Sunday, April 10, 2011

J is for Just Jenny

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! 
What you will be reading via the letters A-Z is a little bio about me. This will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here blogging. 


In the dark ages it was the wish of every father-to-be that at least one of his children be a male to carry on the family name along with the family business.

Not much has changed - a man still wants a son. (even if he won’t admit it publicly because the missus would tear a strip off him) Some things never change.

I’m the second of four kids - girl, girl, boy, boy.

Okay, the first child can be a girl - after all every dad secretly wants a little princess too.

But...all bets are off when it comes to kid number two - if number one was a girl, number two better be a boy or else.

Here’s the or else.

So, I’m the second poor mom was under tremendous pressure to produce the heir apparent - but apparently failed at such a simple task - what was she thinking. (even though it’s the sperm that determines gender)

Now, as mom tells it she really had her heart set on a boy, she’d done her duty the first time without success and really, really wanted a boy. 

Mostly she was not a big fan of the ‘state of pregnancy’ - can we blame her!

Yes, there are some women that love being 'with child' - I say, “Good on you, whatever floats your boat.” Apparently in mother’s case it sunk her ship - four times.

When I was brought to my mother (after being tidied up and made presentable) the nurse congratulated her on her sweet, adorable, lovely, cute-as-a-button little girl.

“No, No, I vant a boy, take it back!”

I kid you not - those were her words - and we wonder why I’m in therapy! 

Well, after some arguing about the fact that I couldn’t be swapped and given to someone else who might have wanted a “girl” baby, I was taken back to the nursery to prepare for my fate.

In the meantime, my mom received a visitor - the woman who would subsequently become my godmother - TW. 

TW was so excited mom had another beautiful little girl, she had been by the nursery and was cooing all over the place about how lucky my mom was. 

“Ya, dann take her, she’s yours. I vant a boy - no more girls.” (said like she’d just had her nineteenth girl)

After some explaining, by TW, my mom finally acquiesced - even though she knew it meant going through yet another birth to get that elusive but highly sought after boy - I was adorable and she had already fallen for my "cute-as-a-button" charm.

But that didn’t stop her from still being ticked at me for being a girl. 

She told TW she had already picked a boy's name (for her son) and therefore I would be called Peter; it would teach me a lesson for being a girl.

TW went on to explain that Peter was not a suitable girl’s name whereby my mother leaned back in her bed and said, “Fine, dann ve call her Petra!” 

I can only say there is a god - and it was manifesting itself through TW - because she said, “Absolutely no, dats not a goot name.”

“Ya, dann you pick da name vat ve give my boy,” retorts my mom. (note how she still called me her boy - and we wonder why I’m good with a hammer)


Without hesitation TW says, “I alvays liked Chainy und ve name her Chainy.” (this was how they said Jenny - I kid you not, there is no way I could make this up)

Fast forward to Kindergarten…

Mrs. S, an elderly teacher, (they all look old when you’re that little) called in my parents for a little chat. It appears I was not responding well to my name Jenny and she was concerned about some learning difficulties because of it.

“Ya, dats her name Chainy, vats da problem,” says mommy dearest! 

With that the meeting was over. Mrs. S had her answer - it was not adorable little “me” that had the learning problem…

I’ve always liked my name, never wanted a different one and can safely say I am eternally grateful to my godmother for it.

It’s a good name. It’s not Jennifer or Jen - it’s just Jenny! (try to remember that, will you)

And you - how’s that name of yours working out? 

Until K...


  1. Claudia was a chance name since my mom already decided that I will be Anca before even I was born. Unfortunately just before my birth one of her best friends' daughter died (a couple of days old poor darling), and she was Anca too (this is a typical Romanian name) thus she did not want for me to have the same name. So, she and dad took the phone book and choose using the finger. God I'm grateful I am not something like Ingeborg or Mindruta. Good story though Jenny :)

  2. Claudia - you don't know how much I am laughing - so much in fact that my little dog was startled from her sleep in front of the fireplace.

    I am laughing, because my mother's name is Ingeborg! (I'm still laughing) I was going to do the letter "I" on her, but changed my mind.

    Oh, that was too funny. (by the way Mom loves her name!) I think names are such a personal choice - I know some girls with my name that wish they had a different one.

    I struggled when naming my own daughter because I wanted a name that would go with her through life and wasn't just a fluffy name that was only cute as a baby.

    I think parents forget that part - we do grow up and in the adult world a name can be an integral part of ones identity.

    A parent should take the time to think about the future and what it's like to go through life with a name like "Apple" or "Moon Unit" - I mean, really, what are some parents thinking - obviously they aren't.

    Anyway - your comment just made my day!

    Cheers, Jenny

  3. I hope you don't feel too offended :) sorry for the choice of names, but this is one which does not fit me at all :)) I am happy I made your day and hope the dog ain't too scared!

  4. Claudia - no offense taken at all - just what were the chances of all the names that you would pick my mother's - I laughed myself silly - still am.

    With smiles, Jenny

  5. Good, I'm glad! Funny coincidence right?

  6. jenny!just jenny!

    loved this post...and thank god they didn't trade you for a boy...

  7. Bruce - you're just too sweet - hence all the blog lovin' coming your way!
    I'm glad my mom didn't trade me in for a boy either!

    Oilfield - thanks for dropping by! Always appreciated.

  8. I kid you not, Jenny, but you really do have a masterful narrative talent and beautiful sense of humor in your writing.

  9. I love this story...
    I was named after a murder mystery movie from the '40's, so my mother once told me. My mother saw the movie and liked the name, but then I was the third daughter. Maybe she was running out of ideas by then!
    I never liked my name until I discovered Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books. I was happy with my name after that. Thought that it was meant to be. ☺

  10. DEZMOND - WOW! Thank you so much. I love writing, I love laughing and I love such wonderful praise - you rock!

    Laura - thank you for sharing your 'name' story. It is fascinating how we come by our names. How did you come up with your daughter's name - also through a movie?

    Maybe food for a posting...

    Thank you both for dropping by - I appreciate the comments and the readership!

    Cheers, Jenny

  11. I'm sooo glad you stumbled upon my blog as its lead me to yours and your beautiful writing...such a delight to read :)What a charming tale you weave with your words...minus the therapy of course :)
    And how could I not love your name..I'm a just Jenny too :)x

  12. Jenny - thank you for venturing over to my space - good to have a fellow "just Jenny" on board!

    And, thank you for your kind words about my writing - it is my passion!

    Cheers, Jenny

  13. My mother popped out 4 boys and then told me she was disappointed when #5 was me. She said it was a day or two before she liked me. haha. My dad was thrilled though and so were my brothers. Thankfully.

  14. Funny, clever post. I was the first boy in a family of 5 kids who came in boy-girl-boy-girl-boy progression. I was named after my father, but the rest of the siblings were all given names that started with J so that their initials would be JJ.
    My name is okay except I share it with something like 36,000 other Americans and I don't know how many others worldwide. That's why I decided to go with a pseudonym for my writing.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  15. Another great post Jenny! My second of four, yes four, daughters is named Jennifer. She tells everyone it's Jennifer not Jenny or Jenni or Jen or ..... just Jennifer!

    Now on to my husband....he likes having four girls. He has five sisters. He's used to them. When the fourth girl was born the doctor looked at my husband and "another girl"....oh sorry. Like it was his fault!

    I've always wanted to change my name but I'm named after my mom's favourite little cousin so I'm stuck with it!

  16. Barb
    Mothers can say the darnedest things, can’t they!
    As one myself I can attest to having a little ‘foot-in-mouth’ issues too - it must come with the territory.

    How was your relationship with mom over the years - did you two gals unite against the ‘boys’?

    Glad you liked the post. I’m easing into this challenge, but there is a reason it called a challenge, that’s for sure.

    I think most of our names are more common then we realize - the world is a big place but in the name department I think there is a limited selection, hence the repeats.

    I like your 2nd already - nothing like setting the perimeters and expecting them to be adhered to.
    My daughter is the same with her name, no ‘Court’ for her - and she lets you know.

    Funny how there is still this stigma about ‘men wanting boys’ even if they don’t care, as in your husbands case.

    As to your name Carole, I like it with the ‘e’ - and I’ve had the pleasure of wonderful acquaintances with some great ‘Carol’s’ (never with ‘e’) so, in my books, it’s a right excellent name.

    Thank you all for dropping by and adding some excellent comments to this post.

    Cheers, Jenny

  17. Jenny,
    My daughter's name has no big story behind it. I just liked it!
    However when she was five years old, I married a man named Jim and he adopted her. Everyone who doesn't know our history thinks that she is named after him. So, I like to think that there was a reason I chose the name Jamie (and my mom actually suggested it!).

  18. Laura - thanks for coming back and giving the 'behind the scenes' info on Jamie's name.
    I believe a wee bit of cosmic influence has a hand in shaping our lives and who we meet along the way, so I can see why you feel there was a reason you chose her name.

    Smiles, Jenny


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.