When my daughter was born, she was blue. This would have been much more terrifying for us had the doctor not warned us this might happen. I appreciate him giving me more time to surprise my husband with the news the baby was fathered by a black man. She wasn’t, but I appreciate him lookin’ out.
When this child was in my belly, I was set on the name “Lily”.. or “Lilyanna”. I don’t know why, necessarily, I just loved it. It was feminine and classic and pretty. However, a blue toned gummy bald being does not call fields of beautiful blooming lilies to mind. And when my daughter opened her eyeballs and mouth for the first time and started hollering down the walls, all femininity flew right out the hospital window.
Maybe it was just a post birth personality. My son, for instance, was born in a dreamy pensive state. Seemingly observing the
world hospital room around him and determining how it all worked. Turns out that was just the magnesium they gave me to ward off a seizure working it’s magic on him, because 48hrs later he was hollering like the rest of them. A precursor to the colic he would begin just a few weeks later.
So I crossed my fingers and hoped Lily would stick.
This child cried in the most angry way a newborn could cry, and she did it almost non-stop. I tried nursing (which doesn’t immediately happen. It takes a couple of days for your milk to come in and apparently biology failed to catch the babies up to this tidbit) I tried pacifiers I tried cuddling, I tried cursing. Once in a while she was happy, and then I napped. The next day I couldn’t stand to see “Baby Girl Sarcasm” written on her crib name sheet anymore, so I was determined to find a solution.
She wasn’t as purple anymore. She was starting to get cute. The nurse bathed her and she immediately let her feelings be known at that point. She didn’t want her head scrubbed, her toes tickled, she wanted food. She was definitely my kid.
I revisited a name I had come across a few months prior when looking for a G name to coincide with her brother. At first I didn’t like the name Gemma, but it grew on me. I loved the imagery of a jewel. A sparkling, shiny, beautiful piece of earth that is (usually) given with love. To satisfy my want for a feminine flower, we put Rose after it and it seemed to fit her perfectly.
Cut to four years later and I’m remembering all too well that screaming inconsolable being I brought into this world. My daughter was the annoying baby you didn’t want to admit to your sleep-deprived mommy friends actually slept 8 hours straight from the time she was 11 weeks old. She was a happy round rolly poly baby. All bright blue eyes and smiles. Her toddler hood wasn’t that difficult either. Compared to who stomped before her, she was a breeze! Three’s showed us some more independence and willfulness, but it was just charming and cute. My daughter has a way of being hysterical and charming even when she’s being a little snot….. that was before. Before Four.
Before Four she was a doll. After Four she’s been a hellion. A demanding, impatient, independent, illogical rascal. Today we went through so many highs and lows for the silliest reasons imaginable I was left wondering if I would survive her first round of PMS down the road.
I will just say it all ended in me still trying to keep it lighthearted and fun by tickling her out of her snarling scowls and all it got me was a heel to the mouth and SHE was the one who was crying. And not even because she was sad she hurt me! Noooooo, that would be compassionate. No, she was crying because she didn’t want me to get blood on her.
And this wasn’t a passing idea. She stuck with it. We went 15 more minutes of me saying, “Gosh, and to think you kicked me in the mouth and still haven’t apologized or hugged me or anything.”
“No! Mom, keep your mouth closed! I don’t want to see it!”
You mean the cut you put on my lip!? YOU don’t want to see it?! How about I give you a boot to the face and we’ll see how nicely you contain your body fluid.
I should have named her Helga and let the chips fall where they may.