3.30.2009

Moniker Monday: Baby Names

When it comes to naming babies, parents fall into a couple of categories. First, they are either deciders or wait-and-see-ers. Then, they are either tellers or keep-it-a-secret-ers. (Don't you like my technical titles there?)

Some decide early on the name that their offspring will have. Whether it's a family name or just a name they like, they speak of their yet-unborn child using his/her name. This can backfire; if, for some reason the name doesn't fit the child, the gender was unknown/wrong, or for various other reasons. But the majority I know who choose beforehand, follow through.

My sister is one of these.

Then there are those like me, who cannot, for the life of them, decide on a name without seeing the baby. While Tom and I talk about potential names beforehand, and even bring it down to a list of 5-10, we don't make the final decision till post-birth. And with Rico it wasn't even till the next day (though he was born at 2 in the afternoon). But even though we make a list, neither Rico's nor Louie's names were on our lists going in, so we're not very good at it.

Some people broadcast their chosen name (or names, if they aren't quite sure) to the world and let all in their acquaintance weigh in on the choice. Some with a "here's the name, think what you will" approach, and others in the attitude of "here's what we're thinking, what do you think?". But whether or not they are looking for opinions, they get them.

Again, my sister falls into this category.

Then, some keep it intentionally or subconsciously a secret. I have met people who have decided on a name, but choose to keep it under wraps until the infant arrives. Personally, though we have names under discussion, I tend to tell people those names on the bottom of the list when they (inevitably) ask what we're thinking.

Both Ella and her given name were fairly high on our list of possibilities, but no one knew we were considering them, because when they asked, I would tell them we liked Olivia, Anne, Grace, and other names that we had talked about, and not ruled out, but were not what I might consider highly likely.

When I was pregnant with Rico, I was fairly sure that we would end up naming him Wayne. But when people asked, I mentioned names like Peter, William, and Thomas II, but knowing that those options were lower on our list.

Same with Louie. Our top name for most of the pregnancy was Katherine, and we considered Marseille, (like the city in France: "Mar-say,") but I don't think I told anyone that, except Sarah, and only because she grilled me.

If you have kids, what is your m-o? If you don't, what method do you think you will adopt? Do you think one is better than the other?

4 comments:

Lisa C said...

Hmmm....2 very different M.O.s for me. James: changed my mind every other week all throughout the pregnancy and ended up with a name that wasn't on our list when admitted to the hospital. Ruth: knew from before I was pregnant and never changed my mind. Both times I thought it was a good idea not to tell during the brainstorm phase, but couldn't keep my mouth shut :)

Did I know your sister was pregnant? I probably did, but wow you guys are uncanny with your parallel timing!

Stephanie said...

I'm a wait and see-er. Although we were pretty sure that we were going to name Benjamin Benjamin. But Joshua wasn't even on the list. I suggested it after he was born. (Dan had vetoed it earlier and then I vetoed all of our top choices after Joshua was born.)

Mike and Tiffany said...

I am a complete planner. With both girls we knew the name before she was even conceived! As far as boys names, we didn't really have any we agreed on, so I guess it's good we had girls both times. With both girls, if people asked me if I had a name picked out I would tell, but I didn't 'announce' it and actually just called them 'baby' more than their actual name until they were born. I have bad anxiety & feel like I shouldn't get pregnant until I have names picked out because I fear that if I don't, I may not have one picked by the time the baby arrives... strange, I know!! :)

Jennifer said...

Before Chad and I got married we made a list of 8 names, 4 boys and 4 girls. All of 3 the boys would have been Kaila. I didn't mind sharing the names cause it's not like somebody is gonna steal Keoni, Kawika, or Kalai, cause they would look like idiots unless they were Hawaiian or had some freakish close tie with Hawaii. Some people, family members included, hated Kawika, but there could not be a more fitting name for that boy and it never bothered me what people thought because I've never really been one to care about what people thought of me or my decisions. There are a lot of Kailas out there, but most people spell it Kyla and don't even know that it's Hawaiian and means Gail and that the Hawaiian spelling is Kaila, and a lot of people like to get "creative" with the spelling of names. Whatever. If I were to have waited to see what my babies looked like, they would all be named Baby, because that's all they look like to me and they change so much, that that just wouldn't work for me. Thankfully all of my kids names completely fit them. I think it's cool however you do it. I just hate when Julie says, "this" is the baby's name and then the next week, "no this" is the baby's name for sure, and then the next week, well you get the picture. After Diana was born my dad wanted to change my name to Diana because he liked it better than Jennifer and they hadn't thought of it when I was born, plus my closest sibling older than me is named Charles and they could have Charles and Diana next to each other. Thankfully they didn't because I am definitely NOT a Diana. Wow, that was way too long of a comment. I was going to comment on Monday, but I couldn't think of a way to put short and sweet. I obviously gave up on trying for that. Sorry.