We spent nearly four relaxing hours at the pool today, reveling in the bright sunshine, the music playing on the sound system, the chicken salad croissants from the snack bar and water so frigid, I think I may have a frost build-up around my liver.
I stayed in the water for an hour, playing with the girls and dutifully engaging in the aerobic exercise recommended by my doctor for the prescribed twenty minutes. Then I got out and went to my deck chair and spread out a bunch of different Hamlet books, pens, a highlighter and a legal pad and got to work on making plans for the Shakespeare Workshop.
A couple of chairs down from mine was a young mom with a little boy of about two and a brand-new baby. The baby was in a stroller/carriage combo with the "lid" on, draped with polarized mosquito netting (pretty cool invention) with a beach towel over that to provide endless bug-free shade. The mom was placidly sitting and minding the baby while her little boy, his tiny hot dog arms encased in giant Spongebob Squarepants swimmies, jumped into the pool and climbed out; jumped into the pool and climbed out; jumped into the pool and climbed out. His enjoyment of this activity was not dulled by repetition and he said, "Watch me, Mama!" time after time. It was just very, very cute.
His mom thought so, too, looking up from the magazine open on her lap to say, "Woo! You are somethin' else!" and "Just wait 'til we tell Daddy how good you are at jumping into the pool!" She was calling him something that I couldn't quite distinguish; I thought I wasn't hearing correctly. But it turned out that I was.
The little boy's name was Dannon. And that was verified not only by my ears, but also by the letters that had been written in Sharpie marker on his swimmies.
Which is....a well-known brand of yogurt?
In our culture, you kind of get used to celebrities naming their children odd things. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. Her colleague Julia Roberts named her twins Phinnaeus and Hazel. My thought is that Phinnaeus, who is maybe around two, had better start learning self-defense techniques right now so that he'll be ready for that sneering playground full of Joshes and Jacobs and Ethans and Zacharys.
Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Posh Spice named their sons for the places at which they were conceived: they have one little boy named Brooklyn. Nice. Very nice. What kid wouldn't want to think, "I am named for a place where my parents had sex"? That'll be some costly therapy. He should just be grateful that his parents didn't conceive him when they were vacationing in Turkey.
Years ago, when movie stars Bruce Willis and Demi Moore had their third daughter, Tallulah Belle, Conan O'Brien remarked on his late night television show, "After adding Tallulah Belle to their family after sisters Scout and Rumer, I was thinking that maybe, if they had any more kids, they could just cut right to the chase and name the fourth 'Pretentious.'"
So back to Dannon. I mulled that one over while I sat with my legal pad on my knee, wondering what would drive a couple to name their son after yogurt. Was Dannon the mom's maiden name, maybe? Could that unusual name have come about because of pregnancy cravings? I know it wasn't one of the top names of 2005 or 2006 in the United States because I googled those lists to check. Heaven forbid that the boy's parents chose this name because they were touring the Dannon yogurt manufacturing facility in Minster, Ohio when passion struck them along the whey.
It's not that I object to unusual names. I do have children named Meelyn and Aisling, after all. And my two nephews and baby niece all have unusual names that just absolutely fit them to perfection. But none of these five children are named after America's best selling brand of yogurt, either.
I can just hear the schoolyard taunts right now: "Hey, Dannon, you'd better go wipe because you've got fruit on your bottom."
I couldn't help but wonder if they'd named their new baby daughter Yoplait.
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