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Macho Madness Waiting for D'artagnan
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It's good to be the papa.

Regular readers of this column will recall a quandary I faced last year when deciding what I wanted my granddaughter, Maddie, to call me. In fact, I received some great suggestions from many of you, some of which were pretty clever.

Some readers told me that Maddie herself might be the one to decide what to call me, as evidenced by some of the proud Not-Nots and Poo-Poos who emailed me with their own grandparent names.

Sure enough, a few months ago my daughter, Rachel, texted me with a recording of Maddie saying 'Papa.' That's how I heard it, at least, and the name stuck.

And with my wife, Donnelle, having taken the title of Nana it worked out pretty well.

Toward the end of last year Rachel and her husband, Danny, told us they were expecting again. Rachel's due date is in June, and obviously we're all excited.

With Maddie, Rachel and Danny decided to not find out the sex of the baby. When Maddie was born, not only did we meet her, but we also discovered we had a cute little girl joining the family.

Danny and Rachel decided to once again wait until the baby was born to discover its sex. And it was a good plan, as plans go. That is, until they had a chance during an ultrasound to find out what they were having.

As Rachel told it, her doctor was conducting the exam, when she said, "Oh yeah, you guys don't want to know the sex."

Rachel looked at Danny, and asked her doctor if she was sure she knew the baby's sex from the ultrasound.

Her doctor said she was positive.

Rachel and Danny decided they couldn't wait this time, and with their spur of the moment decision, found out they were having a boy.

As Rachel noted, knowing the sex of the baby will make it easier to plan this time. She has been busy packing away Maddie's newborn stuff, and has been receiving a lot of boy clothing from friends.

But they have no idea what to name the baby.

Now, I understand the difficulty of coming up with just the right name. And while it makes it easier to say, 'him,' when we're referring to the baby, it's kind of awkward and inconvenient to keep saying 'baby boy,' or 'the boy baby.'

And I certainly can't have that.

So I told Rachel in an email the other day I would henceforth refer to the baby boy as 'Chopper,' until they actually decided on a name.

Or if she didn't like that we could go with Thor, for now.

When she emailed back, I was expecting the eye rolling "Oh Dad," she is so good at, when she confessed she had mentioned my silliness to Danny.

Danny is awesome. He came up with the name 'Atlas' for their dog, and wants more dogs, just so he can use names such as 'Riddick.'

One of his Air Force coworkers used 'Danger' for his new son's middle name, but Danny swears he's not envious.

And although he always said he was kidding when he wanted to use 'Vin Diesel' as a name if Maddie had been a boy, he has been suspiciously quiet when it comes to this baby.

So when Rachel responded to my suggestion, she noted Danny suggested using D'artagnan for the baby, for now.

"Thanks for starting that," she wrote.

But Rachel is a good sport, and I reminded her how she laughed when her brother, Kevin, suggested Bartholomew if Maddie had been a boy.

And she also confessed that while they are leaning toward 'Gavin' or possibly 'Liam' when their baby boy is born, they're not exactly sure. With Maddie, they had a girl's name all ready. This time, they want to meet their son before they decide what his name is going to be.

Which is pretty cool in its own right.

But not as cool as Morpheus ...

Craig Macho is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.