Baby Naming Should Be Used at Guantanamo Bay

10Jul08
Please do not name me after an object or day of the week.

"Please do not name me after an object or day of the week."

We’re less than five weeks away from our due date, so a question I get a lot right now is “Do you have a name yet?”

The short answer is yes. The longer answer requiring more explanation is we have 12 of them.

I’ll admit that not choosing to discover gender will do this to you. But that’s not the only factor.

My first name wasn’t particularly common growing up, so I don’t want to burden my child with a name people have to learn. By contrast, my wife’s name is the most common of our generation, so there were 2 other girls with her name in every class. She therefore wants interesting, and I want simple. So finding one that does both is kind of tricky. But we did agree on plenty.

I think it’s been granted that generally decision making for men is a bit different than for women. I see it as a three-step, linear process. Gather information on options, analyze information to narrow choices, select.

My wife sees it as more of – I’ll be nice and call it – a cyclical process. Gather information on options, analyze information to narrow choices, gather more information to expand choices, analyze information to narrow choices, have a snack, gather more information to expand choices… and so on.

She actually read one of the baby name books arranged alphabetically to be a reference guide from cover to cover, beginning to end.

The good thing is that there were only 12 names (6 boy, 6 girl) that sounded good initially to both of us. The bad news is that she still refuses to eliminate any of them. In desperation I even came up with a system to determine a score for each name, based on the number of points we each rated them. She agreed this sounded like a good idea. I was happy with the outcome of the system. She was too. And then she ignored it and start suggesting new names five minutes later.

Our parents’ reactions were interesting. Both our moms were receptive and positive, each diplomatic about names they liked less. Our dads flat told us which ones they hated – for one of them that was “all of em.” This wasn’t particularly helpful.

The other thing is we have a few pregnant friends, so we can’t talk about it with them, for fear of either appearing to lay claim to a name, which would be ridiculous and entitled, or that they will in fact steal the names which are rightfully ours by birthright. So no help from the friends camp.

Late in the process, I tried to just say, here’s the boy name and here’s the girl name – with a lot of conviction. That didn’t work. It was trumped by the fact I let her get away with months of waffling – which she knows I wouldn’t allow if I had any clue either.

I like how the Spanish do it. They get to use every name ever used in their family and I suspect they throw a few more in there just to sound cool. If I were Spanish, I’d throw in the name LaDainian.

But we have no such luxury.

So here’s my advice to you – early on, as soon as you hit the first name you definitely both like, just make the decision right then and be really assertive and enthusiastic about it. Then be ridiculously attached to that one name and refuse to refer to the baby as anything but that name. Your wife will initially be unsure, then think it’s kind of cute that you’re so attached, then totally buy in.

If it’s LaDainian, you will be my hero.

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2 Responses to “Baby Naming Should Be Used at Guantanamo Bay”

  1. 1 jhoetzl

    LOL, faced with the same decision 3 months ago, we had a few names picked, and we also didn’t know the gender…we picked a different one once we saw her. Best of luck with your new adventure!

  2. It happens to me too. We didn’t use the names we prepared. But in the end it has a better baby meanings


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