Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I do make a fair bit of reference to my daughter in this webspace, calling her Ms. 8 in a bit of a pun on her name. (I have also been asked about who Ms. 8 is.) I think it a nice way to do so without oversaturating my writing with her name--or oversaturating the internet with it. (I have expressed reservations about doing so before.) And as I have looked at other references people make to their children online, I am glad I have taken the tactic I have taken. The Foglios of Girl Genius refer to theirs as Experiments 1 and 2, for example, which seems like the kind of thing that will come to bite them in the ass later. (I can see the adolescent angst now: "So I'm just an experiment to you?" And I can see it growing much darker entirely too quickly.) The Reluctant Father denies the child the dignity of capitalization--but offers it to the dog. Neither strikes me as being particularly appropriate or helpful.

Two examples out of the plethora of child-references on the internet do not a representative sample make, I know, and I cannot say that they are in fact representative of trends; I would have to do a lot more to look into (heavily gendered as feminine) parent-blogging to be able to do so, and I do not know that I want to do such a thing. But they do serve as counterpoints, even if they are not representative of overall tendencies. If a pseudonym is used, it needs to be one that is actually respectful of the little person made pseudonymous, and "Ms. 8" at least reflects the name of the person concerned. (Indeed, I take the view that pseudonyms should reflect the actual names of the pseudonymous somehow, even when they are used to replace the names of protected populations in research studies. If any of you have information about the practice, I would appreciate it.) And if the real name of the person is deployed, it needs to be handed well--not in a way that suggests disdain. (Unless that really is the point of reference. But I am not sure that such a thing is good for the kid involved--at least not until the kid is a fair bit older.)

And, while I am on the topic, a bit about Ms. 8's progress. She is growing nicely, seemingly larger by the hour. Her appetite is healthy; she takes around four ounces every three to four hours (including one in the midst of my writing this piece), which may well be a total volume greater than that of her body. The other ends of her digestion seem to be working as expected, too, something to which I can most certainly attest. Too, her lungs, about which we were concerned due to her early arrival a little more than two months ago, are in fine form--something else to which I can certainly attest. Whether or not pictures of her will pop up in this space, I do not know. I think it unlikely, given how little I use the things generally...those who need to see her will. (And probably many who do not; I am a proud poppa, somehow.)

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