Monday, August 31, 2009

What's in a Name?

First, thank you all for your reassurances that my picture post didn't make you hate me, that it's okay to put up some photos and that this being my blog, I ought to post what I want. With respect to that last item, it's true, but what makes blogging so fulfilling for me is the connection, interaction and back-and-forth I have with you. I could "document" my days in a private diary, but I wouldn't have gained anything I that I have as a result of my connection with you all. I treasure what we have and I would not want to hurt that connection for anything. So, thank you.

Now then, a little issue seems to be presenting itself.

According to my nurse practitioner's first guess, the ancient Chinese gender test, and every other bit of folklore, I'm expecting a baby boy. I can visualize him, as a toddler, with his adorable hair parted on the side. I lick my fingers and smooth it down. He has an adorable little smiling face. Twinkly eyes. An untied shoelace. I love him.

But I don't know his name. And figuring it out seems to be presenting a wee problem.

My DH and I started tossing around names last weekend. I don't even know who started it. But there we were. I told him previously that I wanted a name that is normal. A nice, normal name that won't cause people to ask him, all his life long, "Huh? What's your name? How do you spell that?" But I don't want a top 10 name either. Although I absolutely love the name Jack, it's become too popular lately. I don't want him to be one of 6 Jack's in his little first grade class.

My husband, on the other hand, is hell bent on picking the most bizarre, grotesque names I could possibly think up. Now I'm not going to tell you what any of them are, because everyone likes and dislikes different names, and maybe these are names you would think are adorable. But for each of us, there are names that we just automatically associate with horrible traits. The list is different for each of us, but you know what I mean.

I happen to think the name Benjamin is sweet, and Ben suits a man quite well. But maybe you grew up with a horrible nose-picking bully named Benny, and so the thought of naming your beloved child Benjamin turns your stomach.

Or maybe you love the older names, like Edith and Matilda and Gertrude. Maybe not. Maybe you you associate them with wrinkled old women sporting white buns on their heads.

See what I mean?

So just think for a moment about the names you yourself associate with (1) wife beater, belly hanging out, cigar smoking, beer drinking red neck; (2) the kid who will surely get beat up on the playground for his name that rhymes with something disgusting; (3) Nerdy, ears sticking out, buck tooth poindexter; (4) someone who smells like rotten eggs; (5) serial murderers; (6) unpronounceable foreign names; (7) an 80 year old man with burly tufts of hair growing out of his get the idea. These are the names my DH is suggesting.

I finally said, "Are you screwing with me? You would not seriously name a child that?!" I told him that I'm getting one chance (I hope) in this life to name a child, and I want it to be a name I at least LIKE.

Meanwhile, he didn't care much for my choices either, for some reason I couldn't comprehend.

The ironic thing is that we discovered tons of girls names we can agree on. I'm starting to think we ought to start praying for a girl. Otherwise that sweet little boy with his hair parted on the side, with the smiling face and twinkly eyes might have to go quite a while without a name.


embieadoptmom said...

OH THE NAMES-SUCH a difficult decision! We went with short, easy to spell names that are normal. We only have one (our baby) that has a different name. I like old names but not UGLY OLD NAMES! Good luck on this one sister. I don't know a lot of husbands and wives that DO agree on this, it usually takes a while. The hard thing is, picking just 2 a first and middle-SUCH TORCHER for us parents!

Alex P said...

ohhh. my weird dirty word verification monster is back. "semon" thats not a word. thats a misspelled sperm term. Moving on.

both of you should make seperate, no peeking lists of names. then when you both have a ton that you love, like, and totally veto, you review. look for pronunciations and spelling that is similar. try to find similar things you want the name to represent- strength, vigor, honesty, etc... then use an online name finder to see if something one likes is meant through the name the other person likes. Or just wait till you're in labour and guilt him into naming the baby what you want...

ohh. was that manipulation? my bad.

Lorraine said...

We had the worst time picking a name for my daughter. I hated all of his choices - despised most of them, actually. Luckily she was a girl, becuase his favorite boys names are the wacky old English ones - Nigel, Archibald, Hamish, Rupert. Old English names are fine, but his favorites were just never going to be on my list.

We did each make a list, and one of the names on his list was so surprising that I actually looked it up to see if maybe it had a meaning that justified it's being chosen...

The entry right above it was THE name. The instant I saw it I knew. I even waited a few hours before calling him, because I knew that once he heard it there would be no going back, and I wanted to be sure.

He loved it, I loved it. It amazes me that we didn't come up with it earlier. So, I think it's possible to find something that will make you both happy.

But maybe waiting for the delivery room moment is a good back-up plan!

Fran said...

Can I just say one know you better lose the habit hof licking your fingers and fix his/her hair by the time he/she goes to school or he/she will hate you!! :o)))) I can still remember my mam doing it!

On the name front, completely agree, there are some names that are lovely if taken out of contest, but then in your lie that name is linked to something'll never name a child that way. For example I really liked the name Anita...until I met and awful bi**h bossy and throat cutting colleague years ago and since then that name gives me shivers! Love, Fran

cindyhoo2 said...

I recently read an article that showed that girls with interesting names had no negaitive effects but that boys tended to have poorer emotional markers when they had interesting/odd names. It seems they were teased more. See? You Win!

Have you checked out the name wizard online? It tells you the popularity of names for the past 100+ years and lets you knowthe tops 10 names in the past few years--- so you can avoid the 1st grade issue. :)

BTW: I love the name Riley but Joey will not let me use it. Feel free. ;)

just me, dawn said...

ahhh...the name game, isn't it fun? No advice for you as my DH has decided to make me crazy by giving me outrageous abraham lincoln...he has a weird fascination with him. I have a feeling in the end he would do anyhting i want :) but he did throw out a girls name that i found interesting.....we have time :) good luck with this!

NoodleGirl said...

DH and I have the opposite problem. We have a boy's name all picked out - it was a relative on his side that everyone adored so it's got a great precedent. Plus it's a bit unusual but simple and no one will be confused by it. Happy to share it if you're polling for suggestions!

As for girl's names, we're totally on opposite spectrums. All the names he likes are sickeningly girly frou-frou names. I want to beat up any girl with those names and I'm not a violent person. As for my names, I think they're the perfect blend of different yet classic. He calls them stripper names. Sigh... I've started frantically emailing myself any girl name that we hear and neither of us barf. Sadly I think the non-barfing may be the best we can do for agreeing ;).

looking4#3 said...

My husband and I had a horrible time agreeing on names. We only had one boy's name and we were at completely opposite ends with a girls name. (not sure what would have happened had "Magic" stuck around)
Needless to say, we had a boy. Our name choice was simple, classic, not off the wall and yet not your everyday run of the mill name either. In fact, after he was born and named, my cousin used the same name for her son!!! So annoying. I am sure you know what it is, but let me know if you want me to refresh your memory!!!
Husbands can be such PITAs can't they??!!!!
(PS--how about "Flystme" that is my word verification!!)

K said...

I also suggest the idea of making no peek lists then sharing them later. (We did that awhile ago...obviously it was very pre-mature for us and probably gave us back luck.) You might also each make a list of names on each side of your families that you like. Some last names make good first names too if you're going over your family names. Hope that helps! It should be fun!

Thanks, BTW, for your comment on my blog. That was just what I needed to hear to give me a tiny ounce of hope. The first time I consulted with Top Doc in March, she found a remnant follicle like that in me and the progesterone test confirmed it. However, they did not draw a progesterone yesterday. Too bad. Thanks again.

IVF 40+ said...

Er, taking a moment to say ... holy crap.. baby names. What a sweet relief from all the TTC IF crap we all complain about!!
One name or two? I say put all the names in a hat and pick out three.
Then forget them coz it's gonna be a girl ;-)

Enjoy it - hope to do this soon myself.

stillhopeful said...

You're right - it's so funny how the associations in life that you have make all the difference. For instance, I love Madison, but I hate the nickname Maddie because of a girl I knew in grade school.

Luckily, my husband and I both tend to like somewhat unusual, but not totally wacky names, so we easily agreed. Not sure if the kid will hate us, tho!

We're not telling anyone IRL what the names are, but I might post on the blog when it gets closer to the due date...

anofferingoflove said...

im right there with you - we cant agree on anything! we are having a girl, so of course the boy name is easy and settled. no idea what we'll do for this little girl though!

BB said...

If it makes you feel any better my husband has been throwing out the worst names as well-for boys. What is with them? I said the same thing,"are you kidding? Please tell me you are kidding." We agree on the girls names but the boys names are tough. And if we have 2 boys, well hold on to your hats!!!

Mad Hatter said...

Oh good luck with this! Mr. H and I haven't agreed on hypothetical names yet...Actually, I don't think it's that unusual to have a hard time - one couple we know had such a hard time agreeing that they were polling their friends and family for suggestions weeks after the birth! So don't feel so bad - you still have lots of time! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Haha! When we had our boy we TOTALLY didn't agree on any names. I finally got a paper and wrote down all the names I liked for A, then B, etc. I only picked names I could live with. I ended up with about 50 names.

Then we went through the list together. I crossed out all the No Way names (in his opinion) and we were only left with 3 names! One (the one we chose) was the name of a bully in his school, but we don't use the "child" version where you add the ee sound to the end of it (which was how the bully was called). So it worked out.

It is so hard - I know we thought there were TONS of J names we'd both like, but our names both start with J's and we thought that would be dumb. Now I think I wouldn't worry about that!

Good luck!

looking4#3 said...

Your comment about your husband's latest choice had me totally LOL!!! I cracked up because I completely believe you when you say he was serious! I have a friend who named his son.....(I'm serious here) WillRyder (ONE NAME). I can also tell you I have a cousin---again, being totally truthful and serious who named her three daughters, Dawn, Fawn and Bambi---she calls them her three little deers!!!! Whatever your LO's name is, I am sure it will be nothing like those!!!
Oh, one more--friend named his son Noah. Which is a fine name, but along with his last name, it just doesn't work. Say it out loud---Noah Motion!!! What are people thinking???
There's your laugh for the day, maybe the week.

Elizabeth said...

Hi -- delurking to just say congratulations and good luck with the names. I agree with the no peeking lists idea, that sounds useful. We were able to agree on a boys name pretty quickly, although we went with family names and the Irish tradition: first boy is named after father's father. Luckily that was a name we could agree to, especially when shortened to a nickname. Although it turned out to be unexpectedly common (there is now another Liam catty corner across the street, about 4 mounths younger). Good luck!