Names. It’s one of the hardest initial tasks parents undertake for their child. Choosing a name that is unique so when the child’s name is called in school half the classroom doesn’t answer. Choosing a name that has a low possibility for being changed on the child to be used in bullying or schoolyard teasing. Choosing a name that doesn’t have negative connotations for you (the name of an ex-boyfriend or someone who wronged you) or a name that is linked negatively to someone famous (serial killer names for example). Trying one’s hardest to make sure the child will be happy with the name you chose and won’t want to change it during his/her teenage years.
Or, like some parents, caution can be thrown to the wind and they choose names such as & (Ampersand), Na-a (Nadasha) or @ (not sure how this one is pronounced). Name your child after cars, restaurants, corporations, fast food or even beloved cartoon characters (Optimus Prime i’m looking at you). I really don’t understand these parents.
When it came to naming Babybean I had a complicated situation that was solved in an unexpected way.
At the time I thought Babybean was a girl I knew exactly what the name would be. Sophie, after my Godmother. It wasn’t until doing some research that I found out that Sophie (or Sophia) was the #1 choice for girls on baby name sites. Screw that, I didn’t care, Sophie it was (and will still be, if we are ever blessed with a girl).
When we went for our ultrasound at 20 weeks though it was then we discovered Babybean had a set of testicles. That he proudly displayed to the technician every chance he got. I asked her if she was SURE Babybean was a boy and she laughed and showed me the pictures. Yup. Boy.
You see I married a sweet, charming, nerdy and wonderful man. He’s also part of a family naming tradition. He’s the firstborn son of the firstborn son in a five generation unbroken naming line. Mind you he’s only first by about twenty minutes after his twin brother kicked him out of the womb first. First name, middle names and last name all the same as his father, his father’s father, his father’s father’s father – well, you get the idea. And boy oh boy did Grandpa like the idea of Babybean being the sixth in this unbroken line.
My family has a tradition as well. I think it stems from our Italian heritage. The boys are named whatever the hell the mother wants but the two middle names are the first names of both grandfathers.
Fatherbean and I talked a lot about this. He didn’t want to name his child after himself either but was hesitant to break the line. I wanted to choose the name myself and follow my family’s tradition – but didn’t want to cause a family fight either. This whole thing drove me to tears several times wavering back and forth between should we or shouldn’t we and what do we name him anyways? Lists ensued.
This problem was solved completely by Babybean himself. Sometimes I talk in my sleep or during those “just waking” moments when I’m not completely aware of things. Fatherbean has caught me talking about all sorts of topics. This time he caught me talking about Babybean. I referred to Babybean by a name – Arthur. A name that wasn’t on any lists we had created. This, Fatherbean tells me, happened twice. Then I just started referring to Babybean by that name consciously. It was so natural. Just like it fit and was supposed to be.
It took about a week for Fatherbean to get on board with the name but now it’s like there could never have been another choice. So we opted for my family tradition and gave him the first name of both grandfathers as his middle names.
Fatherbean’s dad was, in the end, ok with the choice. I think Fatherbean’s mom talked to him and we broke the news gently so all is well.
As an added bonus my father is touched. Arthur was the name of his grandfather – someone he loved and respected more than anyone else on earth (until he met my mom). Though the name wasn’t specifically chosen as an homage to great grandfather it’s a nice added story to tell Arthur when he’s older and asks about his name.
It’s also an unpopular name in North America and has links to two famous people. As my SIL said when I told her “Well, I guess I’ll have to buy him a sword.” “Or a towel,” I replied.