In the past couple of years, it has seemed that everything is about babies. Who is having babies, when they’re having babies, what they’re going to call their babies — and on, and on, and on. Some of the women around here have even been having ‘synchronised babies’, so that they can share in the joys, woes and experiences of being a glowing mother-to-be. And of course, once they give birth, the two (possibly unfortunate?) children have the pleasure of being inexorably linked for the first few years of their life.
Let me tell you, those few formative years are important! People (often of the doctor variety) say that we don’t recall much from the first 3 years of our life, and that might be true, certainly. But it’s not all about memories and recall, it’s about something far more basic — and primal; it’s about nurture! It’s in our fledgling years that we begin to learn the difference between right and wrong; what’s safe, and what isn’t. It’s in those early years that we have have experiences that later change our entire outlook on life. Those fleeting months — those months that will go by ever so quickly — will see us discover our dreams, and harbour our first fears and anxieties.
I will write more about childhood in the future, as it’s an important topic for me, but just think about this one: we’re born without fear, and without prejudices. As children, the world is a shiny, untainted place. If only we were born with bigger legs and stronger hearts we’d be off exploring the universe without a second thought.
As you can tell, I think an awful lot rests on the early years of a child. It’s no surprise that I’m anxious about having children: I want to make sure I get it absolutely right! If I can’t get it right, I’d rather not do it at all. I can deal with self-inflicted damage, but damaging a little, baby person? I don’t think I could knowingly do that to a child.
So, because of the local baby boom, this has all been running around in my head. Then today, a family friend left her two babies with us; with my mother and sister. The girl, who is about a year old, was looked after by my sister the whole day. Truth be told, I think she enjoyed it a bit too much, and I think she’ll be wanting one of her own very soon. My mother, despite my aforementioned misgivings, insisted I spend some time with the baby boy.
‘No, no… don’t… I’ll drop him.’
‘Don’t be silly, Seb, he’s tiny, you’ll be fine!’
And so there I was, sitting at this very computer, when my mother unceremoniously plopped the child onto my knee. He grinned at me. I grinned back. A little knee bounce and another big, cheeky grin. I turned him to face my computer screen, and he grinned again, broader this time: this guy and I obviously had some common ground! We poked around my computer for a bit, showing him my blog (and the pretty photos of course), and then we played a game of ‘find his favourite kind of music’, where he proved that yet again has very good taste. Out of a line-up of Glen Campbell, Green Day and Elvis Costello, he chose Withita Lineman — what a baby!
And then, out of no frickin’ no where, just like that, my anxieties were gone. I’m not saying I clung onto the baby for the rest of the day — far from it, I was still petrified of dropping him, or teaching him some awful habit that he’d show his mother later on, like farting or picking his nose — but I did decide, there and then, that I’d probably make a great father. Maybe… just maybe I’d be good enough to nurture a child just right.
It was then, of course, that my mind turned to possible baby names. I already have a girl’s name chosen (if a possible wife happens to be reading this — sorry, you’re too late, and you get no say), but I’m still fairly open on the subject of the ideal name for my first son, and heir to my throne.
If you’ve read my ‘about‘ page, you’ve probably worked out that I aspire to rule the world. I’m well aware that conquering and ruling the world is probably not something I can do in one life time — I could certainly begin the process, but it would have to be a mantle of ownership passed down to my son: the one true heir and emperor; the heir that, unlike the meek, will actually inherit the world.
Now, an emperor of the world needs a good name. He needs a strong name. A name that instills both loyalty and admiration. A name so epic and awe-inspiring that legends and myths will manifest from the path he walks, the deeds he performs and the words he utters.
A name like Romulus, Zeus or Caesar.
Once I have a name, all I need is a wife that will bear the child. A child that will be born with legs strong enough to cross the Earth in just a few strides.