There are a lot of reasons to be nervous about having children. From their graceless, teetering attempts to walk across the room all the way to their graceless, teetering attempts at become full-grown well-adjusted human beings, there are a lot of dangers that a parent has to watch out for. Suddenly, parents are responsible for a whole separate person, one that doesn’t seem to always be on the same page as them about what is socially acceptable or incredibly hazardous.
These dangers don’t even start at birth. They start the minute that the woman begins vomiting every morning. A quick trip to the bathroom to urinate on a stick and KAPLOW! You are now a parent.
That is when a very important decision in your child’s life comes into play. After the hyperventilating ends, parents say to themselves, “Well, I guess we’ll have to call this kid something.” They buy baby name books, scour their brains for any name they’ve ever heard, all in the hopes of finding the perfect name for a kid. After all, a name is forever.*
A name can shape a kid forever. If you name a kid Sherman, he will have a decidedly different life than a kid named Chet. I think the world would be an entirely different place if the Hitler’s had named their son Irving. No one named Irving would ever commit horrible crimes against humanity.
As happens at this age, my wife and I have begun to think of children’s names on the off-chance that we accidentally procreate. We want to be prepared and so many discussions have centered on that “perfect” name she had heard or her “perfect” naming technique. I have realized one thing through all of these discussions.
Naming a kid is hard.
My wife has a list of approximately 76,000 girl names that she finds acceptable. This is not the issue. Any daughter we have will be adequately covered in the name department. If the magical baby stork were to show up with a boy, though, we would be in deep doo doo.
The first rule for our name search is simple. Unfortunately, it makes this much more difficult. My wife has determined that common names are boring. I have agreed with her because, as a husband, I know my role in the relationship. This knocks out Thomas, Charles, Matthew, et cetera.
The next obvious choice is to scratch off any name that sounds like, rhymes with, or shares a name with a body part or bodily function. Following this, we have to remove names that our friends have used. Nothing is worse than a name thief.
Then we are left with…nothing. There are no good names in the world for a person.
At one point, my wife suggested Holden after one of our favorite literary characters. On the surface this seems like a good idea. Having read Catcher in the Rye a couple of times, though, will change one’s opinion. Teenagers scare me and naming a child after Holden Caulfield is asking for a very unpleasant, angst-filled period. As I do not want to spend a great deal of time having my child call me a “phony” over and over, I think we’ll have to pass.
I keep hoping that I will find myself in some sort of danger. Then, at the last-minute, a stranger will swoop in and save me. In return, I will promise to name my child after him. That is the definition of killing two birds with one stone: I survived a horrible ordeal AND I no longer have to look for any baby names. Knowing my luck, his name will be Fartrum Von Peepeepants, but if it means I never have to discuss baby names again, I’m okay with it.
Fortunately, I have a long time before I have to deal with this. I will not (fingers-crossed) be reproducing anytime soon. Plus, even after the birth, they can’t talk for another year or so.
That buys me a lot of time before they ask why I keep calling them “Hey you.”
*At least until they’re 18 and the kid can finally change their name from that creative, “perfect” name to something they can live with like “Steve.”
- Mom-To-Be Wins $5,000 In Exchange For Letting The Internet Name Her Baby (twolinesblog.wordpress.com)
- Holden: Baby Name of the Day (appellationmountain.net)
- For-Profit Baby Names (nancy.cc)
- Weird Baby Names And The Stories Behind Them (huffingtonpost.com)
- Be the happy baby, be the child of God (experiencethewilderness.wordpress.com)
- And now, a baby-naming service (devicemag.com)