The art of naming your child
Essential Baby blogger Kylie Orr
When we had our second son and named him Jacob, not one person bought me a bottle of Jacob's Creek. I felt a bit ripped off about that. I earned that bottle of wine. I named a kid after it, in fact. OK that's a stretch. Originally I wanted Chandon but hubby vetoed it. Moet didn't run smoothly with our surname.
Kid's names' are such a source of anxiety, aren't they? Some people are tight-lipped about their names, thinking it best not to offer them out there too early for fear of ridicule. When a baby is here, and their name is Rumpelstilskin, no-one's going to say to the parents: "Are you serious?" But be certain it'll be laughed about behind their backs.
Others get so possessive of the names they've chosen. Even when they're not pregnant. One friend asked me what name we had chosen when I was pregnant with Jacob, and when I told her she said aghast: "You can't! We were going to have that name if we ever have a boy!" OK, so I'm supposed to not have this name because you reserve the right at some point in the future, if you decide to have another baby, and if that baby is the chosen gender, to use that name? C'mon!
I understand when someone has loved a name forever, or perhaps there is some family tradition or connection to a name. But you can't own a name. Some say so what if there's two Jacobs in a social circle; others think there's enough names in the world without having to repeat them amongst family and friends.
Everyone has an opinion. A nice early welcome to parenthood, really. Opinions are as prevalent as poo.
Some people wait for their baby to be born before deciding which name suits them. This never worked for us. Mainly because we only ever agreed on one name but also because I have no idea what a one-minute-old Jacob should look like.
My husband's role in the naming game was to suggest nothing; reject everything. This didn't cut it when we were pregnant with number two so he started proposing some really sub-standard names. Names only fit for dogs, and even then, I wouldn't like to be standing in a public place calling them out. I won't mention the names because there'll be someone out there who has chosen to name their poor child that and then you'll get all antsy about my blog and start writing complaint emails to the boss.
So, now we undertake the task of naming child number three and find ourselves back to square one. We have retained the same girl's name only because I'm too scared to venture into that territory when an agreement was made five years ago.
Unfortunately we have used all our favourite boy's names already and I just can't find any more I like. Baby Name books don't help - they are just another 500 names to eliminate. My mother has tried everything from suggesting a name for each letter of the alphabet to finding a nice meaning and then a name that fits that meaning. Unfortunately names that mean 'sleep' and 'obey' aren't too attractive.
Friends try to help by nominating their own names or simply mocking the whole process with suggestions of Billy-Ray and Junior.
My dad has banned any more discussion about names. He's offended that his suggestion of LeRoy was scoffed at so refuses to contribute further. I think he believes I am taking the responsibility of naming a child too seriously. In my eyes, it is a huge responsibility. This is the name your child will live with at least until he/she can legally change it by deed poll. The name you choose could be deemed a form of child abuse if you�re not careful. Take a recent court case in NZ where a nine year old was temporarily placed under guardianship until a more suitable name could be chosen for her. The parents had named her Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.
Turning to celebrities for inspiration is fruitless. Well that's not true, there is Gwyneth's Apple.
Add Sunday Roast, sorry, Sunday Rose, Kal-el, Dweezil, Moon Unit, Puma, Shiloh, Suri, Knox and well, those are some of the more brilliant contributions - and the stress of naming is compounded.
Self-imposed rules don't help.
I don't want to repeat any initials we already have just from a practicality point of view so N, K, Z and J are out.
I don't like made-up names or names with unyusuel spelling. Anything that sounds like it should be on Kath and Kim is off the list.
We have a challenging surname: Orr. I think we need a long name with it to balance out the one syllable. So that excludes a solid chunk of the 500 names in the Name Book.
I've ditched any name that starts with an 'E' because I can't cope with the idea that my little one will go to kinder with 'E.Orr' written on their bag. And if I was going to get pedantic, then any B names would result in the initials B.O. which seems a little cruel. 'H' probably isn't the best to match with Orr. I'll let you work that one out.
So, let me know if you have any suggestions that fit all the rules above, don't steal someone else's much-loved family name, don't mock the child or set them up for ridicule and are gender appropriate.
Looks like we're up poo pond without a paddle. If this child comes out with a willy, he may indeed be named... Willy.
What challenges did you face when naming your child/ren? Comment on Kylie Orr's blog here.