Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Baby Labels: What Do You Name the Kid?

I'm sure you've done it. I know I have. A lot. You meet someone, get introduced, and their name is just...weird. And obviously that is only your opinion, because apparently SOMEONE liked that name in order for this person to own it.

When you are a kid and you name your dolls or your stuffed animals or your Someday Kids, you try on a lot of names to see what you like. By the time you are an adult, you likely have an idea of what your top monikers for babies would be should you get to that point.

Then you meet your future spouse and start to procreate and now have to merge these finalists into just ONE name you agree on (or two or three or however many kids you end up having). Needless to say, it can be near impossible to land on the one word in the world that you both love enough to label your precious offspring.

With our first baby, my husband and I didn't know what gender we were having, so we prepared two lists over the months, deciding in month 9 on first the Girl Name, and then the Boy Name. Although it was harder to agree on names for boys, in hindsight it seemed like it was relatively easy to agree in general.

Baby number two was different for some reason. I don't know if it was the added pressure of having a second child (the sibling names "have to" "go together"), having a second daughter (we can't use our previous boy name list and just be done with it), or what, but I was already past my due date by the time we agreed on a name we both like.

This is literally the list of preferences I put on a name candidate:
* First name 2 syllables, middle name 3 syllables (just like our first child)
* One "girlie" name, the other "not so girlie" (just like the first kid)
* Can't end in "R" (our last name starts with "R")
* First name cannot end with the same letter that which the middle name begins
* Can't end in any variation of "-ley", "ly", "lie", etc. - basically cannot rhyme with our last name (never mind I love all names that end like this)

And this was before we even eliminated names of all of our exes, living family
Seriously? OK, maybe I'm still
scoffing at some names...
 names, and obvious seasonal names (I really wanted Noelle for a middle name for this December 21st baby but husband vetoed it).

I downloaded several name picker apps to my phone and we spent hours going through them. We poured through the cast lists on IMDB looking for something we both loved. We wore out the internet looking up all the First Female Anythings to find a name with history. 

This is where it dawned on me. All the names I had ever thought were "weird" when I first heard them? Not so much! I surprised myself by considering names I might have - and DID - scoff at all those years ago because hearing them now categorized them as "unique" and "modern" and not so bad...maybe. And then you read all the Top Unique and Modern Baby Names lists and see them on there again and then really wonder how unique they can possibly be anyway if they're on a list like that in the first place!

Then there's the realization that everyone having a baby around the same time as us was also looking for a baby name that is something people have heard of, but not well enough that the kid is one of seven in their Kindergarten class. It's a vicious cycle.

At least we decided before the baby appeared. You hear these stories of babies that were in the hospital for days before their parents figured it out. Or they took another few months even, where special paperwork has to be filed! Yikes!

We are probably done having kids, but I'm sure we'll have some pets to name in the future...and one of them might be the perfect candidate for "Coco", "Apple" or "Rocket".