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My Mythology-Obsessed Spouse Has a Actually Horrible Concept for Our Daughter’s Title

Care and Feeding is Slate’s parenting recommendation column. Have a query for Care and Feeding? Submit it right here.

Expensive Care and Feeding,

I’m a second-generation Greek immigrant, and my spouse has an curiosity in classical mythology. So it was maybe inevitable that when the ultrasound revealed a daughter anticipated in late spring, we went for a reputation from classical mythology. Nevertheless, this has led to an especially extreme but in addition extraordinarily silly argument. You see, my spouse desires to call our daughter “Clytemnestra,” and I’m useless set towards it.

None of my relations again within the outdated nation bear that title. No person I’ve requested is aware of anybody named Clytemnestra. For the individuals who bear in mind their mythology effectively sufficient to acknowledge the title in any respect, she’s regarded as the skank who murdered her husband when he lastly got here dwelling and was about to find the affair she’d been carrying on whereas he was away. I doubt anybody over right here would acknowledge the title effectively sufficient to tease her over it (a minimum of, for the precise connotations as a substitute of it simply being some bizarre overseas title), however I nonetheless don’t need my daughter named that.

It’s not like there aren’t completely good different names if you wish to attain into the effectively of fable. Penelope, for example, or Andromache or Galatea, are names with a lot better reputations, and ones I’ve heard connected to individuals within the current day. However she’s useless set on Clytemnestra, and this has gotten to the purpose the place we’re each digging in our heels. I don’t know easy methods to de-escalate, and even easy methods to work on another title. Are you able to assist me?

—Greek Tragedy

Expensive Tragedian,

To start with, some would possibly quibble along with your characterization of Clytemnestra as a “skank”! Is it not doable to view her as a substitute as an angel of vengeance? In spite of everything, did her husband Agamemnon not trick and homicide her daughter Iphigenia? What you name an “affair,” I name a mourning mom utilizing the one factor the patriarchy couldn’t take away from her—her sexual wiles—to safe the essential help of a soldier to be able to take her revenge, a decade later.

Opinions differ, is what I imply to say, and characters from classical mythology are portrayed in a different way throughout tales—the Clytemnestra of the Oresteia is by no means the identical because the Clytemnestra of the Odyssey, who diverges considerably from the Clytemnestra of Natalie Haynes’ current feminist retelling of the Trojan Battle, A Thousand Ships. Your spouse’s opinion of Clytemnestra may not be the identical as yours—and the individuals your daughter meets down the road are simply as prone to agree along with her as with you.

And even when they do agree with you, does it actually matter that a lot? Ask the dad and mom who named their infants “Khaleesi,” and I anticipate most of them will let you know that the title way back stopped primarily reminding them of the murderous Sport of Thrones character and now its solely connotation is to their beloved daughters. And that title is indisputably embarrassing, in contrast to Clytemnestra, which is mainly high-quality! You’ll come to really feel the identical about your li’l Nestra, who as quickly as she is born will cease being an abstraction and turn into such a selected human being that you just received’t assume twice concerning the origins of the title. It can simply be her title.

Then again: The rule is, each expectant father or mother will get three no-explanation-required title vetoes. That’s simply commonplace. It’s why neither of our kids is known as “Livid Kois.” Should you hate “Clytemnestra,” merely make use of certainly one of your vetoes. Then counsel one thing horrible your self (“Gorgon,” perhaps), to encourage your spouse to make use of certainly one of hers. Have a very good outdated giggle about it and transfer on. You’ll quickly have far more necessary issues to argue about.

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Expensive Care and Feeding,

My 10-year-old, “Rachel,” has wished to host a sleepover along with her finest buddy “Emily” for a very long time, however Emily was identified with kind 1 diabetes about two years in the past, and neither her dad and mom nor we felt like it will be secure. Emily’s household hasn’t been keen to host a sleepover for different causes. Nevertheless, they now really feel like Emily is aware of sufficient about her diabetes that they really feel comfy permitting Emily to sleep over at our home. The date has been determined effectively upfront. Emily lives one street down and her dad and mom shall be on name in case we want something.

Rachel has been tremendous enthusiastic about it as a result of that is what she’s been begging for since they grew to become pals just a few years in the past. However now, she’s all of the sudden turn into very hesitant. I feel that is completely comprehensible—I can definitely relate to all of the sudden having second ideas when one thing you’ve wished eternally lastly comes round. My spouse, alternatively, may be very frightened and is beginning to feed into Rachel’s fears, in my view. For instance, Rachel wants her favourite stuffed penguin to go to sleep and wears a watch patch each night as a remedy for her amblyopia. However Emily is a candy lady who is not going to belittle one other 10-year-old for sleeping with a stuffed animal, and Rachel doesn’t must patch each evening. All the opposite issues Rachel and my spouse are actually citing have equally easy options.

I feel it’s pure to be nervous about one thing that you just’ve been wanting ahead to for a very long time, and Rachel is an anxious child already. My spouse thinks that that is actually critical and we must always name off the sleepover till we are able to work out if there’s any deeper cause behind her sudden change of coronary heart. Is she overreacting? Am I underreacting? What ought to we do?

—First Sleepover Jitters

Expensive Jitters,

You must do your finest to not name off the sleepover. You’re proper that it makes whole sense that Rachel is enduring some last-minute anxiousness upon lastly being granted her life’s dream. Particularly as a result of she’s spent the previous two years being advised it actually wasn’t secure for Emily to sleep over! So now the time is coming close to and she or he’s a bundle of nerves, jangling with pleasure and pleasure and likewise concern that one thing horrible will occur. There’s no deeper cause than that.

Clearly, you shouldn’t pressure a toddler to host a sleepover she’s dead-set towards. However I don’t get the sense out of your letter that Rachel is feeling that manner. As a substitute, she’s merely citing potentialities that she’s nervous about. Gently encourage your spouse to affix you in reassuring your daughter—to not inform her that nothing will go fallacious, however to inform her even when some issues go fallacious, it’s OK, and also you’ll be there to assist, and Emily will nonetheless be her buddy. As a result of that’s the reality!

Sleepovers, in fact, are the worst, and if I had my manner, they might be banned by the Geneva Conference. They provide innumerable alternatives for kids’s hearts to be damaged, and for fogeys to endure alongside them. I’ll maintain very unfair however implacable grudges towards sure friends of my kids over their conduct at long-ago sleepovers till the day I die. However when sleepovers go effectively, they’re candy alternatives for kids to forge bonds whereas additionally feeling as if they’re getting away with one thing actually naughty (staying up till 11:15 p.m.).

Invite Emily’s dad and mom over for dinner on the evening of the sleepover. Stay engaged and observant. Hearken to your little one, and to her buddy, and take their issues severely. Make them pancakes within the morning if that’s acceptable to Emily’s dietary restrictions. Good luck and Godspeed.

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Expensive Care and Feeding,

My daughter is a tween and her buddy is unbelievably loud. They knew one another in elementary faculty, earlier than she moved away, and saved in contact by way of video calls throughout COVID. She moved again into the realm not too long ago and my daughter invited her over. She appears completely good, excitable, and talkative. She doesn’t appear to have different pals and so loves coming over.

However it’s so onerous having her in the home! She is loud. High quantity loud. She triggers migraines along with her quantity. After we ask her to “simply decrease her quantity a bit” she does, but it surely by no means lasts lengthy. I do know this must be a cause individuals don’t invite her over once more. It’s that dangerous. I’m not going to maintain her from coming over, however I do restrict her visits.

A really giant a part of me desires to contact her dad and mom. I’m involved she may need listening to points, or one thing else. However I additionally really feel prefer it’s not my enterprise. In addition to organizing drop-off and pick-ups, I don’t actually know the dad and mom effectively sufficient to say one thing. Any recommendation on if I ought to say one thing and easy methods to phrase it? Or every other concepts?

—Full-Throated Pal

Expensive Throated,

If this little one’s voice is absolutely as piercingly, ear-splittingly, deafeningly clamorous as you say, as you’ve noticed it in just a few visits to your property, do you assume that the kid’s dad and mom—with whom she lives all the remainder of her life—haven’t but observed this reality? Do you assume they might take pleasure in listening to the father or mother of, apparently, her solely buddy say, “Is there a medical cause your little one is so annoying?” They’d not.

Youngsters are typically actually freaking loud. They lack impulse management, emotional regulation, and customary sense. Purchase some noise-cancelling headphones, gap up within the basement, and let your little one invite her buddy over. As soon as it’s March, require them to go outdoors. Should you obtain a high-quality from the county for exceeding native noise ordinances, you may ask her dad and mom to separate it with you.

Expensive Care and Feeding,

Day by day my 9-year-old daughter “Phoebe” walks down the hill to the bus cease, then walks again dwelling from the bus cease after faculty. Final 12 months, my husband and I began letting her go to and from the bus cease on her personal. Nevertheless, over the previous few weeks, she’s caught 4 wild rabbits and tried to carry them dwelling. I’m not even positive how she’s doing it. They’re all over the place within the space, and Phoebe claims she simply walks over to them and picks them up, however that’s clearly unfaithful, because the bunnies run away from anybody manner earlier than you get shut sufficient to the touch them. Extra importantly, she’s flat-out ignoring our directions to not method wild animals, and regardless of a grounding, she persists in doing so.

My husband thinks we must always simply get her a pet. We’ve talked about that for a bit, but it surely looks like this is able to be rewarding dangerous conduct. Then again, I’m undecided easy methods to deal with this long-term, and also you’re not going to beat one thing with nothing. Is there something I’m overlooking right here? A way of retaining Phoebe comfortable and never having her abduct native wildlife, whereas on the identical time not rewarding her for doing so?

—Bunny Kidnapper

Expensive Napper,

That is essentially the most cute letter this column has ever acquired. And maybe essentially the most astonishing! 4 bunnies? I not too long ago tried to select up a hen, like Hyperlink in Kakariko Village, and the blasted factor simply ran away from me, clucking derisively. And in some way your daughter took 4 completely different rabbits unawares? A number of questions: Is your daughter able to remaining immobile for hours on finish? Does she go unnoticed by dwelling safety programs? Have you ever thought-about enrolling her in ninja coaching atop some faraway mountain with a harsh, unforgiving grasp, in order that she will be able to make a profitable profession out of her superhuman abilities?

Your daughter is tender of coronary heart in addition to unusually mild of foot. If in case you have room in your life and in your house for a pet, you must certainly get her one. I wouldn’t fear that a lot about “rewarding” her dangerous conduct; you’ve already grounded her as soon as, and what she wants isn’t extra punishment however a diversion.  It’s time for her to nurture one thing small and cute with out essentially bringing myxomatosis into the home.

Don’t get her a python, although. I concern for the neighborhood’s rabbits in the event you do.

—Dan

Extra Recommendation From Slate

My associate and I are dad and mom to a delicate, intelligent, and really extroverted 6-year-old. She has the occasional sleepover along with her godparents, Steve and Linda. They’re two childless pals of ours who adore and love our daughter very a lot. Our daughter all the time appears to have a unbelievable time. I’m grateful that they’re sharing their time along with her, as my associate and I don’t come from giant households and our daughter doesn’t have any native grandparents. Linda has been a ordinary hashish smoker for so long as I’ve recognized her. I don’t decide or assume much less of her due to her drug use.