It’s a girl!!!!!
Her name is (or will be, when she comes out to say hi) Susannah Medb.
For the record: Medb is the traditional Irish spelling of the name commonly rendered in English as “Maeve.” Get that? Medb came first. It is an old spelling, not a trendy new one. (And if you don’t like it, just remember that my side of the family is technically Welsh, so I could have gone with a Welsh name instead if I REALLY wanted something hard to say/pronounce. Don’t test me.) And the original Medb was a queen in ancient Ireland – she was a total badass who took no lip from anyone, not even her husband. (She also had some minor impulse-control issues, resulting in – well – the Ulster Cycle, but really, you can’t achieve true greatness without a couple endearing quirks, right?)
And I’ve always loved the name Susannah – I love the look of it and the three syllables, I love the way it rolls off the tongue. I love how it manages to avoid most of the major naming pitfalls – it’s not so weird or so common that the kid will hate it (true story – my other mother grew up hating her name because it was so unusual, so of course she gave her daughter a really common name – which she then hated, because every girl in her class had the same name!), and it’s charmingly old-fashioned (I’m starting to hate trendy names.) I love the James Taylor cover of Oh Susannah. I love that it’s the same name as the woman who wrote “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.” I just love the name. (Also, a friend of mine just named his son Roland, so if a couple more parents jump on the bandwagon we could get the cast of the Dark Tower series together.)
Unrelated to names, I’m coming to realize that one of the things I have to brace myself for is the excision of my give-a-damn.
Because, contrary to the popular stance, I DO in fact give a damn what other people think. Most people, if they’re being honest with themselves, do. (And thank goodness for it. Since it’s basically what civilized society is based upon.) But it’s quickly becoming apparent to me that when I become a mom, the instinct to give a damn what other people think of me is one that is REALLY going to have to be mitigated.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. While waiting for my sonogram, Spouse-Man and I watched a little bit of waiting-room television, which was all about parenting tips. There was a short section on handling toddler tantrums, and while they gave some really good advice (much of it was just common sense, but we took notes on some parts), they concluded by reassuring the viewers that sometimes, toddlers are just going to pitch fits, for no discernible reasons, and even the best techniques won’t calm them – it’s not a reflection on you or your child, it’s just a thing that happens.
So then I go into work later in the day, and open the paper to find someone in the Ticked Off column ranting about screaming children in the supermarket, and how if you can’t “control your child” you should just leave them home.
Now… I like to kid myself that my daughter will be a perfect angel who will come out of the womb smiling and gracious and ready to charm the entire world. And of course I will suddenly develop perfect time management skills, and so we’ll never be at a loss for what to do when responsibilities and baby care conflict.
But let’s be realistic.
No matter how perfect we both try to be, the day will come when I have to go grocery shopping, because if I don’t, there will be nothing to eat for dinner. And Spouse-Man will be at work, and my roommate will be asleep, and my folks will be in Daytona doing something political, and besides it’s just down the street to the Publix, so I will pack my little girl-child into the car and go merrily off to the store. And as soon as I take two steps inside, she will pitch a shrieking fit.
So… what do you do? Take your child home and resign yourself to eating ramen for dinner? Or suck it up, decide that the rest of the store can bloody well hate you if they want to, but you need to buy groceries and you need to do it now, so oh well?
Me, I’ll probably choose the latter. And I’ll probably receive my fair share of glares and nastiness, and that’ll hurt, because I really hate the idea of anyone, even total strangers, disliking me… but I have a feeling I’m just gonna have to get used to the idea.
…And of course it’ll be good practice for later, because, as I’m also learning, every decision a parent makes is going to be hated by somebody. No joke – no matter what you do, someone’s going to say you’re wrong and it makes you a bad parent. (And if parenting blogs are to be believed, people have no qualms telling you so to your face.) So I might as well just deal with the concept of people judging me, because I have a feeling it’s only gonna increase as the kid gets older.
Still kind of an uncomfortable idea, though.