Tuesday, Sep 16th

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Baby meet Dog. Dog meet Baby - (kind of)

Dog meets baby  Now that we had our bundle of joy in our hands, the thing that threw us in a quandary was choosing a name for him. And as I learned soon enough from my wife, it had to be a unique name. Because these days everyone has unique names. Back home in India where she hails from, the names are indeed unique. Often times names are created on the fly by taking a syllable or two from the parent's names. The result can sometimes turn out to be quite disastrous causing great grief and misery for the child during his or her schooling years. No one can twist names to make it sound like a cat's burp like kids in a school can. Since we still had four weeks to go before the due date, we had assumed we had enough time to find a cool unique name. Stacks of baby names books lay untouched(by me) on our nightstand since we had bought them a few weeks ago.
 
  But now, we were desperate. We were under the impression that the baby had to be named before we took him home from the hospital. We were running out of time. And I don't do well under pressure. Every now and then I would blurt out random names like 'Ramirez, Kobayashi, Alfie, Urckle, Sheila'. To which my wife who was still in great pain would reply, 'It's a boy for Heaven's sake!. And not a Mexican, Japanese or fictional character!'. In my defense, I thought Alfie was a pretty cool name. And then, I started paying close attention to the name-tags of the doctors, nurses and janitors that came to our hospital room. If my wife hadn't thrown the bedpan at me, our son would have forever been known as Jimmy Two-Shoes. The 'a-ha' moment struck soon enough when I was in the restroom (the ultimate place for inspiration in my opinion) and we ended up choosing a name that while not unique, was still music to our ears.
 
  Did I mention that we share our home with a dog? No, not me. An actual four-legged dog. A one hundred pound Rottweiler mix named Rexy. Not the kind of dog which would make you say "ooh, so cuuuute" when you saw him. But rather, Rexy would likely make you say "Gulp!, I think I need to change my underwear" should he come close to you. We had read that we needed to make the dog accustomed to the idea that a new person would be living with us now. One suggestion was to take something the baby had worn from the hospital and make the dog smell it. And so, I left the hospital armed with a wrap that the baby had worn. My mother-in-law thought it was a good idea to send a used diaper as well. In the elevator going down, I stood all alone in one corner holding the package while the other people in it, huddled at the very far side, gasping for breath. When the doors opened, they rushed out like weary sailors who hadn't seen land for ages. I walked nonchalantly through the lobby while people all around me looked around frantically asking "Goodness, are we under a chemical attack??". I drove home with all the windows in my car rolled down and my head partly leaning outside the drivers side window.
 
  When I got home, I introduced Rexy to the smell of our newborn. He took one sniff of the wrap, snatched it from my hand and proceeded to tear it into a zillion pieces. After a few seconds of scratching my head, it hit me! I gingerly held the used diaper in my hands (much like one would hold a volatile armament) and placed it under his nose. The transformation was instant. With his tail between his legs, he went back to his corner with a sullen face. He would never mess with someone who could produce something noxious like that. Mother-in-laws can be brilliant! When I got back to the hospital, still smelling slightly pungent, my wife asked me how it went. "Oh, he was fine. No problem. Started wagging his tail when he smelled the wrap" I told her, not looking into her eyes.
 
  In my next post we will talk about the time when I was reduced to tears.............