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 *****....