Baby naming journey leaves mum one-way trip to Denialand
OUR SAY: Some women have their weddings, baby names and the like planned out well before they even find Mr Right, but I'm afraid I'm just not one of those people.
I met my husband-to-be in high school and married almost 14 years ago at the tender age of 21, but it was more of a practical discussion on the steps of our university share-house that led to the nuptials than some starry-eyed vision of foamy white dresses and stunningly choreographed wedding dances.
I wasn't interested in children in the slightest for the ensuing nine or 10 years and after yet another practical discussion about whether we should give the production of progeny a crack, we began trying for a child.
The stacks of pregnancy test boxes that accumulated over the next three or four years in the bathroom cupboard played testament to our apparent inability to produce an heir, and while each one came with a stab of disappointment, I was pretty circumspect about it due to being, it seemed, completely devoid of maternal instinct and also somewhat attached to my free-wheeling lifestyle.
So when I was surprised to find myself pregnant with a USA road trip souvenir I'm not likely to forget, I pretty much went for a subsequent trip to Denialand.
I spent the first month or so feeling certain it could never work out, but as the weeks wore on and the completely bonkers full-body takeover by a tiny parasite became more readily apparent, it was time to start hesitantly looking at what shape the future might hold.
I've now hurtled past the four month mark and it seems more or less everyone in my life has a better grip on the situation than I do.
"Have you bought everything you need yet?" (Are you kidding? Shopping brings me out in a rash.)
"How much maternity leave are you taking?" (Well a year sounds good, but what if I suffer from cabin fever after a month locked in a home with a squalling wee she-demon that poops her pants five times a day?)
"Have you started on the nursery yet?" (Once again, are you kidding? This involves shopping, motivation, an interest in interior design and quite a number of other skills I lack.)
"Do you know how you want the birth to go?" (Nope nope nope nope nope nope. Let's not go there until we have to.)
They're all perfectly valid questions, but unfortunately the answers aren't as simple for someone in complete denial as you might think.
But when it comes down to it, I'll take the litany of questions a thousand times over if it means I don't have to answer this one:
"Have you thought of any names yet?"
In my line of work as a journalist, I'm regularly exposed to stories making fun of people's naming choices and I can't say I'm not guilty of the odd newsroom snicker about the latest baffling example of a moniker I might stumble across in utter disbelief.
Let's face it, in this day and age it's pretty much a sport.
Add to that my deeply held conviction that I'm just not mature enough to name a real, live human and that trip to Denialand is looking more like a permanent re-location.
And if you think it's hard to name a kid when you're a journalist, imagine what it might be like for a teacher.
Yep, the other half is one of those poor, long-suffering educators who has been exposed to more than a decade of hyperactive, noisy demons with perfectly acceptable names nobody would think to make fun of.
He's also bored to death of Jacks, Maddys, Toms and Isabellas (no offence to owners of these names, but they did get awfully popular for a while there).
I have a personal aversion to crazy spellings thanks to my line of work, so there's another slew of names that would never make the cut.
It's starting to look like the list of names we can't use is getting a lot longer than the list of actual possibilities.
But as it happens, I'm now really starting to lean towards the option of a jaunty-looking floor chart so little no-name can puke her breakfast on the one she finds most appealing and we can go with that.