sibling conversation, originally uploaded by Kristy and Eva.

so, i'm often asked what we're going to do when the baby is born and eva insists on calling her panowah. i may end up eating these words, but i really, strongly believe it's a non-issue. she's smart. a month ago, she insisted the baby was a girl and wouldn't hear otherwise, but now after we've discussed it a few times, she understands the gender is an unknown. (so now with great frequency she asks me rhetorically, "mama, do we know if the baby will be a boy or a girl?" similarly, she gets that there's a name for the baby when it's inside and that there will be a new one when the baby comes out (which, she hopes, will be any day now.)

eva, what should we name the baby when it comes out if it's a boy?
"um... saint nick!"
okay, that's a good option. but if we don't choose saint nick, then what should we name the baby if it's a boy?
"um... we should name him 'boy plane'."
boy plane?
hmm. well, what if the baby is a girl, then what should we name her?
well, but remember, panowah is a name for inside babies. what about when she comes out?
okay, but what if we don't name her lemony, then what should we choose?
"panowary." (rhymes with "january")
well, that sounds like panowah. do you have another idea for a girl?
"well, we'll just name her 'boy plane'."

now (for the moment) she's fixated on saint nick. "mama, when panowah comes out, then her name will be saint nick!" so you see, everyone, it will be fine. she won't continue to call the baby panowah forever. instead, she'll call her something much more appropriate. like boy plane. :)

the whole panowah thing in the first place is a function of how absorbed she is in the concept of the new baby. she talks about it endlessly, draws pictures for the baby, shares her toys with the baby (by setting them on my belly shelf ), and comes over to give the baby hugs and kisses (and *just* the baby -- if i try to join in, i'm often rebuffed, "no mama, i'm just hugging panowah, not you." well then.). she all but smothers every other baby we're around, and she refers to herself as "the big sister" as often as not. and i think all that energy needs to be directed at something concrete, something with a name... it's far less satisfying to fall in love with a nameless, genderless, belly-obscured lump.

so, panowah, or lemony, or whoever you are (and we *so* promise your sister will not under any circumstances be allowed to name you, even if she throws a months-long tantrum about it), you have no idea how much we all love you already. earlier, eva was jumping up and down squealing, and when questioned, said "i'm jumping crazy because i'm so excited about my baby!" we can hardly wait to meet you, and find out more about who you are.

[photo: 20 weeks pregnant to the day, on new year's eve.]

1 comment:

Lora said...

Who knew Boy Plane was a unisex name?