Monday, March 03, 2008

Perfect Post For February: Call Me Frances

Just after the birth of a baby, there's that moment in the hospital where the pen hovers over the birth certificate form and you want to be sure, really sure that the name you've chosen is the "right" one before setting it down in ink for the government wonks and all the world to see. In the case of Hubby and I, as I'm sure in the case of most parents, the names set down on those official pieces of paper were the result of endless hours of debate and not a little bickering--debate and bickering that often begin well before the birth and sometimes even before the pregnancy. Daughter-Only's name, for example, evolved throughout my earlier pregnancies--when we chose a girl's name only to have a boy and another boy and another boy. The name evolved slightly each time until we arrived at the name we gave Daughter-Only.

Years of work for a name that she had rejected twice by her eighth birthday. For a while, around the time she was four, she insisted upon being called Lisa. A perfectly nice name but not the name we had given her after literally years of effort. And we had no idea (nor do we still) where she came up with the name Lisa (the only possible connection I've been able to think of was The Simpsons, but we weren't fans at that point and I'm not at all sure how she could have heard it). All we do know is that for several weeks, she literally wouldn't answer to anything else.

The second name change made even less sense. One morning when she was six or seven, as she was gathering her backpack for school, she said, "I'm Dr. Ashklomash Coco Peppermint." That one lasted only a couple of days--probably because only she could pronounce it...

During both episodes, I couldn't help remembering when I was in fourth grade and decided my name should be "Frances." I didn't go so far as to insist on my family refering to me solely as Frances, but I did orchestrate a playground game in which we pretended to be from the planet Frantasty and everyone had to be named something that started with "Fran." We were a planet full of Franks and Francines and Franceses. I did it and have no logical explanation why my nine-year-old self wanted to be called what I considered an old lady's name even then. All I can say is that's the same year I went through a persistent, annoying and entirely gross phase of chewing on the ends of my hair.

In any case, Nita, over at Advanced Maternal Age is having name issues with Rio at the moment--issues that any parent (or anyone who wanted to be called "Frances" for no known reason) can probably identify with. She generously shares them in her post "My Name Is..." and in a second post "My Gears Are Grinding." So for a giggle and a trip down memory lane, here's my button:

The Original Perfect Post Awards 02.08

And, Nita, it's all yours!

Browse other winners at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville.


  1. Settle down, Frances.

    (dude above is unavailable for comment)

  2. w00t! I loves my Nita posts!

  3. *gasps*

    i totally didn't know about this til right now. will you please e me and tell me how to put the button on so i can spread your love?!

    that sounds dirty. sorry.

    mac aka mater's mom. the truck. i've been demoted from sally...

  4. Nita--I e-mailed it. I don't know if I've got the right address so let me know if you don't get it.

    Kenna--I know--isn't she a riot?

    Justin--Oh! I LOVED that movie. Sad story? I actually own it--on video and DVD.