DEAR EXILED IN TOYLAND READERS ... In case you weren't aware, Exiled in Toyland is a place where I've been personally archiving a column I write for a local newspaper, The Record. Up until recently it has been corporate policy to upload only a few items to our official web presence. Since that edict has changed, my columns will now be published every week here.
I hope you will come on over and visit at my "day job," where you can enter the "official" baby-naming contest and browse around.
Desperation can make you do strange things.
Like many women in my condition, I've been on the lookout for the perfect baby name.
Not the name that will go on the birth certificate, mind you. Miraculously the selection of the official designation has been relatively easy. It actually took up residence in my head the moment the ultrasound technician clued me in that Thing 2 was a boy.
No, I'm looking for something to use as a nom de plume here in these pages (and over at Ittybit's & Pieces).
You know, 'cause I have my priorities: A name is just a name but a nickname out in cyberspace lasts forever. So here I am obsessing over a name that fits well with "Ittybit" but doesn't make the kid seem as if he was an afterthought, affixed into the masthead with Scotch tape.
Ittybit and ...
I've got nothing.
Up until now I've stolen rather unabashedly from Theodor Geisel and his "Cat in the Hat" classic when referring to the kidlet swimming around in my gene pool. But when push comes to caesarian section sometime mid-June, I know a real fake name will have to be substituted.
But still, with the pressure on and the heat moving to the front burner, a suitable silly subtitle hasn't been forthcoming.
What's a mother to do?
Well, this mother consulted baby name books and Web sites, and watched movie credits roll past with more concentration than she spent on the movie’s plot. Unsuccessful, I waded through countless children's stories, looking for literary characters that would make snappy names. I started looking a products in stores, wondering if perhaps a name would jump out at me.
Hmmmmm. How about Ittybit and Tums? Nope. 'Not gonna do it.'
Then I took the passive approach. I waited for suggestions, hoping for intervention. When none showed up in my inbox, I wandered onto the Internet.
There I was, Googling for pet names when I stumbled across Pet Name Finder.
"This is promising," I thought as I typed my answers into the pop-up menus, pausing just before I clicked the send button. "Maybe an actual name for a pet will be the ticket."
To my surprise, though, the name that the computer came up with for my fictional fido was the EXACT one I'd had my heart set on for the child's given name.
So, OK, I have a name suitable for a child (or a pet), but I still don't have a pet name that rolls off the tongue and plays nicely with Ittbit. (Let’s face it, making sure the kidlets play nice is what it's all, right?)
With all my options running out, I'm doing what I should have done in the first place. Begging.
And that's where you come in, dear readers. I need your collective expertise, your naming acumen and most of all your At-least-I'm-sleeping-eight-hours-per-night minds.
I don't care how you do it. You can consult tea leaves or the stars or your loveable (but not so with-it) Aunt Marge, but send me your entries for Thing 2's nom de plume and a completely biased and arbitrary decision could make you a winner.
What you win will be determined, but I promise you won't be asked to change diapers.
To submit a entry: Write to me at The Record, 501 Broadway, Troy NY, 12108; email email@example.com or fax 518.270.1202. Include your name, address and phone number with your submission. The deadline for entries is June 15. A winner will be announced when Thing 2 arrives.