On Saturday, bundled up from head to toe, we slowly and stiffly trudged into town like a couple of spinal injury victims. Our goal was as simple as it was significant; integration, conformity, and keeping up with the Van Der Joneses.
One of the nicer Dutch customs surrounding babies, albeit a relatively recently developed one, is ‘geboortekaartjes’ – birth cards.
Geboortekaartjes are cards sent to family, friends, colleagues, and pretty much anyone else you feel the urge to nauseate to announce the eviction of the wife squatter. They will have an original and unique cutesy design, carefully chosen from a limited selection of predefined original and unique cutesy designs.
Usually, geboortekaartjes display all the relevant details of the vagina wrecker’s arrival; date & time, weight & length in indecipherable mainland Europe metric measurements, total number of stitches required, and of course its name.
There and then, looking around us, with an almost embarrassed whisper, we committed the bellydewller’s name to print. Or a print-person at least. ET said the child-to-be’s name-to-be to the thankfully-very-good-at-written-English lady, and she repeated the name-to-be back to us.
The first time we’ve heard the baby’s name being said by someone else, and it sounds pretty nifty.
Design and text agreed, deposit paid (presumably in case we change our minds about having the child after all), and having received very James Bond-like instructions on how to arrange the finalisation of the order and pick-up after the birth, we wrapped up once again and shuffled off into the afternoon snowfall like we were headed for rehab.
ET, myself, and baby *****....
The suspense is killing us!
But you know your doing this might be setting you up for a mighty potential Fail.
It's making us think the name is going to be so exotic, so trendy that it can't be said, like Y*hw*h or Brian.
Are you really going to make us wait until the birth!!???
But what if you don't know the sex? Can you make last minute changes of that magnitude? Will they charge you?
The name Elmo won't leave my mind. Please tell me you haven't named the baby Elmo.
What happens if you change your mind after the birth? (Not about the kid stupid, about the name)
Can you change it?
Birth cards are a PAIN! I always get them out late/don't get the addresses sorted out/... Glad you're on top of things.
I like the name *****. It has an air of uniqueness about it that 'celebrities' are sure to mimic.
How do you pronounce it though? Or will it be "The Artist Formerly Known As Squatter"?
Woo, excuses for fancy stationery! If I wasn't sure I wanted a baby already, this would convince me.
HOW EXCITING! I love the mystery.
Ahhh so! not! fair! Hehe :)
You're a tease!
Doing the cards before is weird, but so practical. I never got round to it, after...
Elmo is a GREAT name. I wanted it...
How exciting....and yes names sound so different when said by someone else.
My son's name used to be Aaron, but we started calling him ****** when he turned 16 and decided he is so much smarter than we are. ;-)
"Wife squatter." Cracked me up.
Ooooo! I'm squealing with anticipation!
I can't wait to see Lil Fitz!!
Will you have blogging abilities at the hospital or do we have to wait until you get home and get your head back on straight until we hear?
We waited to put out the announcements until we had a picture of the 'squatters'.
I think Edna Persephone or Mika Tristan will look great on a card!
Good Lord, in this day and age you couldn't do this over the computer?!?! I freaked out thinking about poor ET waddling along 8 months pregnant in the cold, snow and ice! (You do have snow and ice, right? Don't make me feel stupid here, please)
let me see now, it is 56 weeks till the birth....am i right on that???????
I think you dropped something on the keyboard when you were writing the post title. I just got a jumble of incoherent letters.
*****..... is nice, very different. I guess its nickname can be @!#$%& when asked what name it goes by.
I've also always thought it'd be neat to name a child with a question. Instead of a traditional name, the name would actually be "Why are you asking me questions?" They could always change it later I suppose...
You are such a tease! ;)
Metric measurements for babies piss me off. Babies come in pounds in ounces. Meat comes in grams.
@Geeks in Rome - in short, yes :-)
@bsouth - Well then you make the appropriate arrangements, fill the name in later.
@River - It's catchy
@Veronica - yep, of course.
@Mwa - 'always' hahaha
@Grandad - it's pronounced as it is spelled. But the 2nd * is silent.
@Betty - Yes, it was the idea of a nice font that did it for us.
@livingrightnow - You should watch more murder she wrote.
@Marylin - it's good for you!
@Jo - Now now, just telling the story.
@Chic Mama - that was weird, yes.
@wildhare - dammit, it's already used...
@Ms. Moon - well ity's not paying rent, so...
@Jenni - indeed!
@AnnD - First things first I imagine...
@Russ - I didn't realise it was so common elsewhere too.
@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - and who are they?
@WhatAboutNovember - scarey face...
@Bonnie B. - it's not the north pole, we didn't need huskies or anything. we needed to explain some specific requirements with language etc, so was better to go in person.
@Ed - yes, -7...
@Putz - close, 5ish...
@womb for improvement - try speaking it every god damned day
@Hockeymandad - I hear that's what Tigers Wood's love child is called...
@Sarah - Moi? No....
@A Free Man - Yes, exactly. We are hoping for a small but sufficient barbeque worth.
It's definitely a boy...
Why can't you just send an email with the details like the rest fo the world?! Did you have to get bilingual cards done to send home too?
I remember when I lived there for a short period that the Dutch sent cards and invites for everything, including funerals, which was quite strange to me.
You are awfully organized! Our daughter was born in the beginning of October - her birth announcement was our Christmas card!
I like the idea of a gooberkracker or whatever you said.
Commit the name to print. Seems so real doesn't it?
wow, how organised are you! Birth cards, name and everything! Very impressive
@The Sheila - They like to be formal!
Not doing the cards is not really an option, we'd probably be deported.
Cards will have Dutch & English.
@areyoukiddingme - Xmas the same year?
@James (SeattleDad) - very!
@Heather - just waiting for armageddon now!
It all sounds very real, doesn't it?
Not long now and we'll know.
Funny, I never considered the dutch geboortekaartjes formal. Maybe only the part where it says 'Mother and baby will take a nap between 13:00 -15:00'
(How are you supposed to know this?!!)
The most formal ever was for my nephew in/from London. Let me quote: Mr and Mrs are thrilled to announce the arrival of ******
All capital letters.
Found it very impersonal and not very inviting. It might as well have been their personal jet that arrived.
Damn it, man! Give us the goods!
Thanks for not taking the easy road. So many are sending emails of their offspring's arrival these days. For crying out loud, you blogged for years about not being able to make a baby, he/she deserves and appropriate announcement! Way to go! Oh, and I'm really fond of the name Gilbert.
@tiff(threeringcircus) - Oh it's definitely real!
@Valery - I must say I do like the idea. Thanks & welcome!
@Momo Fali - all in good time...
@Dto3 - That's one way of looking at it I guess, but it's standard practice here anyway.
Ok, I'm assuming "number of stitches" is a joke, yes? Please, yes?
@Amy - hahahahahaha...bless you. Yes that was a joke....
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