Friday, December 24, 2010

What's in a name?

As I enter the final countdown to the arrival of Goober (possibly any minute now!), I'm getting more and more excited to find out what sex Goober will be, what s/he will look like, and of course, what to name him/her!

It took us many months to come up with a short list of names for a boy and a girl, and I think we have finally narrowed it down to one name for each sex. The process we've gone through has really highlighted some of the differences between me and the husband. Even at the height of the naming frenzy, I only had about 5 or 6 names under consideration for either sex, and I kept these names hidden from the husband until the end of October. I didn't want to influence his naming suggestions, and I really didn't want him to dismiss any of my favorite names too early!

In contrast, the husband bombarded me with names on a daily basis. Most were quickly dismissed for being too boring, too preppy, too weird, or too long. I had rules, and a lot of them. Most of all, the name has to "fit" the kid, which I guess we won't really know until Goober gets here!

The topic of Goober's name has been such a big part of our lives that it became the focus of this year's Christmas letter, written by the husband. For the blog readers who didn't get a copy in person, I thought you might get a kick out of it. It really is a pretty accurate representation of most of our conversations about the name!

2010 Christmas Letter

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names, on the other hand…

“Guess what? I’m pregnant!”
“Terrific! I’ve been thinking of a few names…”
“Hold on a minute there, mister. There are ground rules.”

No complex names. No names that middle-school kids will make fun of. No family or friends’ names. No easily recognizable objects, places, or things. No name that appears in the Top 100 most popular baby names. Fewer than three syllables… “How about ‘Red Tape’?”

Sarcasm is rarely appreciated. Besides, who wants a normal name these days? Normal is highly overrated, or so I’ve been told. Which brings me to my first suggestion straight from a scene in Young Frankenstein: Abby. “No Igor—keep searching for a better brain.” Staying with the movie motif, I resort back to my childhood days. Who was the greatest hero to an aspiring 12-year-old adventurer? Who could get away without shaving, showering, or general hygiene for a week but still get the girls and knock down the villain? Indiana Jones, of course! His successor (our son) should be Utah Bilyeu. “No? But you need to say it with a little more emphasis. You’ve got to draw it out a bit; Uuuu-tah Bilyeu. See?"

When I switched to girl’s names, my first suggestion came with a death threat. “Justine” hit a little too close to home, and I was reminded that no living relative’s names could be used. But if I keep up my absurd suggestions, things can be arranged so that Justine becomes available. Gulp.

Nina has always been a favorite of mine; that is, until it was ruined by an evil villainess on a TV show. It wasn’t a problem for me, but unfortunately Melissa watched “24” as well. Isn’t it funny how TV can affect our daily lives?

“I sort of like Ann for a girl’s middle name,” she tells me. But Melissa cringes when she hears Sting’s version, and “Rocks Ann” sounds even worse when I sing it.

What if we have a boy? This name is sure to suit—a stroke of genius that will excuse childhood behavior and empower the future CEO of Conoco-Phillips. “How about Theodore Rex? No? You don’t like Theodore? How about Thomas? Or Tyler? Or is the problem with the middle name? We could spell it with two Xs so that it distinguishes the kid…” Sadly, “T-Rexx” became extinct the moment she realized my maniacal plans to take over the world and raise a child that walked around the house roaring, never bothering to learn a spoken language. Optimus Prime faired no better, as I was told she was not giving birth to a $^&%@ Transformer.

To complicate matters, I’ve been informed that we will have to “see the baby before we can officially name it.” The name we have pre-selected “just may not fit,” leaving us in a mad scramble to conjure up a better fitting name. To that end, the kid is going to come out all purplish and wrinkly. “We can call him Raisin. Or maybe Rayson?” No? Hmm… I’m starting to see a trend.

I resort to names that were mutually acceptable for beloved family members (even the furry, four-legged kind) that have recently passed away—names that she can’t refuse. So, if we have a boy, his name will be Simon. And if we have a girl, her name will be Buffy.

I'm really excited to see if Goober "looks like" the names we picked. As the time gets closer, I'm starting to think we might have to go to a Plan B on the name, but we'll just have to wait and see! :)

Simon front 1

Buffy (2)


  1. Loved this card (and was tickled pink to get one in prson!!)

    Ok...Violet if it is a girl, and Finch if it is a boy.

    Discuss amongst yourself.

    (those were the two most recent births I attended...)

    Contrax? Really really any minute?? I've beeen known to labor support on phone and text. :)

  2. Violet was one of the husband's early suggestions, but it is a "thing" so it never made it onto the list. Finch would have worked for being unusual but not weird, but is also a thing...

    No contractions yet. Actually, no nothing yet. I'm taking advantage of that by cleaning, baking, cleaning, baking, and cleaning! I think as soon as I finish all that and sit down, s/he'll come! :)


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