What’s in a name? Well quite a lot actually if you’re an expectant Muma, about to give life to a new human, and a whole new identity!
I’m not keen on responsibility, I mean, really really not keen; as a child I positively shied away from any kind of leadership – I recall on family holidays it was my younger sister who was entrusted with the room keys or the pocket money. Not me – please god don’t trust me with that. Lost, broken, basically ballsed up. With this in mind you can only imagine my Pregnant Muma mind going into overdrive: The responsibility which was about to hit me; How the hell will I grow a child once they are on the outside?
But more to the point: What the actual fuck am I going to call them?! If I’m being completely honest a name influences my opinion of a person before I have even met them. It gives me a clue as to their nationality or heritage, if they are a bit posh or a bit not, and sometimes even their age. I know you shouldn’t have preconceived ideas based solely on a person’s name, but I just can’t help it!
It is this frankly unorthodox opinion overflow that made choosing our babies names SO HARD! Well, that coupled with the fact that my darling husband coaches tennis to children- a lot of them – for years now. oh and didn’t want our children to have been named after ANY of his previous or current little charges.
HOLY CRAP. I think I threw the 5 different baby names books into a charity box. (5 may seem excessive but that only further demonstrates the responsibility I felt at choosing a name!)
Our ‘naming conversations’ went mainly like this
“How about Kate?”
“Nope ex girlfriend’s name”
“Amelia?” (hopefully, I loved this one)
“knew an Amelia once, age 5, pigeon toed)
“Daphaney?” (Id got him – surely this was a newy, who cares if I didn’t even like it!)
“I hope that’s the hormones!” – ahhhhhh
And then Dan would begin:
“Jessica?” (He was noncommittal but curious …)
“Never. School: terrible experience with a Jessica!”
“Perfect, If I was about to give birth to a pensioner”
And so it continued for months – about 8 months to be precise, for each baby. The constant back and forth, the frantic searching for my phone in the middle of Tesco’s to tap in a newbie that I liked in my Notes section, handily entitled, ‘NAMES I DONT HATE.’ To help us out the first time round we had found out we were just looking for The Perfect Girls Name.
Alleluia we had done it – Human was safe and well and in our arms: TICK. Welcome Darcie. Never been taught by Dan, never encountered by me at school. In fact neither of us even knew a Darcie, except of course for Mr Fit-as-you-like Darcy. Different spelling, done. Two terrifyingly brilliantly crazy years passed, and you guessed it: back to square one!
But this time we decided a surprise was the order of play: a boys AND a girl’s name were needed.
“HOW CAN WE EVER MATCH DARCIE?!” – The mantra for the next 7 months.
Well we did, when Lila Grace arrived just over a year ago. How unusual a name we thought. How original we thought. You never hear the name Lila…
…Until you bloody have one.
For the past year every second child has been Lila or Isla. Seriously. In the last two days alone, I have obviously been at parks and play groups which are only allowed to be attended by Lilas Or Islas. Hundreds of them, all of a sudden, bloody everywhere!!
There we were feeling all smug at the originality of our name choices. How our babies could be individuals, maybe even a bit quirky with the names we had carefully – no not a strong enough word, MATICULOUSLY selected.
How deluded we were: it’s not the name that precedes their individuality, it’s their quirky personalities. Their funny little ways, their interests and their character. Hang on – we are responsible for the nurture of that character aren’t we? And have further responsibility to introduce them to said future interests, don’t we… ?! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
So ‘The Name’ was just the beginning.
Well really, come on – what’s in a name?!