Saturday, January 30, 2010

An A-Z of Pregnancy Part III

Touching Belly Etiquette – Pregnant women are public property. No longer is there a bubble of personal space surrounding me with any touching done on the upper arm as per cultural conventions. Its all belly touching and rubbing like I'm a Buddha statue at a Lotto kiosk. So far I haven't had any strangers come up and just grope me, although they've told me their life stories (see J), but friends have told me horror stories of being at the local Woolies and being harassed by elderly ladies who just can't seem to control themselves around a swollen tum. I'm not too sure what I'd do in the situation, other than probably put my own hands protectively over my belly so that theirs couldn't fit on... or I could just snarl and bark at them – I'm sure they'd run away quick as a flash.
Umbilicus – Am I allowed to request an 'inny' or an 'outie' belly button for Tricky? Hubby has the best of both worlds with a 'flattie' due to being born with an umbilicus hernia that needed surgery. I have an inny at the moment – the deepest inny you have ever seen. In the past few weeks a laparoscopic surgery scar that was hidden far inside my belly button has become visible. When my belly button pops it is highly likely that someone could lose an eye. You've been warned.
Vitamins – Folate this, iron that. Women have done this for thousands of years and their babies have turned out fine – yet I have a shelf that closely resembles a pharmacy and rattle when I walk due to all the multivitamins and supplements that we all simply must take. A pre-natal for at least three months before falling pregnant or you're irresponsible; an ante-natal during pregnancy to make sure bub develops as healthily as possibly and hopefully makes up for all the champers you drunk before finding out; fish oil for brain development and also to keep those ugly (read completely natural) stretch marks at bay; and then an iron supplement because the baby is stealing all yours and leaving you tired.
Waddle – Life as a duck is approaching. My bump is getting bigger now and soon I will start to waddle when I walk. Its a strange hip swinging movement half due to the size and placement of the massive tum, and half because of the loosening of all the ligaments in your hips to accommodate the impending birth. This is another reason why I don't fall for the “pregnant women are the sexiest thing on earth” concept – “waddle over here, baby, yeah!”
Xrays – Do you remember the posters at the Xray places that have a cartoon of a baby in a uterus with the little speech bubble saying “Mum, don't forget to tell them I'm here”? Thats exactly how I imagine Tricky. All cute and completely human looking, swimming around in a giant circle with an umbilical cord for modesty. When he comes out and is all squished, covered in crap with a conehead, I might ask for a refund.
Yoga – I've been looking in to ante-natal yoga classes after hearing so many women sing their praises. And as long as I don't have to wear lycra, I think I'm going to join up. With the pictures of birth positions I've seen, a bit of limbering up should do me the world of good. Plus I'd totally win the next game of Twister.
Zzzzz – Everyone with kids keeps reminding me how much sleep I won't be getting pretty soon. I wish there was a way that I could build up a sleep 'account' now and just snooze all day adding to it, so that when Tricky arrives and wants to feed at 3.12am there is plenty of reserves to call on. I know it doesn't work that way, but its a nice thought. Or I could express and bottle feed so that Hubby gets up at night.. ooh I like the sound of that!

Friday, January 29, 2010

An A-Z of Pregnancy Part II

Kicks – Tricky is an active little bub, but I really have no idea if what I feel are kicks, punches, general position changes or what. So I prefer to think of him as playing skippy with the umbilical cord, doing a work out routine (possibly using my kidneys as free weights to shed that baby fat) or playing air guitar.

Linea Nigra – This is the name of the dark line that women can get during pregnancy, that runs from the belly button down to the pubic bone. Mine is starting to get darker now and looks like someone has taken a brown texta and drawn on me, perfectly cutting my abdomen in half. It serves no purpose other than a nice reminder that our bodies will never be the same again.

Mothers' Day – This year Mothers' Day falls on May 9th, a few weeks before I'm due. Do you think I'll get a present from Hubby? Hrmmm?

Nutrition – If I ate the amount of food recommended by the guides and nutritionists I'd be looking like Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Six serves of this, five servings of that every day. I've always had a healthy appetite but this is ridiculous! I don't know anyone who can ingest that much food without having to go to hospital for emergency stomach pumping. I might be eating for two but Tricky only weighs 500grams right now, its not like he's wanting a rump steak all to himself.

Obstetrician – My Obstetrician is a lovely old Chinese gentleman. And that is not a term I throw around willy nilly, he is truly a gentle soul. During visits while he is waiting for the ultrasound machine to come out of sleep mode, or for the blood pressure monitor to beep its result, he hums. Hubby has no idea what they are but thanks to twelve years of Catholic education I can recognise them as hymns. I'm not a religious person but knowing that he believes in a God as opposed to thinking that he is one, is reassuring.

Public Transport – I get to work via bus and train every morning and get a seat pretty much every time. Coming home is a different matter... only very occasionally will I get a seat after standing up all day at work. I lamented to a heavily pregnant friend that I couldn't wait to be a bit bigger so that people would actually see that I was preggers and offer me a seat, but she said that everyone just looks down and pretends they haven't seen you – and its TRUE! Passengers will pull their books up to their noses or get out their mobile phones and ignore not only me but the frail elderly woman who is eyeing me off, figuring out if she can get to the seat quicker than me or not, and if its safe to whack a pregnant woman in the shins with her cane. So far only one person has offered me their seat and she was on crutches! I couldn't take her seat off her though, but together we gave 'evil eyes' to the teenagers on the next bench.

Queasy – I still feel sick every now and again, mainly when I can smell food cooking. I've always had an “iron stomach” when it comes to seeing icky things but that seems to have gone along with my girlish figure. Walking from the train station the other day it was obvious someone had a rather big weekend by the trail of vomit they'd left behind – I had to hold my breath and run with my hand over my mouth to stop myself being sick!

Research – Like most first time mothers'-to-be I've been looking up websites, trawling the local library and getting my hands on every journal article I can find about pregnancy and birth. I'd say its because I'm trying to be a responsible parent and whilst that is partly true, its mainly because I know nothing and am freaking out a bit. There are so many options and even more opinions. I was reading one book about birthing the natural way and the author made so many valid points... until she wrote about how her moments old daughter remembered the umbilical cord being cut and how traumatic it was. My bullshit detector was making big woop woop woop noises at that one!

Stretch Marks – I have little white stretch marks already on my body from being a curvy gal, so I'm assuming that its like a stretch mark party and more are invited. But these suckers will be the big, fat, angry, red and purple ones. More stuff to look forward to... great. Can I buy shares in Bio Oil?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An A-Z of Pregnancy Part I

Ante-natal Classes – Hubby and I are signed up for ante-natal classes in March and I'm half dreading it. My only point of reference is the movies, so I expect to be taught how to breathe Lamaze style “hee heee hoooooooooo” and feel like a total idiot. Plus the inevitable birth videos which can also be called “horror porn”. So much to look forward to.

Breasts – I've always been rather generously endowed in the breast department, and since falling pregnant my cup definitely doth spilleth over, and I'm only just over half way – what will these suckers look like when I'm actually breastfeeding? Meanwhile Hubby is more than pleased with developments and I can't fit in to any of my button up shirts.

Cravings – Get pregnant and you'll crave icecream and pickles is what I was told. So far though I haven't really had what you could call cravings. There has been no insatiable urges that could only be quashed by sending Hubby on a midnight run. My tastes have definitely changed though, a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich really hits the spot, and where I previously didn't like McDonald's I could now eat a cheeseburger (or two, or three) a day!

Daddy – Hubby's role hasn't really changed yet, and according to the old saying “a women becomes a mother when she is pregnant, a man becomes a father when he holds his child” it won't for quite a while yet. But I do love it when he leans his ear to my round belly and listens to hear the movement, then talks to him... its normally something along the lines of “So hows things in amniotic world?” and its a rather one sided conversation.

Expanding – Is the medical world entirely sure that babies grow in bellys? Because my bum is getting enormous. Even when taking in to consideration the cheeseburgers it seems bigger than it should be. The average weight gain up to this point in a pregnancy is just over 6kg and I've so far put on 2kg... and its all in my bum.

Feet – Those suckers are getting harder and harder to reach as my increasing girth prevents me from bending down completely. I can still see them... for now.

Grandparents РTricky is the first grandchild on both sides for our families and the reaction to his impending arrival has been very different. Hubby's parents were first to know and were enthusiastic but trying not to get too thrilled as it was still early days. Nowadays Mother-In-Law is getting very excited and was the first to purchase anything for Tricky, a beautiful blanket, while Father-In-Law is understandably blas̩ about something he can't see yet. My parents found out when I was twelve weeks because they were away overseas. My dad was almost bouncing off the walls at the announcement and my mother looked horrified Рshe was to be a Grandmother! Thats for old people!

Hormones – There are a lot of these suckers surging through my body at the moment, and they all seem to have really interesting names; you've got your standard progesterone and oestrogen but then there is Lutenising hormone, Oxytocin, beta Human Chorionic Gondatropin hormone. Some of these increase by up to 1000% while you're pregnant which makes for a great excuse for when ever you're in a bad mood/forget to do something/accidentally kill your husband!

Ignorant – I've never really been around infants before. I've held some of them, sure. But not for more than a few minutes after which I heaved a sigh of relief at being able to hand them back to their mum or dad. So I'm wondering if I'll be actually able to care for Tricky 24/7? I have no one to off load him to when I get tired/grumpy/bored. I'm not completely ignorant though, I'm pretty good with toddlers because I like playing and colouring in is one of my all time favourite past-times.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Everyone is entitled to my opinion

Today Hubby and I went on a car cruise to Yanchep as part of the car club he belongs to. No matter what the event, they put on a great social day and it's always pretty family oriented. Today was no different, with a picnic in the picturesque bushland setting. We avoided the kangaroo poo, settled down to eat our picnic with the approximately 50 other people under the shade of the massive trees, enjoying the cool breeze. Sounds good right? Well it was... except for the woman who made me feel like I would be an incompetent mother after 'knowing' me for three seconds.
I don't know this woman's name, she never introduced herself to me, but I know she was eight weeks away from giving birth to her second child and therefore knew everything there was to know about raising children. For ease of reading I'll call her Jane. I know she was only trying to be nice and give advice, but she made me feel like an idiot.
Jane started talking about the costs of a new bub and asked if we had all the bits and pieces ready for the baby's room, so I started telling her about the $1000 challenge and how we've done incredibly well so far (we've scored a cot, bassinette, pram and change table for a grand total of $530). Immediately she chastised me for not looking after Tricky's safety by buying second hand gear, like I'd just gone to the tip and picked up any old rotting and splintered piece of wood and gone “This'll make a great cot!”. She continued earnestly saying she had thought more about the safety of her children and the longevity of the product than money... and spent $800 on a cot. My heart lurched and I started doubting myself – had I done the right thing? What if the cot/pram/basinette falls apart one day when Tricky is in it? World's all time worst mother candidate, right here.
So mid barbecue lunch I'm sitting there, engulfed in my own thoughts and I came up with a conclusion; I'm not so cheap that I would put Tricky at risk to save a buck. The items we have bought so far have all looked pretty good (is there a baby furniture structural engineer I can consult on these things?) and the pram was only 6 months old when the woman I bought it from had to upgrade to a twin stroller because her toddler didn't want to walk if the baby wasn't walking. We have researched all the Australian standards and the new regulations that came in on the 1st of January to make sure we were buying products that would do their job. Plus just because something is brand new doesn't mean it is safe – one of the Maclaren series of prams was recalled recently because toddlers were getting their fingers amputated when they learnt how to fold the pram themselves. I haven't so much bought second hand, second rate furniture, I've purchased items that have already been “safety tested”. My doubts continued to ease when she revealed her sources on baby safety to be none other than that bastion of journalistic integrity, Today Tonight. If I'm going to take advice from someone it sure isn't going to be Monika “my hair, eyeshadow and lipstick are all the same colour” Kos.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Once you POP you can't STOP!

No I'm not talking about craving Pringles. After waiting for what seems like ages I can finally feel Tricky moving - and it feels like a popping sensation in my belly! It had been described to me in so many different ways, from feeling like someone blowing a raspberry to digestion squelches just further forward. So last week when I was feeling what I can only describe as popping, I wasn't sure what it was. But then it just wouldn't stop!

In all of my scans so far Tricky has been a very active baby, doing somersaults and kicks the whole time – which was bizarre as I couldn't feel a thing even though I could see it on the screen. But even now that I can feel it, it still seems so alien (funny that, since he looks very alien too) that a 'thing' could be moving inside my belly and it not be some strange tropical worm that would make it in to the medical journals. I wonder if its wrong that I'm still referring to myself as being in “The John Hurt Way”? Maybe something to bring up at his 21st.

I've been researching foetal movement (like any mum-to-be I'm subscribed to some pregnancy websites and have been pouring over them every week) to see what milestones Tricky should be reaching and I'm amazed at just how much my little tenant is already doing, like sucking his thumb - he's clearly very advanced. But I'm slightly freaked out that the feeling of first movement is called “Quickening” which is also the name of the terrible Highlander II movie. Although watching it while eating Pringles could be ok, it does have Sean Connery in it afterall.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ROCKabye Baby!

As far as I'm aware, there is no record of a parent being driven to homicide due to the constant tinny musical sounds emanating from their children's toys... removing batteries and saying that its broken is a different story all together. Parents (and their friends) have even been know to use a toy for their own amusement, like the Leapfrog Alphabet Caterpillar that stops you sounding out swear words with an interjected “That tickles!” - damn you programmers!

So to combat the future insanity I was almost certainly facing, a few good friends have come to the rescue. I've received a 'best of' CD from Rockabye Baby Music... and I'm already in love and half asleep thanks to the soothing tunes!

Rockabye Baby turns the music you love in to music that your baby will love – by recording instrumental versions using vibraphones, bells and glockenspiels! Oooh tinkly goodness! Some of my favourites so far are Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Good Riddance by Greenday and Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, but also covered are hits by Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, The Beatles, No Doubt... the list goes on! Little Tricky will be rockin' out by the time he's two.

Awesome covers need awesome cover art

Hubby and I are both musicians and finding out that these gems existed has gotten us so excited! Hubby froths at the mouth every time ACDC are mentioned and he is ecstatic about going to their March gig... But I have visions of going in to early labour on the night and him weighing up the decision and finally texting me from the venue to say “I promise I'll be there for the next kid. I just CAN'T miss this concert!”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Show a little bit Moore

I've always admired the shape of a pregnant belly. They're beautiful and quite literally bursting with life. Combine that with the supposed glow (which is still managing to elude me) and it makes for some very attractive women.

But now the shoe is on the other foot, or more appropriately the tum is on a different mum, and I'm not feeling particularly stunning... just plain old me. So when I was offered a free pregnancy photoshoot by a photographer friend, I was flattered but not thrilled with the idea. At this point I should mention that while some of the photos would be stock standard, others would be... *takes a deep breath*... NUDE!

I'll give you a minute while you get up off the floor... back on your chair now? Now where were we? Right, rudey nudey.

Plenty of women do nude maternity shoots. Demi Moore's photo on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine started it all off and the likes of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears followed, as did a lot of “normal” women. Whilst considering the idea I was haunted by visions of English comedian Johnny Vegas when he parodied the famous Moore shoot. Let me tell you, that image is now burned in to my retinas forever, so it's only fair for me to share the joy.

The infamous Demi Moore photo on the cover of Vanity Fair

Slightly less infamous photo of Johnny Vegas

So far I've kept this blog pretty anonymous, and I don't think there is any risk in being “found out” by revealing that I don't actually look like Moore, Aguilera or Spears. I'm sure you guessed that anyway. And the people who do know me can vouch for this (although you all don't have to rush to comment saying what a minger I am, thanks). But there is one little thing that is keeping the idea in my head... photoshop. With liquify and blur my thighs and breasts will suddenly become taught and perky plus my tiny little crows feet with vanish! I will have smooth, flawless skin and I might even be made to GLOW!

Yet the notion that a strategically placed hand or the way a shadow falls could be all that distances me from “preggo porn” looms at the forefront of my brain. To be nude or not to be nude, THAT is the question, thanks, Hamlet.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fight to the Death eBay Style

My sister P is a frugal queen and is always forthcoming with wise words of wisdom about saving money whilst not sacrificing quality or lifestyle, due to the fact she follows many a financial blog (yes, she's a bit of a geek, but that's why we love her). One of her frugal flashes was to set a goal for the amount of money spent on Tricky in the first year of his life. As soon as the budget of $1000 was mentioned I thought it was impossible... have you seen the prices of cots, change tables and car seats?? Even shopping at Baby on a Budget is expensive – I'm not sure who's budget they're catering for but it certainly isn't mine! So let's try the $1000 challenge!

I've always been a bit of an eBay junkie – I've bought lots of things ranging from makeup through to bathers and electronic toys. So why not use it for baby stuff? A lot of the items are big and pick up only, so while it cuts out over half the products for sale, it saves trying to figure out a courier cost from the eastern states.

There is a down side though. I'm pretty sure my blood pressure is sky rocketing at the end of each auction as I become the highest bidder for a few minutes until I'm knocked out of the race (probably by someone not participating in a budget challenge). I sit there with multiple windows open, a different high price in each, not trusting the automatic bidding system. Watching the countdown clock, calling out to Hubby “3 minutes, 26 seconds left!”, and if he answers back I don't actually listen – I can't listen – I'm way too busy being ruthless. This is the closest thing to armed combat I'll ever see. My weapons are strange prices, high speed broadband and the unpredictable craziness that comes with surging hormones – WATCH OUT!

Ok, so maybe not the healthiest option. A much more sedate version is Gumtree. List item, state the price you want, first person to make contact gets it. Easy. The only problem is people don't delete the ads after the item has sold, so you can be looking at an ad, only a few hours old, only to be told it sold immediately.

So far from Gumtree I've nabbed a Hug-A-Bub baby sling for $50 (RRP $120) and a cot for $150 (RRP ~$600). Plus with the cot the lady threw in a high-chair, a nappy holder and an older style swing bassinet, all in great condition. Because I'm fussy I'm going to sand back and paint the cot and bassinet, make them all pretty, ready for Tricky... who won't have a clue and really won't care that Mummy spent hours doing it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Phunk With My Heart

Wow the first 20 weeks have gone by so fast! We're half way already!

Anyone who has had a baby will know that between 18-20 weeks you have a 'foetal anatomy scan' which, as the name suggests, examines the baby's major structures to look for defects. They check out everything from the brain through to the arteries that supply the kidneys. They can also determine the sex at this scan... but that wasn't the thing occupying my mind.

I am the baby of the family and my sister Penny is the eldest... but for about 18 months in the early 1980's there was a middle child. Jo-Anne was our other sister and she was born with a hole in heart. I don't remember her, I was too little, but we have some lovely photos of the three of us to remind us she was with us for a short while. My family has a morbid sense of humour at the best of times, but when the topic turns to illness or death, it brings out the worst of the jokes, hence my mum always says that she had a rainbow family (way before Angelina Jolie made it cool) because Penny was normal, Jo-Anne was sick and I was jaundiced so she had a pink baby, a blue baby and a yellow baby!

So going for the scan this morning, the foremost thought in my head was concerning Tricky's heart, and if they would be able to detect any abnormalities. Knowing the family history, we were sent to a specialist antenatal sonographer and she spent about one third of the whole visit concentrating on the heart... and I'm happy to say it looks good! The technology today, a full 30 year's after Jo-Anne's birth, is so much more advanced that if Tricky does have a minor hole that was unable to be seen on the ultrasound (a very minor possibility), chances are good that it would be able to be fixed *Insert sigh of relief here*.

So with no phunking of the heart, there were other things that we wanted to know... like the sex of the baby! The sonographer asked us before she started if we wanted to know and we excitedly said that we did. She looked relieved and said “Phew, sometimes it's hard for me to hide the important parts” as if by some miracle Hubby and I could decipher the blobs on the screen. I can see head, legs, arms and a spine... that's about it. I'm still not convinced it's not an alien by the looks of it. So on goes the warmed up goo (ooh that's so much nicer than the stone cold stuff they sometimes use), the hand held part is placed on my tummy and within about three seconds... “It's a boy!”

The relief I felt is hard to describe. I wouldn't have minded either way, but I'd already started calling Tricky a 'he' and planning in my head for a boy. Even on my Christmas card from Hubby he wrote “from your (current) boys” because he was including our dog. What would I have done if it was a girl? The night before the thought of a baby girl had actually kept me awake for a while. I'm sure it would have only taken minutes to adjust... no, really I'm sure... well I guess I don't have to worry. Unless the sonographer got it wrong? Oh dear.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I was at a party once and getting up to get everyone drinks. I turned to a pregnant friend of a friend and asked “Can I get you a drink?” only to met with a rude glare and the response “I'm PREGNANT!”. I hadn't offered her a scotch on the rocks or a Bacardi Breezer, simply a drink, which as far as I am aware includes water, soft drinks and even, if you're lucky, fruit juice. That was my first impression of a pregnant woman and it turned me off the thought of having kids for a long time.

From mid December through to mid February I have at least one event on every weekend; engagement parties, hens nights, weddings, 21st birthday parties – you name it, I've got it pencilled in. And so far, luckily, there has been no double bookings! I have chosen to not drink any alcohol during this pregnancy, much to Hubby's delight as he now has a live-in designated driver.

So what happens when you're accustomed to being a (big) social drinker and now can't partake in your favourite unwooded chardonnay? And what do other people think about me drinking or not? There seems to be three distinct groups – those that leave it up to the individual and don't pass judgement, those who think a little bit won't hurt and those who are very anti-alcohol (the latter being the most obvious because they have to pick up their jaws' from the ground as you stumble past with a pint).

Its Your Choice

At work on Friday afternoon drinks I was offered wine by three different people, all who knew I was pregnant. I was quite surprised, especially when one of them, on seeing me pick up the cheese based dip, smacked my hand and said “YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT, YOU'RE PREGNANT!”. In the dip there was a chance that there could be listeria, but I'm pretty sure the wine was guaranteed to have alcohol in it – my co-workers wouldn't stand for non-alcoholic wine at Friday drinks!

Just a Little Bit

At New Years I drank only soft drink and water, and got approving nods and smiles from friends whilst Hubby got congratulated on finding the secret to being able to drink and get a free lift home. However when I was offered a rum ball and politely refused due to the rum part, I was met with a look that said “Surely its not enough to do any damage?”. I'm sure they are right and the amount of alcohol in them would have been almost negligible, but I just felt better in myself to say no.

Jaw Droppers

At lunch with a friend of mine, E., (a pharmacist who knows practically everything worth knowing) we got on to this subject. She is a teetotaller and was very happy with my decision to not drink plus she assured me the half glass of wine I'd had before I found out I was pregnant wouldn't have done any harm. So anyway, E confessed to being a inadvertent jaw dropper! She told of how she had seen a pregnant woman at dinner recently with a glass of wine and how her first reaction was to think how irresponsible the woman was being (whilst picking up her jaw from her plate of spinach cannelloni). This of course immediately made her feel guilty for judging her not knowing any of the circumstances. Maybe it was the one and only glass she'd had all pregnancy? Maybe it was just one or two that night for a special occasion? We shall never know. But there is possibly some comfort for drinking pregnant women that the Jaw Droppers' do feel guilty for falling in to that category.

Even as a big social drinker, known for frothing at the mouth at the mere mention of a Goundrey's, I've not actually had any trouble abstaining from drinking. It doesn't feel like a burden or something that needs constant vigilance. And I haven't felt left out socially either. I think it was all in my head that I'd be 'the only one not drinking'. So now a decision has to be made; when Tricky is born will I resume drinking? You Betcha!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Baby Naming 101

Without knowing the sex of the baby, Hubby and I are compiling a very long list of possible baby names that changes on an hourly basis. I have visions of our child's crib at the hospital reading “BABY GLOW-LESS” because we still haven't come to a decision.

My problem is I really like the names in the 'top twenty'. The top boys name, Jack, is a lovely name but doesn't really go with our surname so I'll use it as an example. The likelihood of there being at least two or three other Jack's in his school class is high, so he would always be referred to as Jack F or (lets be honest, we're talking about children who are especially skilled at being mean) Smelly Jack or Lanky Jack. Will I burden my child with a Smelly Jack moniker?

As I grew up I was the only one with my name (Glow-less being quite unique), so whilst I didn't have to share it with anyone and be defined by my surname or a trait, I did have trouble with always having to spell my name to people (hyphens make it difficult). It was so hard to get anything with my name on it; sticker books, those little number plates for your bike – I wanted them so much! To this day I still look through the racks of items to see if I'm there, and get a little thrill and the urge to buy it if I find it - the Holy Grail of a personalised pen or toothbrush.

I'm not sure if today's kids are going to find it hard to get their pen's and toothbrushes personalised or not. Maybe the industry will grow with the increasingly weirder names that are coming out? Maybe poor Jack won't get anything with his name on it because all the J's will be Jordan, Jayden, Jackson, Jakson and Jaxson?

It seems today if you're name isn't weird, then you're destined to be a normal, boring person. Parents are naming their children after the rich and famous with the hopes their spawn will follow in it's namesake's Chinese Theatre footprints. And lets not forget the celebrities' poor children, currently assaulted by the “come up with the weirdest sounding name possible that will haunt your child until it's old enough to get it legally changed” trend. Some of my favourite (that is, the worst) of just this past year include:


Sophocles Iraia - Jermaine Clement & Mirandda Manasiadis

Bronx Mowgli - Pete Wentz & Ashlee Simpson

Atlas - James Tupper & Anne Heche

Sparrow James - Joel Madden & Nicole Richie


Petal Blossom Rainbow - Jamie & Jools Oliver

Mars Merkaba - Jay Electronica & Erykah Badu

Seraphina Rose - Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner

Jagger Joseph Blue - Jason Goldberg & Soleil Moon Frye

Mind you, with some of those parents' names, I suppose naming your child something strange might be genetic.


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