Baby names advice: Keep it to yourself(Read article summary)
Baby names, baby names, baby names: Nothing is mulled over and debated more during a pregnancy than what to name your newborn. One mom warns: Keep it to yourself, or the chatter may sully your bright idea.
There are none of those âis-she-or-isnât-sheâ pauses; no worries that they will make a mistake while identifying this bowling ball of a belly as a baby-in-the-making. Â
Clearly, this woman is pregnant. Very.Â
Yes, we have entered the phase where fellow passengers on the airplane look at me nervously. Where some people look at me and smile and other people avert their eyes uncomfortably. And where everybody âÂ everybody âÂ asks whether we have a name yet. Â
I mean, some people donât.Â But many do. Â
And we have learned, Husband and I, that no good can come from answering this question.Â
See, everyone went to school with someone with the same name you are pondering for your soon-to-be progeny. Usually it was the nasty kid or the evil girl or that guy they thought was up to no good behind the black fingernails and dark hooded sweatshirt. And they will jump to share this information. Because....Â because.
Or maybe the name sounds to your friend/relative/person behind the Starbucks counter like it has, as one helpful barista informed me, a bad aura.Â
Or perhaps the inquirer will share the important factoid that every other child inÂ herÂ daughterâs class has that same name, and how she is quite glad thatÂ herÂ child wonât need to have a last initial attached to her first name to distinguish her from all the other Sofias/Isabellas/Emmas out there.Â (No judgement call there, folks â just picked as examples the top names of 2011, as called by the Social Security Administration.)
OrÂ they can respond like my mother.Â
âHm,â she says weakly after we shared our most recent idea. âHave you thought about âAbigail?â âÂ
Even when the reaction is positive it can still create nervousness.
âOh, thatâs a pretty name!â a few friends declared the other day. Â
But are they just being nice? I wondered. What if we decide to switch to a different name â will they think that weâve done my baby daughter a lifelong disservice?Â And what would they think if I gave them my honest answer, that really we have no solid idea about what to name Two, and that we still donât have a place set up for her to sleep?
And wait, why am I caring about what other people think, anyhow?Â Clearly I will be a bad mother if I canât even model minimal resistance to peer pressure.
The nervous prenatal logic system spins.
Looking for advice and relief, I turned to the Internet. Helpful, always. But there is not much to be gained from even the BabyCenter website, which, unlike the more official Social Security Administration, has already released its top names of 2012, as reported by half a million users who decided to share this intimate detail with the web. BabyCenter also has compiled some ânaming trendsâ to help out parents-to-be like me.Â
(There are also chat boards where you can run your name by perfect strangers. Because, you know, anonymous Internet users are a good target audience.)
I checked out the trends to see whether we were, I donât know,Â current.Â And to maybe get a little bit of inspiration.
â50 shades of baby names!â sang the first headline.
For now, I decided, we will simply continue to ponder in silence.Â And to smile when people ask about what name we have chosen for the bowling ball.
âNothing definite,â I will respond. âHave any ideas yourself?â