I never thought I'd be in this situation.
There are nine full months to think, obsess, make lists, cross out said lists and make new lists. So tell me how on earth any parent goes into labor not knowing what to name her child.
I judge these parents. And I don't mean the parents who go to the hospital with a few names and purposefully wait to meet their baby before deciding which name best suits him or her. No, no, those parents have a plan. I mean the folks who are dumbfounded — the folks who can't decide because they are just thinking of names that sound pretty or trendy or untrendy in that hipster way that makes them all the more trendy. These so-called parents aren't considering meaning. They aren't properly obsessing over nicknames or what name looks best on a college application or scrawled across one of those incredibly small pieces of rice that girls used to wear in glass bottle necklaces back in the 1990s.
I read a study about how two months after the birth of their child, 40 percent of Americans regret the name they gave their child. By the time the child is 2 years old, the percentage rises to just over 50. The parents who walk into the hospital without a clue in the name department are to blame for that. I'm sure of it. They make me sick. Or, I should say, they did. But now I am one of them.
My child is due on Halloween. I don't have a name.
How did this happen? I was so prepared with my first child. His first and middle name both had personal stories behind them. Even now I say his name aloud and think, "Nailed it." But with the daughter-to-be, I got nothin'. And I'm blaming you, Mom and Dad. I'm blaming you.
When you're named after a bug, a lot of pressure is put on what you will name your children. Half the population expects me to name her SunCat Rainbow ThunderCloud. The other half expects me to name her Jane. I tend not to be one who does what is expected, but that doesn't mean the immense pressure isn't felt. I'm fairly certain this is what David Bowie and Freddie Mercury were actually singing about.
I also blame this parenting fail on my husband. He will deny it until his last breath, but I think the idea of having a girl freaked him out a little. He wanted to give her a name that was tough, a name that was cool, a name that said, "Don't mess with me, or I will destroy you." His top two contenders: Danger and Vicious. Yes, our sweet little girl, all wrapped in pink blankets, with her perfect little rose-shaped lips, was to be called Vicious.
I tried to meet him in the middle. "What if we named her Lunatic but called her Luna?" (Better yet, we could name her Luna and keep the "tic" part in our back pocket for when she's a tantruming 3-year-old.) My husband shook his head. "No, that just sounds as if you're trying too hard."
Luckily, over the months, the death jam names subsided into names that resemble the time of year she is to be born. As a fall baby, maybe she could be named Autumn. We considered calling her November if she were to come late. We discussed Harlow Ween as a possibility if she were to be born on Halloween. Then my husband pointed out she may be born Oct. 30, Mischief Night, and suggested the name Mischief. And we were back full circle to death jam names — or, at the very least, to names we'd undoubtedly regret with a teenager.
We also sought out names with personal meaning like our son's. Perhaps Aurora, after the aurora borealis from our trip to Iceland a few months back. But ... we never actually saw the northern lights. We both like the name of my favorite beach, and after my exposure to mercury last week, the baby may be born with fins, but my husband has no attachment to this place. Naming a human is tough!
I guess we will just have to see what she looks like and decide. And if we can't, I'm sure the hospital will assign her a number or something. I've always been partial to the name 26.
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