Where has my baby gone?
It seems as if Ittybit has grown up overnight. The three days I was away in the hospital, lounging around in the oh-so-flattering hospital blues watching cable and waiting for the nursery personnel to come and borrow the boy for his periodic weights and measures checks, she grew up.
Although I wasn't allowed -- or even able -- to pick her up, I could tell in just the 72 hours I'd been away, she'd changed ... gotten heavier, more substantial, more mature. I couldn't have been more surprised than if she'd traded in her Dr. Seuss books for Dr. Zhivago.
She is, after all, a big sister now. Big sisters have big responsibilities. Not only are they in charge of keeping their parents apprised of everything a newborn is doing. ... "Mom! He's waking up!" "Mom! I think he's hungry!" "Mom! He wants you to pick him up!" "Mom! He wants you to put him down!" "Mom! I think he needs a diaper change!" "Mom! I think he wants me to have that last piece of watermelon!" ... but they are also responsible for making sure the back of their heads are covered in kisses during each commercial break.
So as I agonized over choosing a pet name from the many wonderful reader suggestions, it occurred to me that letting Ittybit pick the winner would be most fitting and definitely well deserved.
In the weeks prior to his birth, you see, she had second thoughts about the name her father and I had chosen for his birth certificate. I was quite a dilemma for a while as she howled in disgust anytime it was mentioned. "Mommy, I want to call my baby Charlie. I don't want to call him that other name," a name, I might add, she once sang in the sweetest dulcet tone but now would no longer say aloud.
"Honey. We're not naming him Charlie. Sorry."
My answer does not compute.
"BUT I WANT TO CALL HIM CHARLIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE."
Her sweet song has turned shrill.
"BUT I WANNA!"
"WELL, IT'S NOT YOU'RE DECISION TO MAKE!"
"WELL, I'M CALLING HIM CHARLIE."
I think through all available responses, and come up with an equation that just doesn't make any sense: Three-year-old plus tantrum minus tolerance and earplugs times the desire to drink copious amounts beer and bang own head against wall equals an uncontrollable urge to rename HER something juvenile and inappropriate. Something like ... "Poopyhead."
All I'm left with is ... "FINE. GO AHEAD. YOU DO THAT!" (Soooooo mature of me don't you think?)
And so I decided to recite each name submitted to the contest and see which one struck a chord with the big sis.
There were some that leapt out at me right away for their humor and inventiveness.
Ann, a reader from Melbourne, Australia, suggested Nigel. “Nigel is good since no one in their right mind would actually NAME a kid that!"
"Ladeedah," another reader from the Internet, offered the following inspiration for calling the kid Spider:
“I totally think you should go with Spider ... Ittybit and Spiderclimbed up mommy's nerve. Down came the tears and chased ittybit and spider away, out came a breath of relifen and ittybit and spider climbed up mommy's nerve ... Not that your new impending Thing 2 will EVER do that. Newborns are precious and wonderful things that we love so much and never ever make us wish we were in Tahiti with copious amounts of Corona, no, that'swhat three-year-olds are for ..."
But for Ittybit, the decision making was a relatively quick process -- I recited the names and she made her most thoughtful and considered decision.
Trim? No. Bittybits? No. Ittyman? No. Ittybro? No. Babybro? No. Spider? No. Lil Bubba? No. WeeOne? No. Conway Sil? No. Chief? Peanut? Nigel? No. No. No. Buddyboy? Nope. Grit? No. Patch? Munchkin? Tater Tot? No. No. No. Rocky, Skipper, Rip, Squeeky. Sonny, Tripper, Manny, Moe or Pip? Nope. Nada.
Well how about Champ?
"Champ? Champ. I like Champ. But can I still call him Charlie?"
So while we may slip up and call him Charlie from time to time, officially "Champ" -- courtesy of Jayne Winner of Cohoes -- he will be.
Congratulations, Jayne. You truly are a winner.