Monday, October 19, 2009

Game of the Name

Dr. Husband and I still don’t have any agreed-upon boy names for the wee one, and I’m getting slightly panicky about it. Yes, we could be having a girl, rendering the issue irrelevant, but the only thing getting me through this 5-week window of “any minute now you’re going to start the most excruciatingly painful/gloriously magical experience of your life” is by being prepared as a way of deluding myself into thinking I’m in control. Baby clothes and blankets washed? Check. Burp cloths personalized with poorly executed DIY alterations? Check. Diaper delivery ordered? Check. Freezer stocked with labor-friendly popsicles? Check. Pediatrician met, interviewed, and approved? Check, check, check.

If this critter curling its toes around my ribcage does turn out to be a boy, we know what we’re doing with the foreskin on his penis—we just don’t know what his name might be.

Every few days I come up with a new name that I love—Issac, Oliver, Grover—and every few days Dr. Husband makes the same horrified face at me that I make at him when he reasserts his inexplicable love of Conrad, Casey, and Percival.

“We’re not going to find the perfect name,” he warns. “We need to focus on ones we can both live with.”

Has this man not met me?

I’m a writer. Words are my life. Of course my child needs the perfect name—one that’s not too popular or trendy but not totally weird or obscure, something dignified that doesn’t scream I’m destined for private school! (especially since he probably is), a name that’s classic but not so old-fashioned that people will assume we chose it from a tombstone in a local graveyard.

If our baby is a girl, we’re all set with two solid options and a third likely contender if neither of the first two options seem to suit her.

If it’s a boy, Dr. Husband and I will likely be leaving the hospital with a blank birth certificate and a renewed need for couples’ counseling. How else to reconcile his insistence on something manly like Conrad (!) with my desire for something sweet like Robin?

Last night during the second of two hours-long bouts of infamous third-trimester insomnia my mind decided it would be delightful to present a roster of bad, evil, and otherwise nefarious men with the various names on Dr. Husband’s and my “don’t totally love it but are willing to consider it for the sake of our child not being nameless for the rest of his life” compromise list. In no time at all, my exhausted but wide-awake mind came up with a child molester, a mass murderer, and an assassin. Do normal people just block out these associations? Do I just need to get out of the house more?

Okay, the answer to that is clearly Yes. But where can I go that doesn’t require standing, sitting on any hard surfaces, smelling any strong smells, staying awake, or wearing a properly-fitting bra?

Is it wrong to think that because the baby will have my husband’s surname and because I’m the one growing this creature inside me that my vote should hold more weight than his? Perhaps, oh, thirty pounds more?


  1. Here are some that I like--maybe one will save your marriage:


  2. Thank you! We are clearly kindred spirits, because not only are some of your suggestions already on my list, but my name is Wil (well, Wilson, but my family calls me Wil). If only we could get Dr. Husband to understand that "Liam" is so much better than "Leo"!