Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Baby Names

When you are going to be a parent soon, one of the frequent questions you get asked is, “Do you have any names picked out?” I inherently dislike this question for reasons that I cannot quite explain. I suppose it’s simply that I don’t like explaining my tentative choices to people unless I have made a decision and thus made them not tentative. Our list of potential names could change at any moment, and in the end, we’re only going with one, so what’s the point in sharing the whole list with people?

The weirdest thing, however, is that people are constantly surprised that we don’t have a name picked out already. It seems to be the norm now to prename all your children. This, frankly, boggles my mind. How can you name someone you’ve never seen before? What if their looks or personality don’t fit the name you decided on months ago? Frankly, I’m not even entirely confident that we’ll end up using one of the names on our short list.

Despite our explanation that we’d like to meet the little fella before saddling him with a name by which he will be known for the rest of his life, people are still shocked. Some people have asked us if we’ll just have Baby Boy on the birth certificate, which is apparently what you get when you don’t decide before heading home from the hospital. Seriously, I think there are probably much worse things in life than having a birth certificate that says Baby Boy. After all, nobody’s going to call you that or come up with ways to turn it into an unfortunate nickname.

Of course, all this means that during the last nine months, we have not had a name with which to refer to our baby. We’ve mostly called him things like The Little Critter or Squirrel Baby, and those have worked well enough, especially since he’s been active enough to warrant an appellation like Critter. In the past week or two, I’ve increasingly started thinking of him as one of the two names that we’re seriously considering. It’s a little strange to have a name pop randomly into my head as I’m thinking about it, and it’s stranger that it’s not consistent.

At any rate, it’ll probably be only a few more days of this, and then we’ll have to start deciding for real. I’m still hoping to sneak Hroðgar onto the list while Brinestone is still all drugged up.

Blog 12 Replies to “Baby Names”
Jonathon Owen


12 thoughts on “Baby Names

    Author’s gravatar

    Having “baby boy” on his birth certificate has not impeded my husband in any significant way. I guess when it was time for him to get a driver’s license, they made an appendix to the certificate citing his name.

    When you mentioned people’s “shock” I thought of Dot in Raising Arizona: “you gotta have one! you gotta have one this instant!”

    Author’s gravatar

    That’s so what it feels like, pooka!

    So, have you ruled Hrodberacht (spelling?) out, Jon Boy?

    Author’s gravatar

    I still think something Old English will be a good idea. Hrothgar (but NOT Roger), Beowulf, Aelfred, Alcuin.

    You have to admit, it will be unique.

    Author’s gravatar

    Unique and awesome. Who wouldn’t want to be named after a mythic hero?

    Brinestone: I’m thinking of Hrodberaht for the middle name.

    Author’s gravatar

    Just tell them you don’t give a name until the bris (circumcision). Worked for me. ;)

    And in this state, if the baby is unnamed when you leave the hospital, they make you come back (within two weeks) and fill out all the paperwork. :P

    Author’s gravatar

    But we’re not having him circumcised.

    And I’m (pretty) sure we’ll have a name for him before we leave the hospital. He just won’t have a name the instant he emerges into the world.

    Author’s gravatar

    I know. It was a joke. See? I used a smilie and everything!

    Author’s gravatar

    My excuse is that I’ve slept very poorly the past two nights. Yeah. That’s it.

    Author’s gravatar

    *cackles evilly* Just you wait, my pretty!

    *cough* I mean, I’m sorry to hear that. *sympathetic look*

    Author’s gravatar

    Our baby was The Tiny Morris or TTM. We were pretty sure she was a girl, and we had a name picked out early on, but we didn’t want to tell people because as nice as people are they tend to say things like “You can’t use that name, I knew a person in college with that name and she/he was awful.” Or “But that’s what I want to name my first child.”

    So when people asked — even close relatives. We said “We’ve decided to go with Alouicious Freedom — it works if it’s a girl OR a boy.”

    Author’s gravatar

    It’s occured to me that I never suggested Aelfric, which is what my next cat will be named. Too late, I suppose.

    Author’s gravatar

    I’ll put that at the top of the list for Baby #2.

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