’s dad are all remarried. My rule is that if this person makes them happy, then I’m cool. I don’t have to sleep with ‘em, just be civil.

But these married-in people’s people are not related to me. I can’t abide it when my kids are told about ‘aunt so-and-so’ and ‘cousin whatever’. Uhhhh, NO. You people are not even remotely related to me or my children. Stop it! All of this artificial family building is for the birds. It’s just a modern PC let’s-protect-everyone’s-self-esteem thing. Can’t we all just acknowlwdge that we’re NOT related? Why is that a bad thing? What’s wrong with the truth? It’s not ugly … it’s just a fact. So what?

And finally, I’m seriously perturbed at the choice of this photographer. Nothing against her per se, just that why-oh-why did Mum pick a person who was in a town close to her but ages away from where the two children live? Seriously. I’ll have to drive 2 hours one way. What’s wrong with Olan Mills or Wal Mart or Sears I ask you?

I have no doubt that she’s charging some outrageous fee and, get this: she photograpohs kids for living but her earliest appointment is at 10am.

My children nap from 11-2.

I have to drive 2 hours to get there. More pointedly, I have to drive 2 hours to get back home. Darling Hubby will be working so I’ll have Tall Girl and Bitty Girl with me.

Missing their naps.

Not getting photographed.

Can you feel my rage and irritation coming through your computer screen?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:48 am   3 comments

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Warning: dirty words ahead!

I'm beginning to think that children must go through a Tourette-like stage in their toddler / pre-school years.

Finslippy's cherub makes up words. My Boy prefers yelling out the inappropriate, or in the case of yesterday (just for variety), the obscene.

No lie. We were half way through the Wal Mart food section when Boy suddenly sings out: "PENIS!" like a street merchant trying to attract attention to his wares. This was followed immediately by: "Willy, cootchie, BOOBIES!"

Darling Hubby looked frowningly at me (like his son was some malfunctioning electronic device and only I had the remote).

"Boobies, BUM, cootchie, PENIS! Hahahahahahah!" said Boy.

At which point I burst into laughter.

I don't think that my admonishment carries nearly the weight when I'm wiping tears of laughter from my eyes.

----

Yeah, we're pretty free around here with general anatomical references. I mean, with little, curious people around you have to call a spade a spade (or a willy a willy as the case may be). I don't feel like the human body is anything to be ashamed of. Of course this attitude leads to convos like this one:

My oldest daughter, Tall Girl, has developed the charming habit of asking what everything is (degree of charm in opposite proportion to number of times she has asked that hour).

“What’s dat right dare?” she’ll ask, gesturing vaguely. If you ask “where?” she chirps with great excitement “Dat! Right dare!”

Cut to nursery the other day getting ready for naps. Tall girl has also been asking to sit on the pot of late (we have one in the bathroom and one in the nursery) which I allow her to do whenever the mood strikes her. She rarely does anything on it, but what the heck. So she’s sitting there cutely on the pot, naked from the waist down, humming to herself while I put her sister down in her crib.

Suddenly I hear: “What’s dat right dare?!” and turn to find her standing doubled over, peering between her legs.

Yep. She’d discovered her own cootchie.

Tall Girl: (muffled) “What’s dat right dare?!”
Me: (stifling laughter) “That’s your cootchie, sweetie”
TG: (Still muffled, but thoughtful) “Toooooooochie”
(Enter Boy, also naked from the waist down – this is how he sleeps)
Boy: (authoratatively) “You have tootchie an’ momma has toochie”
Me: “and bitty sister has toochie … I mean a cootchie”
(pause as everyone studies Bitty Girl who stares back at us like we’re mad.)
Boy: (helpfully) “An’ I have a willy … see? (lifts shirt and thrusts out his wee package) An’ dada has a willy …”
TG: “wilwee?”
Boy: “… an’ a BUM!”
Me: (sensing that this is going astray) “Everybody has a bum and now we need to get in bed and go to sleep …”
Boy: (moving from zero to outraged in one half second) “NO! *I* have a BUM an’ DADA has a BUM! Ya’ll don’t have BUMS!”
TG: “Bums!”
Me: “Ok … time for bed ..”
Boy: “NO MOMMA! You DON'T HAVE a BUM!”

My son: Junior Professor of Anatomy.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:43 pm   4 comments

Monday, April 11, 2005

An 'oops', an Alien, and more curry!

OK, now I feel bad.

Yesterday I posted the pic of the idiot figurine of the super-model-cum-indian-princess and got a comment from someone who quietly pointed out that she was a ‘skinny twinkie’

Bloody hell. I really do feel rotten as I didn’t intend to insult women who are thin. I have a very dear virtual friend on a (non mommy) board who’s a very thin, pretty, capable, talented and opinionated lady. I pondered (belatedly) how she'd feel reading it and felt bad. I was taking my frustration out on the people rather than the ideal.

Crud nuggets.

So while I don’t want to get into the habit of recinding my rants (I’d be very, very busy, lol) or apologizing, I do want to clarify. I have nothing against women of any size. Really. I just resent that society (and people – including some family members) have told me my whole adult life that these women are – by default – better than I solely because of their size. That sucks. Being told … not told: harassed, hounded, inundated with the message that you’re inferior because of the way you look? How shallow is that?

Can you tell I’m one of those “but you have such a pretty face …” girls?

So if I came across as sizist (is that a word?), I didn’t mean to. I just resent the lack of realism in that thing and the implication that this is a superior version of a Native American woman.

----

*Whew*, that was cathartic, now what the heck was I going to talk about today?

That my newest Darling Son, Bitty Boy, spent last evening thrashing about like his daddy getting comfy in bed? Gah! That’s my pancreas you’re squishing, son! And that’s –OOF! – my lung!

Have you ever read those accounts of the (may or may not be skinny) twinkie who claims she had the baby in toilet stall there at the night club and dumped it in the trash because she never knew she was pregnant?

I don’t buy it.

You 22 week+ preggers ladies back me up here. I’m 31 weeks with my 4th. I’ve had all manner of personalities of tiny humans dwelling under my diaphragm. My DS was so lazy he barely moved at all (so like his daddy!) and my first DD was so freakin’ active I felt as if I had a very disgruntled large-mouth Bass flopping around in there.

Trust me. Being pregnant in the last months feels EXACTLY like the scenes in the movie Alien (when they shine the light into the alien eggs, or do an xray on an ‘impregnated’ victim) look. There is NO doubt that there’s a live creature inside you.

By the last month it’s a 5lb+ live creature (guys, heft a bag of sugar or flour next time you’re in the grocery store), with elbows and hard little feet and a head like an unripe avocado. This little guy of mine did some sort of rolling belly flop last night that actually made me queasy.

So, uh, what’s my point? I have no idea. I guess I just wanted to share.

That and let you all know that curry is still a very real possibility.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:20 pm   2 comments

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Curry and sexual stereotypes

Apologies if today's post is less than coherent. I've had bloody great splitting migranes the past two days that have only been exacerbated by one of our ewe lambs who keeps getting out, realizing she's out, and then bleating in a mournful and neighbourhood-wide, skull-penetrating way. I can hear her at 5:30 when I awake. I can hear her at noon when I'm attempting to read my email. I can hear her at 4 when the children are also irritating me so badly that I begin contemplating walking up there and shutting her up with the rifle.

Just for therapy.

Suffice to say that if this keeps up I might be posting lovely full-colour pics of a steaming curry dish I've prepared. Lamb curry.

So. In keeping with the general mood if irritation I give you this (clipped from my Sunday coupon insert):



Give me a damn break. Is anyone else disturbed by this crap?

This is really NOT the sort of thing that any parent should want her daughter to see. Who buys this idiot stuff, anyway?

Shoving aside the obvious - no Native American in MY ancestry ran about in a buckskin bikini - this 'woman' is painfully and unhealthily thin. At what juncture did jutting ribs become sexy? Did I miss a meeting?

This image is grotesque. What's wrong with a woman looking like a woman? Or better yet what's wrong with this figure looking like a realistically sturdy and capable Native American woman instead of a Scandinavian super-model with too much Fake Bake on?

I'd get less meat off of this scrawny twinkie than that dumb-ass loud sheep up in the barnyard. And I'll bet the curry wouldn't taste as good.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:12 am   2 comments

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"I'm sorry, your Honour ... he's three"

Today is my oldest daughter’s 2nd birthday.

I know some of you are saying: “Wait a minute … every few weeks she starts up about how her baby is having a birthday!”. Well, it’s true. I have them bang, bang, bang: February, March, and April. My new boy will be a June baby (my c-section is scheduled for June 6th) so that means I’ll have to shoehorn #5 into May so I’ll have a birthday straight run.

Or June. Then I could change doctors until I find one who will schedule an induction for the most shallow and self-absorbed of reasons like some of those whinging twinkies on my baby boards.

I don’t believe in unessessary medical intervention and there are a few legitimate reasons to schedule an induction. Because you want to be thin enough to fit into a bridesmaid’s dress in mid-June is NOT one of them, honey.

ANYway … more on my Tall Girl's birthday later - were celebrating Saturday. I'll try to have many tedious pics.

----

As my babies meet these milestones I've been reflecting on how proud I am of my children. They seem happy, they eat well (barring the typical toddler I-shall-now-survive-on-air jags), sleep well, are very healthy, and are extrememly well behaved.

*pats self on back*

Of course, they’re not perfect. We have the checkout line meltdown with fair regularity after a long shopping trip. I only get groceries / supplies every 2 weeks and the trip takes place late in the day (after DH gets off) and lasts awhile. No tired and hungry 3-and-under can remain taciturn after a hour and a half in a crowded Wal Mart. Fortunately the trip is not usually that trying.

And … then there’s, uh ... yesterday.

Yesterday I had to go to court (speeding ticket) and of course they’d scheduled it during the babies’ nap-time. So I crashed in, court already in session, with my sleepy-eyed brood.

Boy sat in one chair, Tall Girl in another, and Bitty Girl sat on my lap. Both older ones were dead quiet, just watching, and Bitty babbled softly as she played with my necklace. This is typical of my children. We didn’t have to wait long, maybe 20 minutes.

Then they called me to approach the bench and speak with the Judge.

110 in a 45mph zone. Great Gravy, Ms Hill, was your ass on fire? How do you plead?”

Insanity, your honour, I had no idea that a Mercury Villager mini-van with 16 bags of sandbox sand and a half a dozen 12 packs of Diet Coke in it could go that fast.

But before this exchange could take place I had to get up there. I stood up with Bitty Girl, passed Tall Girl and firmly whispered to Boy: “ I’ll be right back. You sit right here and be good.”

Then, to my utter mortification, like the voice of a tiny, outraged god from up on high boomed these words: “NO, MOMMA!!”

There was a millisecond of stunned silence then the entire courtroom busted out in laughter.

I pled guilty, paid my fine, and quickly left. Next time I go out with my ‘extrememly well behaved’ children, I plan to just wear a paper bag.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:02 pm   1 comments