Sunday, January 3, 2010


Nearly two years ago when my cousin had a baby girl (her second child), my mother groaned and complained to me that she (my mom) did not like the baby's name. I remember thinking (and I even posted about it), who cares what the name is....she has a baby!

Well, that's how I felt. But now, you see, I do care. I care about my baby's name, and about other things. I look at it like this: I am getting ONE chance in this life to have a baby (I hope and God willing). I want his name to be something I like. I want him to wear baby clothes that I like. I want to pick the color of his room. You know?

Imagine you've just gotten engaged, and it's time to plan your wedding. You begin to think about all the fun things....trying on wedding gowns, picking the colors for your wedding, choosing the food for your reception, tasting cakes and picking the design, flavors and frosting for your cake, will you have a live band or DJ? Where will the wedding be? The reception? What sort of fun favors will you give your guests? Yeah, these things are costly...but they're fun. It's your one wedding, and even if you don't have a big budget, you can't wait to start the planning.

Now imagine your mother, ever-so-well-intentioned, says to you, "Don't bother trying on wedding gowns, because - HERE - I'm giving you this gown." And when you start dreaming of your colors, and you mention to her that you are thinking of "blue," she nearly bites her tongue off saying, "Blue?! What shade of blue?!" Because, you must realize, that your color choice will have to meet with her approval, and she is suddenly gripped with fear that you are thinking of some gaudy, too-bright, horrible shade of blue that she will be compelled to tell you makes your skin tone look like death. And when you tell her that you've chosen XYZ as the location for the reception, she can't seem to stop suggesting that you consider ABC, then DEF, or perhaps GHI.

Welcome to my life with my mom.

I told her I was going to look at paint colors for the baby's room. "Oh, what color are you thinking of?" she asked, ever-so-casually (but I knew what was coming).

"Blue" I said.

"Blue?!" (you'd have thought I'd said neon pink). "What shade of blue?!"

"Oh, something really horrible and dark and gruesome" I said flatly.

"I"m just asking" she replied, hurt.

Well, yeah, maybe she was just asking. And maybe (more likely) she wanted to be sure she approved and that I wasn't about to make an irreversible mistake in painting the baby's room Midnight Cobalt.


We've chosen a first name (to be revealed upon his birth). I mean, we've chosen. My DH and I refer to him by his first name now. My mom? She's still tossing names out there for us to consider.

"Did you know Joshua is one of the top ten names? I like Joshua. How about Jake? I always liked the name Jake. I also like Taylor. What about Andrew?"

I mean, she knows the name. Apparently she does not entirely approve of it.

Remember my analogy of the wedding gown given to the bride, with instructions not to bother trying on gowns? Yeah. My mom actually told me not to buy baby clothes. She told me to save our money to buy diapers and bottles. She sent me a 20 pound box full of newborn clothes. Do you have any idea how many outfits it takes to make 20 pounds?

This will be my one newborn baby. Might it occur to my mom that I - the baby's mother - might want to buy my baby a few outfits? That it's fun to shop for baby clothes in the way it is fun for a bride to go try on wedding gowns? Apparently not. Let me tell you, there are more baby clothes in the box my mom sent than could possibly fit in a closet and dresser combined. More than the baby could possibly wear before he outgrows them.

I cried when the box arrived. My DH, bless his heart, told me that we could store the box out in the garage and I can go buy whatever baby clothes I want. I haven't opened the box again since.

It's not that I'm ungrateful. And my DH pointed out that it's good that my mom wants to be involved (despite the fact that the baby is not the precious granddaughter she wanted). But he also told me not to let her hijack this experience from me. Hijack. That's just the word he used. I know she's trying to be helpful, but it was beginning to feel like I was being hijacked.

So today, I painted the baby's room. I wanted a soft, pale, blue/gray/violet color. Not yet dry, it looks a little too violet and not enough blue. And if I don't like it, my DH said "Paint's cheap" and I'll go buy another gallon that is more blue.

Although my quads are already aching, my back is sore and my hand is cramped from rolling/painting, I enjoyed every minute working on his room today. After all, this is my one chance.


Jupiter Family said...
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Mad Hatter said...

Don't you HATE it when you write a really heartfelt post and some idiot tries to promote themselves on your blog? Sheesh.

The colour you have chosen sounds lovely. And I am sure the name you have chosen is lovely. And I'm glad you are 'zipping up your parka' when it comes to your mom and her involvement in your baby experience because guess what? She already had the chance to be a Mommy and have a baby. A couple of times at least. NOW IT'S YOUR TURN.


Anonymous said...

You are so right - this is your chance to enjoy all the "new baby" stuff. People LOVE to buy baby clothes - we didn't buy ANY clothes for D until he was like, 4. But I'm not much of a shopper; if you want to pick your own clothes, you go for it. Maybe you could direct your mother to a registry? I don't know if that would work for you, but that way at least she'd be buying the things you chose! And if she didn't (cuz it just seems like she might be that stubborn) you're not out anything.

Sorry this is making a cramp in your perfect pregnancy, wishing you calm and joy in this new year to enjoy yourself!

cindyhoo2 said...

I think I can see the sweet attempts in your mother's efforts but she clearly does not know how to be the supportive grandmother. Her job is to ask kind questions, get excited about the answers, listen when you feel bad and ask if there is anything you need. Period. The giant box of clothes must have felt (to her) as though she was being super duper thoughtful. I like your DH's idea. Use anything you want and keep the unwanteds boxed in the garage. After all you guys have created tons of space now. :) And the blue color you want sounds lovely. As for baby names, no one ever gets as excited about a name as the parents. Don't let that bug you. About 6 months after the baby is born your mom will say something like, "I can't even imagine calling him anything other than Baby BWUB." Then you can grin your knowing motherly grin and offer up an understateding, "I think so too."

just me, dawn said...

I love love the description of the color, and I can not imagine dealing with your mom....especially about the name, you told her and she is still giving options? yuck. We are not telling until bebe girl's birthday so we get some suggestions, but not really too many. You have inspired me to write about my mom....but my selfish mom is different from your selfish mom (not better not worse just different)....sigh, I guess we are learning lessons for our future parenting.

IVF 40+ said...

Well I think we share the same family. It's official. I have already warned DH that my mum will say "I shan't interfere" and then bury us under suggestions and imho's

Its your baby and your alone. Let everyone else bugger off.


anofferingoflove said...

It's awesome that your sweetie gets it & is so supportive. This is your experience, you should definitely relish in all the fun details.

We got sooo many clothes as gifts and hand-me-downs it was overwhelming. We maybe bought one or two outfits ourselves. Once we realized what was happening, we started indulging our urge to buy cute stuff with bigger sizes - no one gives you stuff for 12 mo plus.

Anyhow, I like the suggestion to just pull out the few things you like and stash the rest. If it has tags, maybe you could start a re-gifting pile? You may never have to buy a baby shower present again! ;~)

Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

I love your DH! Like some previous commenters, I can see your mom is trying, in her own way, to be helpful. But don't feel bad drawing your line and saying "THIS is the name, no negotation", "THIS is the color, no negotation".

And I also think the color sounds lovely, but if you don't love it, keep painting until you do - you and baby deserve a color that you adore. I'm the WORST at picking paint colors, they never look like what I imagined they would, so I definitely have been there.

p.s. I really hope no one visiting your blog clicks on that stupid fireworks link. How rude.

embieadoptmom said...

Love the "hijack" comment! SISTER-you do what you have to do for your baby! That's why we are choosing not to tell a SOUL the names until the baby comes out! TOO MANY OPINIONS MAKE FOR A CRAZY MOMMY!

Elizabeth said...

Wow -- sounds like me and my mother; I always thought it was just me. . .. She can't ask me what I'm making for dinner without me feeling attacked. Makes it really hard, because every time I try to give an inch or two, there she is back at it taking over everything. It's strange.

So, like everyone said, I think: there will be few enough things that you get to choose after the baby is born, get the color you want, and the name you want, and the the clothes you want now and go from there. Your color sounds beautiful. We have a blue room for Liam too, and I still feel happy every time I look at it (a MS color called Vintage Map so with more green, I think than your color).

Love to you, my gosh you're getting close to holding that baby in your arms!


stillhopeful said...

Thanks for your comments! I haven't had much time for blogs, but just caught up on yours. What a hassle with your mom... but great support from DH. You should definitely just use what you want, and buy your own outfits. And I can't wait so see your nursery, I can tell you're going to make it very special. I'm glad you're getting to do all the fun preparation things. And congrats on picking the name - I know you were concerned about coming to an agreement on that with your DH in the beginning. Fun stuff ahead for you!!!

Fran said...

How annoying!!! But, on the other hand...probably if she didn't care you wouldn't be happier either. So embrae your DH's avise, don't let her bother you! It's your baby and of course you get to choose everything you like. She may not agree, but it'll be you who will have to the power! Much love, Fran

ps: you wanna know the word verification this time? It's "ignited"!!