Why do Doodle's parents take three months to name him?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Doodle was born sickly and weak.  His body was not proportioned right.  His head was huge compared to his sickly thin frame.  

He seemed all head, with a tiny body which was red and shriveled like an old man's. Everybody thought he was going to die.

Nobody, not even Doodle's parents expected him to live.  In fact, the dad had a coffin built for Doodle.  Because of Doodle's frailty, they did not want to invest time in naming him.  Or they had a good name picked out, and they did not want to waste it on a child that was going to die soon.  It is also likely that the mom and dad were trying to mentally prepare themselves for the eventual death.  If they did not name the child, they were likely to be less attached to it.  Their grieving process would be easier if Doodle were just a nameless child.  After three months, it became clear that Doodle was not going to die, so they finally gave him a name.  

But he didn't die, and when he was three months old, Mama and Daddy decided they might as well name him. They named him William Armstrong


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