One cool thing about having a kid is that you get naming rights.
One horrible thing about having a kid is that you get naming rights.
Back when Little Bean was just that – a tiny bean – it was easy to pretend there wasn’t a human in my womb and that I was sick and tired for other reasons. As my belly began protruding, and our one and only ultrasound approached, it became a fun game to argue over names. I was convinced we were having a boy, so we concentrated on boy names mostly. I was in love with the name Oren. Erik said it was awful and that everyone would call our kid “Orville Redenbacher.” I argued and told him that kids don’t even know who that is!
We came up with some good ones, though: Ernest Bertram, shortened to Ernie Bert; Stubert; a score of other horrible names we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies.
I began to realize how difficult choosing a name would be, since we couldn’t agree on anything in all seriousness. I accused him of liking “boring” names. He accused me of being stubborn. True on both accounts.
During the anatomy scan at 19 weeks, 5 days, we could no longer deny we were having a baby. There it was, up on the screen! Of course, the tiny flutters I felt in my lower abdomen also had something to do with the newfound conviction that something was indeed alive in there.
Soon after we found out our Little Bean was a girl (to my shocked delight), the Question began to recur:
“Do you have any names picked out?”
Oh God, we have to name a human?! Like, a name she has to have forever – or at least until she’s a legal adult?! *bleep* That’s hard. We can’t do this! We tabled the discussion.
Because I’m so impatient, it wasn’t tabled for long. We decided to make the choice last night. We both came armed with a list of our top ten. Actually, Erik forgot his at work but I whined and said, “You promised we would do this tonight! I’ve been thinking of this all day!” He “remembered” what was on his list – otherwise we would have driven to his work to pick it up.
So there we were, armed with our lists. I wrote them carefully in my pregnancy journal. Then we agreed to cross out any name we just couldn’t live with, choose any we thought would be OK for a middle name, and rank the ones we liked. Each of us ended up with two middle name choices, four first name choices (two of which were common to each other’s lists), and four crossed out. Fair and equal!
Next, my anal-retentive nature begged me to write each name on a post-it note so we could move them around on the wall.
We made combination after combination, eliminating ones that didn’t work and starring ones that did. By 6pm (just one hour later – we’re efficient!), we had it narrowed down to two choices: Josephine Violet and Adalynn Grace.
“How are we supposed to choose?” I cried. “I really like Adalynn but I’m so afraid if we don’t go with Josephine, I’ll regret it forever.” I imagined calling my daughter Josie or JoJoVi and couldn’t get it out of my head.
I stared at the post-it notes harder. Adalynn was a great name, but something was wrong. As lovely as Adalynn Grace sounds, it didn’t feel right to me. If I was going to give up Josephine, I had to have Violet. All my friends know I’ve been stuck on that name for a few months now.
Finally I stood up and changed the post-it notes to read Adalynn Violet. “I’ll do Adalynn if I can have Violet,” I declared.
“OK, that’s good,” Erik replied.
“Really?” I made him sign a document in my pregnancy journal – this is what you do with your husband who changes his mind every five minutes – and it was decided: Adalynn Violet. I yelled the name in different threatening tones, just to test it out. I said it endearingly. I used Addy as a nickname. It seems like a good choice.
Erik said, “Did we have this much trouble choosing Lady’s name?”
“I thought we did this well! You know how much people fight over this stuff?” I answered. “Good work, team!”
At least now we know our future teammate’s name: Miss Adalynn Violet.