The Rosie Effect Page 101

To my surprise, and in contradiction to predictions from Gene, my mother and Rosie got on well and seemed to have a great deal in common.

Our baby emerged without problems (other than the expected discomfort of birth, which my reading had prepared me for) at 2.04 a.m. on 14 February, the second anniversary of our first date, the Jacket Incident and the Balcony Dinner. Everyone noted that it was Valentine\s Day, which explained why I had encountered difficulty in reserving a table at a prestigious restaurant two years earlier.

The birth process would have been fascinating to watch, but I followed Gene\s advice to \stay at the head end\ and provide emotional support rather than observe as a scientist. Rosie was extremely happy with the outcome, and I was surprised to find that I had an immediate emotional reaction myself, though not as strong as when Rosie had decided to rejoin our relationship.

The baby\s gender is male, and accordingly we have given it a conventional male name. There was some debate.

\We can\ call him ’’Bud’’. It\s a nickname. An American nickname.\

\American culture is pervasive. Bud Tingwell was Australian.\

\Who\s Bud Tingwell?\ said Rosie.

\Famous Australian actor. He was in Malcolm and The Last Bottle.\

\Name one scientist called Bud.\

\Our son may not be a scientist. Abbott from Abbott and Costello was Bud. Bud Powell was one of jazz\s most important pianists. Bud Harrelson was an All-Star shortstop.\

\With the Yankees?\

\The Mets.\

\You want to name him after a Mets player?\

\Bud Cort was Harold in Harold and Maude. Bud Freeman. Another influential jazz player. A saxophonist. Plus numerous Buddys.\

\You\ve looked it up, haven\ you? You don\ know anything about jazz.\

\Of course. So I would have a convincing argument for retaining the name. It seems odd to change someone\s name because of a single event in their lives. You didn\ change your name when we got married.\

\We\ e talking about his birth. Anyway, it stands for Baby Under Development. First: he\s not under development any more, he\s an actual baby, and second: he won\ always be a baby.\

\Unfortunately Hud isn\ a name.\

\Hud?\ said Rosie.

\Human Under Development.\

\It\s the name of a prophet. An Islamic prophet. You\ e not the only one who knows stuff.\

\Unacceptable. Blatant connection to a religion is inappropriate.\

\Short for Hudson, maybe.\

I considered Rosie\s suggestion for a few moments.

\Perfect solution. Concatenation of Human Under Development and Son. Connection to New York, the place of conception, via the river and the associated explorer. Australian usage with connection to the Terrorist Incident which saved our relationship.\

\What?\

\Hudson Fysh was the founder of Qantas. Common knowledge from the airline magazine.\

\And Peter Hudson, the footballer, was Phil\s hero. One little problem. Remember what it stands for. Under Development. He\s a full human now. Actually, it makes him sound like the son of a human under development.\

\Correct. Humans should be permanently under development.\

Rosie laughed. \Hudson\s father, in particular.\

\Since you nominated only one problem, and it has been dismissed, I assume that he is now named Hudson.\

\Hard to argue with your logic. As always.\

Another joint task successfully completed. I gave Hudson back to Rosie to feed. I needed to schedule Phil to babysit so that Rosie and I could commence tango lessons.


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