Sunday, April 06, 2008

Existing and Future Children

A month or two ago I started telling John just how much I was enjoying Becca these days. How easy she had become. How compliant and sweet and eager to please. Her personality was just blossoming and she was acting so mature and I could take a long shower in peace while she entertained herself. I realized one day that we could now stay home all day if needed, without one or both of us having a complete meltdown. I've been planning a blog post in my head about all the cute and hilarious things she was doing. She could play by herself. Timeouts were hardly needed and when they were, they actually worked. She was doing and saying the cutest things. "I can totally handle this parenting thing," I thought. "Having another kid won't be as bad as I thought. I can do this."

I jinxed her. I know I did. A parent should never express how great their kids are acting. Never. It is the Cardinal Rule of Parenting. Because this week she has been like a rabid tasmanian devil. She has just been doing exactly the opposite of whatever I say with a gleam in her eye and a smile on her face. She thinks timeout is a joke. She is dunking her toys in the toilet, opening cabinets and yanking out drawers until they are practically broken, throwing things, hitting people (like her MOTHER and her friends), yelling. Oh, the yelling. Not napping. Just doing every possible bad thing she can even think of. I am not sure what the hell happened, but could someone please turn back the clock to last week?

I would blame it on the whole potty training thing, but it started before that. So, it isn't that. Although, I probably picked the worst time to try the whole potty training thing--during a time when she is acting like a tiny, angry teenager. Allowing tiny, angry teenagers to run around your house naked is really just an invitation for disaster. I keep expecting to find cigarette butts, an empty bottle of Jack Daniels and a receipt from a tattoo parlor any second.

Today I almost started crying before noon because I just couldn't control her. I turned into that psycho mom on the playground/airplane/grocery store who was grabbing their kid's arm and saying things in a not-very-nice voice to their kid, who was NOT LISTENING and shrieking and just doing the opposite of whatever I said. The tears almost broke through when I heard myself.

Despite my latest parenting hurdles, I did manage to get a few hours to myself this weekend while I had a babysitter. Of course, I chose to participate in some Retail Therapy. Behold the acquisitions:

WARNING: If you aren't a baby name FREAK like me, then do not continue on. You will fall over and die if you read the next 72 paragraphs on baby names. (John, this does not include you. You are not excused.)

So, The Baby Naming Wizard. This is by far the best baby naming book in the WORLD. And, I already have three or four others. I've known about the website for years, but Swistle introduced me to the book. I can't believe I never had this book before! It shows all the popularity rankings (I am strictly against using anything in the top 10 for girls, ideally it wouldn't even be in the top 20....for some reason with boy names I am not as strict about this.) It also has names grouped into categories such as Timeless, Biblical, Antique Charm, New Classics, etc. I like a bunch of them, but my number one choice would be the "Timeless" category. It says this about those names:

Timelessness is a rare quality in a name, sublter than "classic" or "standard."
Many timeless names are indeed popular classics, but have never cracked a
top-100 list. What they all share is a steadiness from decade to decade that
puts them out of the reach of passing trends.

YES! That is what I want. I want my children to have names that when you hear them in 20 years you don't know whether they are 80 years old or 8 years old. Names such as: Elizabeth, Rebecca (duh), Anna, Claire, Caroline, Rachel, Andrew, David, Benjamin, Henry, Alexander. I also love the entire girl list of Antique Charm names, such as Abigail, Chloe, Charlotte, Lily, Madeline. You know. Classic, traditional, gender-obvious, spelling-obvious names.

I run into the problem of trying to avoid trends because the current trend is more classic names. So, I have a fine line to walk in terms of popularity/classic names. I also run into the problem of my husband who doesn't seem to share my excellent, refined taste for some reason. I also have a problem with many of the boy name nicknames. I like many of the FULL names, but once they start getting shortened, I am not a fan anymore.

The book also suggests sibling names for existing childrens' names. For Rebecca, it suggests:

  • Christina--no
  • Rachel--love it, but it seems too "covered wagon" to have both Rachel and Rebecca. Doesn't it?
  • Veronica--no. NO NO NO.
  • Laura--okay
  • Andrea--okay
  • Daniel--okay. Not my fave. Also don't want the nickname Dan
  • Patrick--LOVE IT. One of my favorites, except I do NOT like the nickname Pat, so it is out because I really cannot handle that nickname.
  • Joel--not my style
  • Michael--okay
  • Stephen--meh

Unfortunately, none of the suggested names are quite right for me. The Rachel siblings are actually better (Sarah, Leah, Emily, Megan, Benjamin, Nicholas, Matthew, Adam. These are more my taste.)

Anyway, I'll have to keep working at it. At least after I recover from wrangling a 30-pound tasmanian devil into her bed where she can leap around to her heart's content, ripping things from the wall, taking all her clothes off and throwing everything but the mattress out of her crib. Then, I will read it. Well, first I guess I should clean up the kitchen. And all the toys in the family room. Then, maybe I'll read it. Except it is already 9 o'clock! How did that happen?


Tracy said...

If you are putting her to bed, you have at least made it through the day. Maybe her little brain is working hard on something, growing, teeth, brain development. A teacher once told me that when the brain is working hard on some other part, a different part digresses. Maybe that??? Hopefully! Could it be she is maybe taking out the loss of Canyon/playmate/roll on top of friend by acting out??

Katie said...

Yes! We survived the day! I should get a parenting award for that! :)

Anonymous said...

If you decide on the name or nickname, so it shall be. You don't need to worry about Daniel. Don't we all call the little charmer "Becca" rather than Becky or heaven forbid, Reba? And believe me, our little William is NOT Bill or Billy!!!

Love, Grammy Bonnie

MommyK said...

How old is she exactly? Because I hate to break it to you, but 3 is harder than 2. 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 was pure hell. Now that Johnny is gettingc loser to 4, he's been much easier to handle and enjoy.


Danger Will Robinson

You are probably having a boy!

Joel and Angela said...

Joel will be crushed to hear that he is not your style! But I am with you on classical names. I would share mine with you now, but I may end up changing my mind.
Ok, Not so stylish Joel is calling me to watch a movie!
PS oh...I love having a name that is far done on the top 100 list. I thought Luke was not used very often until we named him. Now I hear it all the time! Oh well.
PS and kid's go through these phases all the time. just give it a couple of weeks and she will be her sweet normal self!

Jen said...

So have you written in to Swistle's baby name site yet? I love that blog - so fun. And it has gotten me more interested in names (or maybe it's just making me admit I have always loved the topic).

Tracy has some good points: Canyon and teething, specifically. Or maybe it's just those damn terrible twos. Kate's doing similar things.

I have also heard that 3 is the new 2. I am not looking forward to this prospect.

Andrea & Ben said...

I NEED that book. Ben doesn't quite get the importance of the name choice and has pretty much written me off to the funny farm. I have become OBSESSED lately. I don't want a legacy name (family name) and I don't want anything in the top 100, I am screwed. What am I to do - check out the site you mentioned and get that book!!!

And Andrea is a great sibling name for Becca :0) Though Ben would be pleased with Benjamin too for a boy. Either one is acceptable.

Natalie said...

I hate name choosing. Olivia is in the top ten right now, believe (or top 3). I wated to change it at the last minute and Matt wouldn't let me. I spent a lot of time choosing Lila Kate (though, I'm still concerned about choice of spelling - maybe Lilah would have been better). We will never have a boy. But, if some miracle happened and we did, we would fight to the death picking out a name. Matt hates his name (Matthew) and is very particular about boy names. If it can't be shortened to one manly sounding syllable, it won't work for him. I like names like Colden and Patrick (Matt's middle name). He likes Bob. AHHHH.

I too agree with Tracy. Could be it. But, finally, someone who shares what she's going through in detail! Olivia was the most perfect baby. I mean, perfect. I couldn't believe it. Matt was deployed and I had a kid who loved to sleep and hardly every cried. Then, around 15-months, a different side of her started to come out. Let's just say that I don't think I should have to baby proof the house further b/c of my 3yr old and not my 17-month old! Clothes get taken out of drawers to be put on dolls, toilet paper gets used one whole roll at a time when wiping, while I pick up one room, she's trashing the next (with Lila's help). She doesn't like to get dressed and when I make her, she throws a tantrum if she can't pick her own clothes. I'm sorry, but she cannot wear a dress, pants, sneakers and two different socks to the grocery store. Portuguese kids dress like it's Easter every day. Like I need to declare that I'm a frumpy American more than I already do! Lately, she's taken to baby talk. She also tried to claw a 12-month-olds eyes out the other day. This morning, she greeted Lila with a slap across the stomach. I'm going to hire a sitter to come once a week for 4-6 hours. I can't take it anymore! I need a break despite my husband thinking that my job must be easy b/c the house is never quite cleaned, laundry is never quite done and my blog is always current.

Wish I had advice for you, but, it hasn't gotten any better on my end. The upside is that your kids will be nearly three years apart. Mine are less than two years apart. Everyone says it's bad in the early years and gets better quickly after that. We'll see. Baby #3 gets pushed back further and further with each tantrum.

sgtsharp said...

when naming your kid(s) you have to make sure the intials dont spell a word like PMS my boss named her boy with those intials. Sarah's name came to me while I watching MST3K at 2am on the back of an envelope.Its also Justine's Gramma 1st names.And, Ben,s name came from Grampa Art & the 1st Sharp to come to America.
If you get Becca potty trained now, once the baby gets here she'll mostly go back to diapers for a while. But this they'll out grow too.

Swistle said...

*huge happy sigh* MMMMMMmmmmm, baby names! I find the sibling names hit and miss in that book, too. One of my kid's names, the sibling names includes his brother's name, which was WEIRD and awesome. The other sibling names for that one, 80% of them were names we'd considered. My daughter's name, though, the sibling names are NUTS---NOTHING LIKE what I would EVER CHOOSE.

I disagree with MommyK---or at least, I disagree that it's ALWAYS that way, since I've definitely heard people say 3 is worse than 2. With my kids, though, 3 is way way better. From age 1 until age 2.5, I'm about ready to put them out at the curb, and then from 2.5 on it's a little better every day. I consider age 3 the "breathe a sigh of relief" age. But it must vary from kid to kid.

The Quinn Report said...

I'll have to look into the name book. I wonder if they have anything weird enough in there for my liking!

Susan said...

Veronica. HAHAHAHA. If you have a boy and name him Henry he and I will both probably never forgive you.

Angie said...

While I was pregnant, I alternated between the thoughts of "why would we want to have another baby when Ashlyn is so fun right now. We'll mess all that up!" and "How can I have another child when I can barely stand the one I have?" So, yeah, I wasn't real sure about this second baby thing. Ashlyn still alternates between a sweet, adorable child and one who pushes every one of my buttons.

I wish that I'd known about that book while we were choosing. I bought a generic 20,000 names book, which is just ridiculous. Basically it was full of far too many names that NOONE should give their children.

I also don't mind my son's name being very popular, but would have minded it more for my daughter's. Of course, Ashlyn wasn't my first pick, I too wanted something more classic. I'm not sure why I agreed to it so quickly. Possibly because, at the time, I was POSITIVE we were having a boy.

I'm so good at predicting, obviously, but I think that you are having another girl.

I've had people tell me different things about which age is the toughest. I think so much depends on the kid.

Tootsie, Cookie, Captain Insano, Chainsaw and Baby Octopus said...

Great post.

Ahhhh...whatever happened to the days when you could just chain your kids to the radiator?

Did I tell you what we're naming baby octopus? I THINK I told you, but maybe not. It's in your list of traditional names. Will emai you.

joanna said...

If Rachel is a good sibling name for Rebecca, then surely it follows that sibling names for Rachel are good sibling names for Rebecca. I used to play 'The Alphabet Game' - going A to Z trying to think of names I liked. I say 'I' because Oliver rarely wanted to play with me. And after all the hard work deciding on a perfect name both girls have said "I wish my name was _____" anyway.

I think every age has its own new challenges and that always makes me think 'what happened?' - it's a tough balance of how to make Mommy happy because I love her and how to show how independent I just realized I am and it just goes on and on I think.

Anonymous said...

Well, my name is Sarah, and my daughters' names are Anna, Rachel, and Leah. I have a sister named Rebecca.

Out of those names, I think only Leah wasn't on your list. Too funny!

bevo said...

I like Abigail, too. Becca and Abby sound good together and Abby also goes well with your last name. Rachel goes well with Becca, too. Fun! How about John for a boy's name?

Lost in Space said...

Will for a boy;

Robin for a girl!

Susan said...

i like robin, too!