I can’t quite recall why but we had it in our heads that ”it” was going to be a baby girl. Since we couldn’t agree on any names anyway that didn’t much matter but as “B” day approached we started to get a little anxious.
After much argument and discourse Leanne decided we were going to call her “Amelia Rose”, which was a terrific name... right up to the moment she gave birth to a boy.
A number of mates had told me not to worry about the name, the theory being that once he/she/it had arrived a name would just pop into our heads. This worried me a little as it seemed to explain perfectly why the name “Winston” was not as uncommon as you might suppose. I therefore had an image in my head of the baby arriving, Leanne and I taking one look at our sweet, cherubic little child and then crying out simultaneously, “Yoda”.
Fortunately this is not what happened. I suppose I might be ever so slightly biased but I must admit that I took one look at his little ginger locks, shed a tear, and thought him the most beautiful child I’d ever seen; not a bit like Churchill - although if I’m absolutely honest, if you handed him a light sabre whilst he was crying there was a passing resemblance to a certain ‘Star Wars’ character.
As it turns out my mates had been absolutely right. I looked at him, remembered that he now shared a birthday and red hair with one of my best mates and asked Leanne what she thought of ‘Martin’.
On reflection, I think you could ask a woman pretty much anything immediately after they’ve given birth. They’re so overcome with a mix of joy and relief that “yes” is pretty much the only word you’ll get out of them. It’s a crying shame that I didn’t realise this until much later when the opportunity had passed but, for any other guys out there; on the run up to labour simply write down a wish list and be ready to read it out within 5 minutes of the baby arriving! Remember, this could be the last time you ever get your own way, so don’t hold back.
Alas, all I got out of it was a name. So ‘Martin’ is was, or ‘Martyn’ as we finally decided, with a middle name of ‘Laurence’, after my own dad. As it happens ‘Martyn’ is derived from Mars the God of war and Laurence means “victory”, so he’s going to be war-like but he will at least win, which is a handy combination.
I think it sounds quite grand; “Martyn Laurence Blackwell”. My only nagging doubt is that it reminds me of the opening lines to the TV series ‘Porridge’ – ‘Norman Stanley Fletcher, you are an habitual criminal who accepts arrest.....’