Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do I have a twin?

When I set up this blog last week I went searching for some others for my blogroll (aka daily reading) that would encompass more than just people I know talking about parenting and their daily lives (not that I don't enjoy those as well). 

I came across this dude (i think it's a man) who is semi-local who writes about political issues and with whom I agree on just about everything.  Anyhoo, he posted a pic of some street kids, I'm assuming from downtown PDX and the girl was the spitting image of me 15 years ago.  I mean an identical twin.  She looks nothing like I do today.  I now bathe regularly, have short hair, wrinkles, and about 40 extra pounds.  But seriously if you knew me in the mid-90s, you would agree that this could easily have been me.

Here she is, my twin....

The Name Game

Assigning a name to another human being is a huge burden.  I wish we could just be given numbers until a person is old enough to choose his/her own name.  Not that I have ever taken issue with my own name.  I never loved it, but it also never bothered me enough to want it changed.  I do, however, hate having to name my own child.  It was agonizing the first time and the second time is proving to be even worse. 

So what goes into this arduous task?  Well, given that we have a long and difficult to pronounce and spell last name, the first name has to be reasonably short and simple.  Of course, it also cannot be overly common.  For example, Olivia, our top pick this time around, just so happened to be the most popular name for baby girls in Oregon last year.  I guess you could say Olivia and Emma are to our children's generation what Jennifer was to ours. 

Once popularity and name length have been taken into consideration, one must look for potentially embarassing nicknames.  For example, Astrid was a name I had picked out years before having children.  I still love the name.  Unfortunately, the name has awful possiblities in terms of teasing and it was even exploited on the tv show The Office.  While Astrid is not 100% off the table, I'm not sure we can get past Dwight Shruit's banner welcoming "Baby Assturd." 

Now that the bad nicknames have been eliminated, the parents must think toward the child's future.  Will the name suit him/her in adulthood?  Will he/her be taken seriously as a professional?  Here not only does the cuteness factor come into play, but also unusual spellings.  If the person hiring for the position cannot pronounce your name, will that make them less likely to call you for an interview?  And when you already have a last name that no one in the English-speaking world will get right, the first name takes on even more importance.

And what about unisex names?  That opens a whole new can of worms.  Perhaps my new baby will be 17625 until she is ready to choose a name for herself.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Mommy Wars Part 1: bottle vs boob

Ahhh....the old familiar face of self-righteous parenting rears its hiddeous head once more.

I discovered pregnancy and parenting forums three years ago when searching for solutions to teaching with severe "morning" sickness. I came across one, joined the birth board associated with the month I was due, and have participated in several online forums ever since.

Now that I am pregnant with baby #2, I am once again involved in a pregnancy forum for mothers due in June and the first "mommy war" broke out yesterday. This one was sparked by the seemingly innocuous question: Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle feed and why?

Hssssss........rrrrrr........*claws engaged*

It's not the "opinions" that bother me, it's how crazed people get over the choices of others. Of course, I have opinions regarding breastfeeding, but do not have the over-inflated sense of self-importance to consider telling other people that they are wrong because they have done things differently.

Yes, breast milk is superior nutritionally to formula, however it's not akin to giving your baby a bottle filled with Mountain Dew, which is how some of these crazed momzillas react to the notion of even supplementing one feeding a day with formula.


In the beginning.....

There was a girl. She had hopes. She had dreams. She had a bottle of Cisco in the alley behind an all-ages club......

20 Years Later

There was a woman. She had a master's degree. She had a job. She had a husband, two cats and a Greyhound. She had an oversized mortgage on an undersized home in East Portland and a fiesty 3 year old daughter and a colicky infant son.....

Things do not always turn out the way we expect them to and, often, we end up okay in spite of making less-than perfect choices. My intention in creating this blog is to offer my thoughts on whatever happens to be rambling around inside my head on a given day. You will not read posts that reflect a common fact, you may just find my schizo lack of theoretical cohesiveness to be annoying. So be it.