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Baby names advice: Keep it to yourself

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Or they can respond like my mother. 

“Hm,” she says weakly after we shared our most recent idea. “Have you thought about ‘Abigail?’ ” 

Even when the reaction is positive it can still create nervousness.

“Oh, that’s a pretty name!” a few friends declared the other day.  

But are they just being nice? I wondered. What if we decide to switch to a different name – will they think that we’ve done my baby daughter a lifelong disservice? 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 don’t have a place set up for her to sleep?

And wait, why am I caring about what other people think, anyhow?  Clearly I will be a bad mother if I can’t 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 “naming trends” to help out parents-to-be like me. 

(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 don’t know, current. And to maybe get a little bit of inspiration.

“50 shades of baby names!” sang the first headline.

Maybe not.

For now, I decided, we will simply continue to ponder in silence.  And to smile when people ask about what name we have chosen for the bowling ball.

“Nothing definite,” I will respond. “Have any ideas yourself?”

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