Monday, October 31, 2011
So third time around, we've decided not to find out the gender of the baby. The other half wants a "surprise". He did last time too, but I cruelly convinced him that we should find out by arguing that it would mean we could ignore half the baby name book. It worked a treat. See, my husband does NOT like to talk about names, and I absolutely LOVE too. He thinks we should just wait until the baby is born and then decide, but I know that those heady days immediately after giving birth render one a little bit loopy, and I'm not sure that's a good state in which to be dreaming up the all-important name. A bit of background research - a list of say 5 names for each sex - is, in my opinion, a very good thing to have in your hospital bag. Names are tricky to agree on and it's good to know where you both stand. As a friend of mine said about her and her partner's inability to agree on a name for their daughter: "We agree on everything: politics, religion, ecetera, but can we agree on a name that we both like? No, we cannot."
Anyway, I found something that I wrote about names when I was pregnant with our first and it seems just as applicable now as it did then, so I thought I'd share it:
Now that we know we’re having a girl, there has been a sudden increase in the frequency of the question: “Do you have any names yet?” Yes, we do, and I’m fast learning to keep them to myself. People don’t seem to have any problem telling you what they think, or pulling a face. My dad, not one to beat about the bush, just says things like “no” or “really?” or “that’s a bit silly”. Thus, several perfectly lovely names (in my opinion) have been discarded. In fact, we’re running pretty low because evidently you can’t please everyone, or indeed anyone, when it comes to names. I’ve tried not to be influenced by external forces, but when someone pulls an expression akin to sucking on a mouthful of manure, it’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve convinced yourself that an utterly ludicrous name is fabulously unique and meaningful. See, when you’re flicking through the baby name book, it is very, very easy to get carried away (think Apple Paltrow, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, Shiloh Nouvel Pitt, Diva Muffin Zappa, Tallulah Belle Willis, the list goes on and on and on), and trust me I have come up with some shockers. My husband's response to an early list was: “Where did you get these from? Were you trying to think of the most horrible names you could?” It’s actually pretty hard to find a name that you both like, and once you do, firm favorites often become completely unimaginable a week later (thus confirming my suspicion that I should NEVER EVER get a tattoo) for no particular reason.
Please, please, if someone reveals their list of possible baby names to you, lie, goddamn it! Lie! You probably will once the baby is born and the name decided on, so why not now? Even if we do settle on Ermintrude and you think it’s the most hideous name ever, please don’t tell me. In turn, I promise not to utter a word (or pull a face) when little Osgood’s arrival is announced.
I should add that my brother recently revealed to me that when we did announce the name of our first born, he wasn't sure if it was a joke or not. I don't think this was because her name is that out there (maybe just a little quirky and retro), but because we were pretty sure that she was going to be one thing and then when we met her, she really wasn't, and we went for something else on the list (a very late addition and one that had been earlier rejected by Mr-I-don't-want-to-talk about-names). It suits her so much more than we could have known at the time, but then perhaps all babies grow into their names and we really shouldn't worry so much...