Choosing a name was one of the most difficult processes in the whole child making adventure. I considered it to be far too weighty a responsibility. I knew that making a decision at a time when my body was ravaged by hormones was completely inappropriate and I didn't want to give my kid a reason to hate me right off the bat. A name is kinda a big deal. Would Madonna be Madonnna if she wasn't called Madonna? We'll never know. In the end my husband found Roscoe's name whilst listening to a song and as soon as I heard it knew that that was my baby's name. There was a small chance that the pee pee we had seen on the scan was misread but other than that we were good to go. Still, there was a while that we were out in name wilderness and here's some stuff I decided along the way...
- There's no such thing as a hot name. No one cares how sexy your birth certificate it. Also it's a bit creepy to try and project hotness onto your child at such a formative stage. Being attractive makes people attractive, no one turned down a date cause their love interest's name wasn't cute enough.
- Embrace the nicknames. Please, please if you choose a name for your child but you hate the popular short form of that name, think about making another choice. There's nothing more irritating, for all involved, than a parent shrieking, 'Her name is Victoria!' after some innocent lets a Vicky slip out. Unless there is some deep trauma associated with the name I suggest getting over it - life's too short to say four syllables.
- In line with the above don't assume you'll have any control over what your kid is called. You might even find that you yourself stray from the name you so carefully chose. After all the angst put into name choosing my husband and I call our son Chief - makes perfect sense.
- If you know the name, claim the name. When we decided on our name I let everyone know to be prepared to meet Roscoe. Not, we're thinking about it or we kinda like... This. Is. His. Name. This definitely reduced the amount of unsolicited advice we received and I felt would prevent any last minute steals from friends and family. I know a preferred method is to keep the name a secret or pretend you haven't decided until birth and whilst I see the logic it felt so lovely for people to start feeling invested in my boy before he even arrived.
- Name you child after a family member. One of the classic pieces of pointless feedback people offer when you tell them your potential baby name is, 'I knew a XXXX and they were an idiot.' Naming your child after a beloved family member prevents the name being tainted by any past or future bearers of the same name.
- Name them after someone who did something great. Preferably an artist or novelist because then even if someone says they hate it you can just shake your head and say something like, 'Oh I forgot how uncultured you are.'
- Get someone else to choose. Just give up the responsibility completely. Any productive person knows that delegation is the key to progress and actually people seem to find it easy to pick names for someone elses child. Siblings are great at this as they don't seem to have the hang ups we do. Personally if you're asking a child to do this for you I'd offer a small range rather than a free choice - Bob the Builder Jones has a ring to it but it's not exactly timeless.
- Quirky is good. I'm bias because I live in Brighton, an area where traditional names are in a minority, but I've heard that having a name that you have to spell out to people builds confidence. Not being able to spell your own name until you're 17 doesn't build confidence, there is fine balance.
Ultimately, it's not that big a deal. Like most things in life I think you should just have fun but not too much fun. A name won't make or break you and if it all goes wrong you can always change your mind. I'd love to hear how you chose your babies name or if you're currently on the look out for one.