When you’re pregnant you feel like there are things you should know. And unless you’ve been pregnant before, you’re not quite sure where to get the information. Naturally you want to turn to other women who have been pregnant. And of course, everyone has an opinion about everything. I listen to half of what they say and believe half of that. Which I think leaves me with 25 percent worth of useful information. But what about the rest? Where do you go?
It was Sunday when I took a trip to the local Borders to browse some books. My first stop is always the magazines. Then, the fitness books. The cookbooks and – new stop - the baby book section.
Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin. I’m not even sure I know what I’m looking for I just know there are things I need to know. Right now I am pregnant so perhaps I will start with the books about pregnancy. All 9809823948022of them! For crying out loud there is a book about pregnancy + everything. How about your organic pregnancy. Your pregnancy with your same sex partner. How about being pregnant like Hollywood. Or being over 35 and pregnant.
I SWEAR TO GOD! I am just in my 35th year, NOT approaching death!
I looked through some books but didn’t find anything revolutionary. I mean, I’ve already got the What To Expect When You’re Expecting and I’ve kind of read ahead a few chapters so I know what to expect and there are only so many ways to tell me that I’m going to get bigger, boobier and bigger.
That pretty much sums up the next 26 weeks.
Looking somewhere between a book called Pregnancy Sucks and My Boys Can Swim, I noticed the next shelf…
Oh sweet Jesus (which coincidentally was one of the most popular boy names in 2007), there has to be over 1,000 books about baby names. An entire book shelf standing 7 feet tall stacked with different books about….names. Where do you even begin? Each one promises to have the most comprehensive lists, the most complete book, the best baby names. With claims like that how do you start the selection process? Which one of these is the most complete of the best bestselling books?
Check this out:
The Complete Book of Baby Names: The Most Names, Most Lists, Most Help to Find the Best Name, #1 Bestselling Baby Names Book with 100,001+ Best Baby Names
I’ll have you know it was that extra “1+” that made me select that book.
Plus I got all that for only $12.99!
I brought the book home and put it on the dinner table. Now, Chris and I have not really talked too much about names because we figure that we can just save ourselves 50 percent of the work by waiting until after we find out the gender of the baby. Which we plan on finding out (hopefully in another 6 weeks). I mean, you’re either going to be surprised at 40 weeks or 20 weeks so why wait the extra 20 weeks? Plus do you really want people buying you a bunch of nongenderspecific green stuff?
Really? What if someone gets you something pea green. How do you feel about that?
I know, I know, I know…it’s one of the few things in life that you can still be surprised about. Not true. Here’s my big surprise each day: will I take a crap? Will I make it through the day without a nap? When will I need to buy new pants? There are tons of surprises in pregnancy, trust me.
Chris and I have entertained the thought of a few names. And shortly thereafter I learned Most Valuable Pregnancy Lesson #2: do not share ideas for names with anyone, including but not limited to your own mother. Because she will have an opinion about that name and it will not be the opinion you want to hear.
(and in case you are wondering, Most Valuable Pregnancy Lesson #1: do not listen to anyone)
Naming a child is a tricky thing. I remember around week 8 it hit me: I have to name this child. Crap! Naming a puppy was one thing. That came to me easily. I remember the first time I held Boss, I looked at him and said “I shall call him Boss.” Like many of our best ideas (and don’t deny it, naming what became our 10-lb chihuahua "Boss" was one of the best ideas I ever had) – you don’t know where they come from or why. They just come to you.
But with a child – that seems a little risky. Plus I might be under the influence of very heavy drugs. Which reminds me I have not even thought about a birth plan! There are a dozen ways to give birth to a child. I would like to chose, um, let’s see … THE EASIEST MOST PAIN FREE ONE! Anyways, waiting until I hold the child to name the child might result in something very bizarre and sedated like….Freedom.
I cannot give birth to Freedom Waterstraat!
This is why I bought a book about names. And because I realized a few weeks ago that talking about names with my husband was not going to be enough. You see, he revealed some very strange things to me. He told me he named his bikes. Then he confessed that they were girl names. Then he said maybe we should name our future could be a daughter after one of his bikes. Two problems here. First, you RIDE your bike. Think about that. Second, one of the bike’s was named….Vera.
I really did not want to be one of those wives that just put their foot down as soon as the husband came up with a name because I want him to have a say even though we both know that I will have the final say (I will) but Vera? Does Kiss My Grits ring a bell?
Of course with Chris, it did not. Because he was not allowed to watch television growing up which meant he never experienced the quality show, Mel’s Diner. And, please recall, that Vera was the ditzy, unconfident, skittish waitress who never got anything right.
NO to Vera.
Back to dinner the other night. We sat down with the book of baby names on the table. Of course I sexed Chris up (meaning, I made him a good enough dinner so he would completely ignore the fact that I just pulled out a baby name book during dinner) with homemade green curry. Then I explained that I thought it might be fun (of course nothing mandatory is fun but let’s pretend) to start going through the book, tossing out some names and getting an idea of where we were at.
Beyond Vera, for sure. But settled on nothing, yet.
This book had more than 600 fantastic lists to start the conversation out. Lists of names by state or ethnicity. Lists of saints, senators and country singers. Emmylou Faith Waterstraat? No thanks. Royalty, rednecks and popular television show names. I read through a few and we concluded that we would not name our child Ava, Emma, Madison, Isabelle, Jacob, Joshua, Caden, Jayden, Braden, Aiden or any of the other 100 names that every kid in their 1st grade class will be named in another six years.
The book also gave some rules. Make sure you feel comfortable shouting the name across a playground: Charity get over here....ick! Make sure it’s clever but not cruel: Hello, my name is Candy Land. Scour the media: Yes, Apple was a brilliant name….for a martini?! Make sure it is a name that they can carry through life: would you really hire a girl named Mikayla to do anything but work a pole? Turns out you should not name your child something like Sugar or Cookie. And don’t even think of rhyming. So that nixes Scratch Waterstraat.
Then, there are other rules not in the book. Of course I am talking about the Filipino nickname. You see, our child must have a name that can be easily transformed into a Filipino nickname. If you are not part of a Filipino family, let me explain. When I first met Chris’ relatives, I was introduced to them with a certain name. For example, this is Jeff. Awhile later in conversation, someone would start talking about JepJep. Who the hell is JepJep, I asked. That’s Jeff. How can one person be two people? It didn’t stop there. Stacey is CeCe. Meredith is DitDit. Megan is MegMeg. Yes, there is also a LopLop though I don’t know their real name. It’s kind of like bananananfofana but Filipino-style. You take a part of the person’s name and you break it up into one syllable and double it. Elizabeth is BetBet though there is already a BetBet in the family so I am just “the skinny girl.”
It could have been worse. The last girlfriend was known as “the girl who stole the hand mixer”.
The other day, Chris’ grandma was talking about PongPong when I got totally freaked out by the whole Filipino Name Game. On the way home, I told Chris that I don’t know what PongPong’s real name is but we are NOT naming our child that!
Incidentally, his real name is John Paul. How they got PongPong out of that, I just don't know.
Bottom line, whatever name we give to our child, it has to be easily morphed into a two syllable nickname. There are no other important rules to us than that. That said, we started flipping through the names by alphabet. Starting, of course, with A. And wouldn’t you know that the first name that makes perfect sense to me is already taken?
Aubrey: (English) one who rules with elf-wisdom.
Our niece is already named Aubrey.
Fortunately there were 25 other letters with names to choose from. But there were over 100,001 names! It was almost too much. Where do you even begin? After an entire dinner conversation, we had 2 names circled. Both girl names.
We should just wait another few weeks so we only have to do half the work. Chris is right. And since ultrasound technicians are not always accurate in what they see, we better pick a name that is gender neutral or else we might end up naming our was-supposed-to-be-a-daughter-but-came-out-as-a-son as Katelyn. Or something like that.
I realize this is going to take some time. And I might need some help. One thing the book suggested was asking friends and family. So, I ask you. What are some of your favorite names? With a last name like Waterstraat it needs to be simple. But not too boring. Cute but ageless. And can easily be transformed into a Filipino nickname.
Any ideas out there?