October 5, 2021

What's In A Name?

Before our daughter came along, I naively thought I had 100% naming rights, particularly for a girl.  Because my mother didn't teach me otherwise.  Obviously!  So much so, that in college I got a tattoo and justified it as for my future daughter if I had one.  And because my future husband, whom I hadn't met yet, would LOVE the name! Again Obviously!  I have no regrets, but I have a tattoo of a daisy and no daughter or even dog to date to call Daisy Sunshine.  My daughter is aware that I wanted to name her that, and I sometimes call her Daisy Sunshine, which she emphatically says "NO! that's not my name!" It will always be your name in a parallel yet alternative dimension or universe where your father agrees with my tattoo. 

Naming a child is such an awesome responsibility.  You can set them up for years of teasing with the wrong name or the wrong set of initials.  You could potentially set them up for prejudgment on an resume that might cause them to get weeded out from getting an interview.  You could inadvertently rub salt in a friend's fresh wounds by choosing a name they had chosen for their baby that didn't survive.  A word of advice for you young, immature, awkward types.  Even if they didn't offer the information, don't ever be afraid to ask your friend if they'd picked out a name after they suffer such loss.  It might better show you care, than delicately tiptoeing awkwardly around their pain and grief. 

Before we had confirmation we were having a girl, we started talking names, and it was then that my husband established unlimited veto power that either of us could exercise for any name for any reason.  We came up with two lists, one for boys and one for girls, simply because it's kind of fun to talk names.  You learn more about your spouse in these conversations too.  I'm pretty sure we settled on Colby Jack for a boy, however, I know my husband would tell you he vetoed the Jack part of the name because our son could not be named that intentionally for cheese.  However since we didn't have a boy, I can maintain whatever story I want, and I'm sticking to it!

When we got the news we were having a girl, the conversation blew up.  We went through so many names followed by an interrogation whenever either one of us would exercise a veto.  However neither of us were ever satisfied with each others explanations.  But a veto is a veto, and you either respect the rules or create unnecessary chaos before even bringing a child into the world.  And let me tell you, I kept trying to put Daisy back on the table over and over, and he never waivered.   I still don't understand it to this day, but you don't have to understand a veto.  To be clear there was no disagreement over passing along my middle name to her.  He was on board with that from the beginning. 

We narrowed it down to our top two names and didn't make a decision until we checked into the hospital and they wrote her name on the board.  While we liked both names, we thought one was more classic than our second choice and there was no further discussion.  We both knew by then which one we wanted.  Now if I'd had the privilege of hindsight, and bothered to be a good friend, her name would be Piper Sunshine.  Which let's be honest, is almost as cute as Daisy Sunshine, but not quite.  

The only other discussion we had to settle on was the spelling of her name since there so many ways to spell her name.  I let my husband's logic win out because in the end it was the pronunciation I cared about.  His rational was that Madelyn was the simplest and most obvious way to spell her name.  Well the joke is on him, because people still spell it Madeleine, Madelynn, Madeline first.   Even after I spell it correctly, many people will still misspell it back to me.   So that will never end and it is what it is.  That makes them awkward not me. 

All that to say it generally takes two to pick a name.  And it should never take more than two.  Just make sure to check the initials to avoid initials like FAT, MFR, BUT, PIS and others.  And make sure the full name isn't something like Ima Hogg or Richard Head.  The internet is full of information, you can always test it there to see what comes up to save your child from being the butt of jokes through out school, and good laughs in Human Resource offices through out adulthood.