We went to a new dentist this week. It's downtown because we will hopefully be downtown dwellers in a few months. The hygienist was super sweet and talkative. Maggie Lu was with us, sleeping peacefully in her car seat. They hygienist asked if she was our first. It came out that we have four. Yes, four. Then she asked the question I sort of dread. What are their names? I did what I normally do which is list the names we call them by; D'arcy, Julian, Schroeder, & Maggie Lu.
"Where did you come up with that?"
I'm pleased when people are reminded of Charlie Brown because Charlie Brown makes everyone smile. Not everyone gets it right, though.
"What's his middle name?"
This question is asked, I think, because they are hoping this child will someday have the choice to choose his middle, less ridiculous name.
"Well, Schroeder is his middle name."
"Oh, what's his first name?"
"Yes, it's a family name."
I slip that in there as an explanation hoping it will redeem me.
"Why does he go by his middle name?"
"All of our kids do."
"Oh, well what are there first names."
The hygienist leaves the room and goes into the room next to me where my husband is at. I can hear him having a similar conversation with his hygienist except he is laying down there full names from the beginning. Crap. I know that not only is this conversation going to continue, but I also know Stephen is going slap my wrist for not proclaiming my kids names from the mountain tops. My hygienist returns.
"You were holding out on me. Your husband says they have three names!"
It's not that I don't love my kids names. I do. I hope they will grow to love them as well. It's just that explaining their names is long and complicated. I feel like it draws unnecessary attention to me. I didn't name them this way to stand out as cool or weird. These names have meaning to us. Plus, sometimes I just want to sit in a dentist chair and watch Ellen on the big screen on the ceiling.
I also must confess that having a child named Schroeder is keeping me humble. Whenever I hear a ridiculous name. After my eyes roll, my brain informs me that I have a child named Schroeder, Duren Schroeder Vonnegut to be precise, and my new response becomes "to each his own".
I'm out and about with my two boys and newest little girl. D'arcy is in school.
"Oh, that's so great that you finally had a little girl!"
"Yep, it's fantastic!"
I've realized that I need to just be as happy as they are that I FINALLY had the privilege of dressing a baby in pink instead of fessing up that I already have a daughter in first grade. If D'arcy's existence comes out, their eyes pop out of their head and this question ensues.
"Are you done, then?"
"Ummmm, we've always said five. (This eludes that we may change our mind to make me seem less insane.) But I need a break from pregnancy so we'll be waiting several years. Then we'll probably do something permanent."
These last two sentences are totally PR control as I want them to know that I do know what birth control is and am not planning to become Michelle Duggar. No, I do not want to be compared to a woman who nurses her baby when on a parade float. Thank you.