|photo credit Babycenter.com|
1. Respect (head's up - this is my angriest of rules)
What others do - I respect and (try) not to judge. Listen, if you want to name your child something I can't pronounce a) that isn't hard since I can hardly pronounce my last name and b) it's your baby. Mozel tov to you. I most certainly do not comment out loud, nor will I here. My rules are things that I think about when we talk about naming babies, for our family not rules that should be mandated from state to state, country to country. I completely understand how many people, if not most, will think the following thoughts on naming the next kid in this crew is bananas. That's fine, think we are bananas. Think it silently. What I hope most will also think is that this first rule is the most important one.
I continue to remain shocked at the audacity of people. Sure, I can see in their eyes when they try keep their reaction to some of the names we are thinking about silent. At least they are trying, A for effort. I'll respect that. Just the other night someone made fun of my favorite name for a girl. I'm not going to lie and I'm also not going to sugar coat or censor this. I think that's totally fucked up. And it took all I had not to reply with a loud and proud (and clearly hormonally charged) big fuck you. I'm not going to sugar coat it. It's fucked up. Do I make fun of your name, maybe it's one of the names I specifically say I dislike the most? Do I poke fun of what comes to mind when I hear that name? Who do you think you are? Why do you ask about names if you aren't going to play nice? Why do you participate in the conversation? Does it make me angry? Guess.
This particular interaction isn't the first time and I know it won't be the last but it is the most fresh. Make no mistake, if you've done it in the past to me or anyone else I would wager they remember. Perhaps it doesn't make them as angry as it does me, perhaps they don't get angry at all - but they remember.
2. Names should be nicknamable
If you know my name, it might seem nicknameable. If you don't know it, you won't need to be Nancy Drew to figure it out. The thing about my name is there are a few options and one of them my mom took off the table from the beginning. Jenny was never an option... ahh the spelling possibilities, how I feel cheated we could have had so much fun Jennie or Jenni - with hearts over the i's it would have been grand. Alas it was banned. If I were ever able to make a new start, I might try to see if it catches on. I dig it, strangely. There are names we absolutely LOVE that I can't come to terms with. I can't figure out a way to consider them because it isn't nicknamable OR I can't find a name that would BRING me to these names. This rule is the least favorite of my rules and the one I can't seem to walk away from. It's irritating. Maybe I should flip to Jenny now to be able to get over the whole thing cause we are missing out on some hott names.
Examples, in no particular order:
Jake (I know, Jacob. I can't do it. When I think of Jacob, I think werewolf. It's a tween obsession. I can't go there.)
There are more but I think I'm trying to block out names I can't consider, because I'm bananas.
3. Names should be somewhat uncommon in some way
My name was also one that was the last thing other than unique. That said, L's name isn't all that randomly heard. It sucks. Her name is one that has always been rattling around in my head, variations of it - but I always knew I wouldn't know until I met my daughter. Then I did and there she was. Who would know variations of her name would climb into the top 20 the year she was born? Number 17 and climbing.
You know what is a little more unique? Elle. I'm just saying (popularity ranking: 442 vs. 17). Since I'm the only one that calls her that it doesn't really count. This time around, word on the street is I get carte blanche on this next kid since the last round my naming dreams were dashed. See number 63 - 64 in the 100 list.
When it's all said and done, this seems to be the rule we care the least about. Our favorite name for a boy is Jackson which is (A) a super popular nation wide (B) a popular name in our family and extended families (C) the nickname I most prefer, Jax, is the name of characters of two TV shows I admittedly watch. ALL of that said, I like the name in spite of my General Hospital habit and I loved it before my obsession began with Sons of Anarchy. Basically it's in all ways, the opposite of somewhat uncommon, yet I compare all boy names to Jax. Let's take a moment of silence for the name that will never be.
(this is the silence)
4. Names should have some kind of connection to family names
L's full name - first, middle and initials ties to family 100%. I feel like pulling a name from a baby book, despite how much we like it, seems like we are cheating the next kid out of something. I might be over thinking it. OK fine, I'm totally over thinking it. I think I may be over thinking the whole thing. OK fine, I'm totally over thinking it - but see rule number 1.
I'm stressing. I don't know why - but this whole naming thing is a lot of pressure and I feel it. How do you handle picking names for the kids, pets, cars - whatever? It's a lot of pressure - no matter who or what you are putting a title on.