Coming Clean

Why do questions from strangers about your pregnancy follow the exact same pattern 85% of the time?

The Holy Trilogy of Pregnancy-Related Questions:

1) When are you due?
2) Is it a boy or a girl?
3) Have you picked a name?

These questions are usually followed with a couple of random tidbits about their own pregnancies with a possible hand movement towards the belly- of which I DENY with a quick fake sneeze. Hands off the belly, people.

Obviously, I have no issue with telling people the due date or gender, but the name game makes me a tad uncomfortable.

Here’s the deal. We have the name picked out and we absolutely love it, but are keeping it a secret. Why, you ask? Well, it’s like our own little special unveiling when the whoorlito is born. However, this approach REALLY confuses some people… especially the people I barely know. Isn’t it always the quasi-strangers or pseudo-acquaintances that pull this type of shit? I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “You KNOW the name, but you’re not TELLING anyone?” And they say these words with such utter confusion in their eyes. Um yes, that would be the situation jacko.

Based on those uncomfortable situations, I have chosen to completely lie regarding the name game. Because lying makes life easier, yes? Whoorlito, don’t say I never taught you anything. Everytime someone asks me if we have a name yet, I shrug my shoulders and tell them “Noooo, my husband and I can’t seem to agree on anything”. Yes, that’s right- I’ve been lying to you and you and you. And everytime, you lay off with the questions. Works like a charm.

Until this past month. The lying isn’t working anymore. Is a higher power trying to teach me an important lying lesson? Maybe because I’m in the home stretch, but strangers keep pressing and pressing, “Well do you have any options?”, “And what would those be?”, “What about family names?”, “You know, (insert name) is such a beautiful name. Don’t you think?”

OH SWEET JEBUS, leave me be! I’m not telling you anything! SHIT. Do you see the pain I’m causing myself with this lying? Long, drawn-out, “problem-solving” conversations to help me name my child who really already has a name, but I’m too much of a wimp to say “Yes, we have a name and we are keeping it a secret”.

Hi, I’m Whoorl, the people-pleaser. Nice to meet you.

So now, I guess I’ll have to tell the truth to keep from lengthy and pointless conversations about what to name my child.

I’m skeered.

  1. jonniker

    June 28, 2006 at 9:38 am

    I’m with you on this one. And frankly, it’s not just that it should be a surprise, but it is *necessary* for your sanity. Because – and I find this unbelievable – so many people feel like they can tell you what they think of the name when you tell them.

    “Oh, James? That’s a shame. I knew a James in elementary school and I hated him. Bad name.”

    “BillyBob? As in, Thornton? Are you SURE?”

    “Marco? Ewwww. That’s awful. They’ll call him Marco Polo! Don’t do that!”

    (The last one actually happened to my sister somewhere in the range of 100 times each day, and we both barely resisted strangling the offenders with our bare hands. His name is Marco, and it’s perfect, and they can all suck it)

    I mean, these people actually think that you’ll listen to them – a near stranger – on what to name YOUR BABY. Shocking. People are shocking.

    Whatever you name him, that is what he’ll be, and it will be wonderful. Names are magical like that, thank God.

  2. christina

    June 28, 2006 at 10:43 am

    Ha! I lied too–except I had fun! I made up names. Horrible awful names like Archibald Icabad, or Humpfry Zeeds and it was hysterical to see people’s responses! Try it.SOO FUN.

  3. Natalie

    June 28, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Hmm, I don’t see why that’s such a weird thing for you and hubby to do…I was going to say exactly what Wendy said. You’ve given up enough info, can’t there be one surprise?!

    And strangers touching the belly…Whyyyy people? They wouldn’t go touching your stomach if you weren’t pregnant, so why is it ok to touch your stomach AND your unborn child?…come on people.

  4. Annika

    June 28, 2006 at 11:07 am

    People seemed pretty accepting when we told them we were waiting to pick a name till we’d met the baby (which happened to be true). I think it helped that we didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, of course, but there’s no reason that line couldn’t work for anyone.

  5. nabbalicious

    June 28, 2006 at 11:50 am

    I’m learning so much from you. If I’m ever knocked up, I’m going to make up hideous names, and I’m going to tell everyone something different.

    “Did you hear Nabbalicious is naming her kid after her dog?”

    “Really? She told me she was naming him Reginald.”

    Oh, I can’t wait to fuck with people!

  6. maseume

    June 28, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    just follow in our shoulda-coulda-woulda first ladies footsteps (Ms. Heinz-Kerry, that is) and next time someone asks a question you don’t want to answer tell ’em to ‘shove it’. Works like a charm.

  7. Susie

    June 28, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    I think it’s so weird the way strangers think it’s okay to touch a preggo’s belly. I mean, just think about it: the belly is a pretty intimate part of the body to touch — could you imagine touching someone’s belly who ISN’T pregnant? When I was pregnant and a stranger touched my belly, I was always tempted to reach over and gently caress hers. I was never brave enough to do it, but it was tempting…

    As for the name thing, I actually think it’s a good idea not to tell, even if you’ve made a decision. People always feel more inclined to tell you what they think of a name before the child is born (“Really? Aren’t you scared they’ll call him [awful nickname]?”); once the child is already here, all anyone can say is “Oh, how adorable!”

  8. lini

    June 28, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    Precious is his name as far as I’m concerned.

  9. Leah

    June 28, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    I think you’re incredibly wise. It seems like whenever parents share names before the baby’s actually born, people tend to be really vocal about their opinions–especially negative ones. Frankly, who the hell cares if you don’t like the name because you knew a boy with that name in elementary school and he never wiped his nose?! It seems like with babies everyone thinks she’s an expert.

    That said, I’m looking forward to the unveiling of Whoorlito–the baby and his name.

  10. gorillabuns

    June 28, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    i’m all for not telling anyone your name. if you have friends like i do, i “share” and then they steal it like the poor unimaginative fools they are!

    i learned my lesson after the first kiddo.

  11. Serenity Now

    June 28, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    Reluctant Housewife – I seriously TAUGHT a kid last year with the name Shamacaus. No joke – I had a Shamacaus, Shanequea and Shaneta. It was hell.

  12. reluctant housewife

    June 28, 2006 at 10:57 am

    We didn’t reveal the name to anybody – not even our parents – until the birth. I think it made it even more special. And yes, people totally tried to get us to spill the beans. We just said what Wendy said. Over and over and over again.

    Stick to your guns. Whoorlito will be here before you know it.

  13. whoorl

    June 28, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    After reading all of these fabulous comments, we’ve decided to toss our name idea and go with Reginald Shamacaus Archibald. As Serenity Now pointed out, it’s important to keep it real, yo.

  14. reluctant housewife

    June 28, 2006 at 10:59 am

    Oh my God, “Serenity Now” you’re killing me with the Shamacus. I’m stealing it for the next one.

  15. Kate

    June 28, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    wow. i can’t imagine trying to touch someone’s pregnant belly, even if i did know them. there are just some spaces you don’t invade. and i’m not sure what the big deal is with someone’s being angry at someone not sharing the baby’s name. i don’t know why it’s not enough to say, “we’re not telling anyone.” if you’re not telling the grandparents then you’re sure as hell not going to tell a stranger.