NEW YORK — One down, one to go. Now that TomKitten has been born, the world still awaits the birth of another superbaby: the expected child of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It's a tabloid editor's dream of a doubleheader — it's a beautiful day, let's play two!
On Tuesday, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise — aka TomKat — welcomed into the world their first child together, a daughter named Suri. The name has its origins in Hebrew meaning "princess" or in Persian meaning "red rose," according to Cruise's publicist.
Israeli newscasts were good-naturedly skeptical about Suri being a Hebrew word. "We seem to have learned a new Hebrew word, and from Tom Cruise, no less," said the Channel 2 anchorman.
Meanwhile, Jolie is nearing the end of her pregnancy as she and Pitt lay low in the southwest African country of Namibia. Us Weekly readers and genealogists alike crouch with bated breath for the coming of what could be the human race's most beautiful spawn.
With two of the biggest celebrity births in decades occurring in such proximity, the questions abound. Will the two babies forever be linked? If they wrestled, who would win? Will Suri and the as-yet-born Brangelina Baby eventually ascend to rule us like dictators? Or will they merely run the Church of Scientology and the U.N., respectively?
"They will probably go down as a marker of our generation for the saturation point of this celebrity obsession," says Corynne Steindler, the editor of gossip blog Jossip.
Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings "Had they been born on the same day or even the same week, I don't even know if the weekly (magazines) could handle it," she says.
Of course, the naming of celebrity babies has become its own arms race of sorts, with star parents trying to find a yet more obscure moniker. Suri joins a pantheon of Apple, Lourdes and Phinnaeus.
Pitt and Jolie have said they may give their child a Namibian name, which could certainly rival the exotic quality of Suri — which actually may not be as beautiful in meaning as it sounds.
Bruce Lansky, a "baby name guru" and author of "100,000-plus Baby Names," says it means "pointy nose" in Todas, a language spoken by a Southern India tribe. Though he suspects Suri will enjoy the unique name when she's older, she may be annoyed by teasing classmates.
"Typically, Hollywood parents are thinking about themselves," says Lansky. "They're sort of playing, `Aren't I cool to think of this cool name.'"
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Many expect the two couples to take very different approaches to raising their children in the spotlight. While Cruise and Holmes have been exceedingly public in their relationship, Jolie and Pitt have guarded their privacy and shrouded Jolie's pregnancy in secrecy.
"Some react to it by protecting their children and providing cocoons around their children," says Janice Wood, an associate professor at the University of Northern Florida who specializes in child development. "And some want their children to grow up with a pretty good idea of what their parents are and what comes with being a celebrity."
Wood says neither way is necessarily better than the other.
"What I tell parents," Wood says, "is always put yourself in your child's shoes."
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