It was 2 days after I had him and the hospital staff was telling us that time was ticking to pick out a name. I held his little forehead up to mine, hoping for some kind of telekinesis name epiphany to happen. But after an hour or so of getting nothing, Matt and I knew it was time to pick from our list of "possibly somewhat agreeable" boy names (there were 2, but I can't remember what the other one was).
Niall meant "champion" in Gaelic, which seemed like a very cool title to have-- that, or it would put an incredible amount of pressure on the kid to be really good at everything. I like to take the former perspective ;)
So when another boy came along to join our family a couple years later, we knew that whatever name we picked, it would just be settling for something that we both didn't completely hate.
It seemed like a good, strong Irish name. Not too flashy, not too common. It would do the trick, although neither one of us were in love with it. So, we went on about our lives without ever bothering to find out the special meaning of Brendan's name (he IS the second child, after all).
Well, last week, my mom told me that she got one of those name plaques for each of the boys that tells you everything about the meaning of the name. I was excited because I remembered having one of those when I was little. (My name meant "dark one"-- a little scary; glad I didn't turn out to be a serial killer).
My jaw almost dropped when I learned the reason behind Brendan's constant death-defying stunts that cause near-heart attacks for me on a daily basis. Little did we know that we had bestowed this fate upon him ourselves...
That's one way to put it. I would probably describe it more like "COMPLETELY INSANE." For Brendan, life is just a game of "Let's see if mommy can keep me alive today." And he is definitely winning. Some days, I get down on my hands and knees and thank God he is still in one piece at the end of it.
Looking back, he has definitely been testing fate since he was a baby... but now that he is old enough to know what he is doing most times, he doesn't seem to care and it is definitely not stopping him. It seems to be very entertaining for him to put himself in precarious situations and then flash me an evil look that says "Stay where you are! If you try to come help me down from this 8 foot high drop-off, I'm going to jump!!".
This would be one of those looks...
He purposely tips the chair until he is teetering and then half the time he falls. And believe me, he cries-- that is real tile there-- but it's still worth it for him to know that he is doing something wrong and I will try to stop him. If you are wondering why I don't have him in a high chair, it's because he won't get in one. That would be too easy.
He also enjoys sticking his fingers in sharp, jagged cans that I have thrown into the recycle bin, putting his head in the toilet, using picnic tables to hoist himself up over railings in an attempt to skydive off our friend's second story deck, stepping on oreos and then eating them off of his shoes, and last but certainly not least-- eating lit candles.
Yes, that just happened. We were having a little birthday celebration for Niall when Brendan decided to pick up the lit cupcake and insert the flame directly into the back of his throat. The only reason he didn't cry is because he immediately ate the entire cupcake by fisting it into his mouth as fast as humanly possible.
This might help you get an idea...