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The Past Helps Out in the Present for the Future

Mom as a Baby

We’ve just returned from a quick trip home to Philadelphia to celebrate my parents 60th birthdays. Both birthdays have passed, but we thought it would be fun to surprise them with a party with friends and family. It went very well, and I think my dad was pretty surprised. Of course, requisite with any milestone party beyond 40 (beyond the inflatable innertube for the ‘roids) is a montage of “growing up photos” for the birthday guy and gal. I spent a few days putting this together with help from my sister and it turned out pretty good.

To frame the pictures with some sort of “chronological reference point” (or CRP), I decided to grab hit songs from around the periods of which the photos were taken. For example, for the 1960s I chose Penny Lane by the Beatles since it represents (loosely) growing up in suburbia (possibly on acid). For the 1970s/80s, which consisted mainly of pictures of my parents and the kids (mostly my brother and sister because being a third child, “film prices were high” or so I am told), I got lazy and chose We Are Family by the immortal group Sister Sledge, whom I had never heard of until I wikipedia’d them just now. For the baby pictures, I wanted a hit song from the year of their birth, and after some searching I decided on “Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba” by Perry Como. Listen here. I purchased the MP3 from Amazon and dropped it into the presentation.

Now, I’ve done a few of these montages before, most notably for my wedding. And the one truism of the process of making one is that the first song in the montage invariably gets played over and over during testing. I’ve never heard of this Perry Como tune before, but now it’s ETERNALLY ETCHED IN MY BRAIN. I find myself humming at work, singing it in the shower, shouting it at clients over the phone (“Listen, CHI-BABA, you site will be done when I finish sobering up…”), even scratching the lyrics into bathroom stalls all over town. (“For a good time, download “Chi-Baba Chi-Baba” by Perry Como”) Kim has been subjected to the mind altering velvety tones of Mr. Como nearly as much as I have, and I’ve caught her secretly singing the tune as well.

And while I think that a small (or large) part of me would like to have the song surgically removed from my brain (which unfortunately would most likely turn me into a blathering idiot, at least moreso than usual) than to have to continue to have Perry Como roaming through my prefrontal cortex (is there a “frontal cortex”, by the way?), he has at least solved a vexing issue for us.

Beyond the larger “baby naming” issue that we have been attempting to make some progress on (“Umberto? No? How about Periwinkle? Why are you looking at me like that?”), we’ve also been grappling with the “fetal naming” issue. You see, everyone seems to have pet names for their unborn offspring, things like “Peanut,”, “Spot,”, “Jelly Bean,” “Whoops” (I think that was mine), “TBD”, or “Johnny Q. McFetus” to name a few. We’ve been struggling to come up with one that we actually liked and had some meaning to us.

Well, I can say now, with some certainty and entirely without consulting my wife, that thanks to my parents 60th birthdays, WikiPedia, and the sultry tones of one Mr. Perry Como, the bundle of throbbing flesh roiling in Kim’s gut shall henceforth be referred to as…


At least until my wife reads this, and says “no way.”

Posted in Months 3-4, Names. Tagged with , , , , , , , .