Naming the baby should be the very first perk you get for bearing the fruit of his loins

I can’t let it go.

It’s been 3.4 years and I can’t let it go.

I want to change my son’s middle name.  Last year I insisted it should be Jagger.

Let me tell you, he’s got the moves to pull off the name

This year I’ve taken up on behalf of Xavier.  Nevermind that it was the name of the first boy I ever held hands with; we were three.  That doesn’t disqualify the name (amirite??).

In hindsight I’m a little annoyed that I gave in on any of my choices just because Ian didn’t like them.  There should be no husband veto power.  Yes, we are both the parents, yes we get an equal say in raising these brand new human beings, yes we are partners in this journey into parenthood.

But naming?  That should be the sole domain of mommy.  You know, like morning sickness, leg cramps, that disgusting orange glucose drink and post-partum hemorrhoids.  He can name those.

While I haven’t taken up an alternative name crusade for my daughter yet, I do reminisce about some of the names that were left on the cutting room floor.

Here are the top 10 girl names that never were*:

1)  Olivia.  About 8 days after Ian and I started dating I introduced this name as the moniker of our future daughter.  He wasn’t fond of it at first, but over the next few years it stuck.  We were married 6 years before we had a girl and this was her name in every fictitious scenario…until I got pregnant.  Suddenly it fit as well as my jeans at 20 weeks — which is to say not at all.

2)  Scarlett.  This was a front runner alongside Olivia since the day Jack White bestowed it upon his baby girl.  Ian loved it, I loved it – it was nearly set in stone…again until I got pregnant.  Too popular?

3)  Clara.  Along the lines of Scarlett, we picked this one up from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Sadly the cow from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ruined it.

4)  Isla or Twyla.  Sing-songy and unique, these were at the top of my list as soon as we found out we were having a girl.  Plus Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit is a huge inspiration for me.

5)  Skye, Schuyler and Chyler.  Maybe it’s the familiarity of my own name, but I adore the hard C sound.  Too vain.

6)  January.  I admit I was seriously obsessed with season 3 of Mad Men which had wrapped up just as I got pregnant.  We finally ditched it when they confirmed the month of February as my due date.

7)  Bellamy.  It means good friend.  That’s something I hope my daughter IS and HAS.

8)  Violet, Vivian and Ivy.  I have a thing for the Vs.

9)  Winter.  Yeah, I got the idea from Nicole Ritchie, so what?  It’s cute.  Plus, unlike January, it would still be appropriate.  Other nouns I was in love with: Clementine and Magnolia.

10)  Marrin.  First suggested by my mother-in-law this was in the running for most of her gestational period.  Ultimately we just couldn’t figure out how to spell it.  Marinn, Maryn, Marin, Maren.  It also looked too much like my name but wasn’t intended to be pronounced that way.  Too confusing.

*in the interest of full disclosure, my daughter’s real name is among these “finalists”.  Chloe is her blog alias (she works with the secret service, you know).  So be gentle when you weigh in on my peculiar tastes.

What names did you leave on your delivery room floor?

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37 thoughts on “Naming the baby should be the very first perk you get for bearing the fruit of his loins

  1. My husband and I had total agreement over girl names: we quickly agreed on them during both pregnancies. We did not agree on boy names. (We did not find out the gender of our girls in utero.) Among the names that I liked that he didn’t: Sage, Ivan, Kenneth. Among names he liked that I didn’t: Winston. Up until the moment I went into labor with our first (who we thought was a boy), we were debating middle names and still felt meh about first (she would have been Holden). The day before I went into labor with our second, he was obsessing over boy names, scrawling lists on napkins, because he was sure she was a boy. I grumpily declared that NONE of those names was my baby, we were having a girl, and that was that.

      • Yeah, Sage is pretty good. That’s my daughter’s middle name. I spent days poring over synonyms and roots for words in the Oxford English Dictionary, and that’s what I came up with.

        Old latin saying “Why should a man die when whilst Sage grows in his garden?”

  2. Naming our kids was easy, thank goodness! My husband and I both agreed easily on both names for our kids. We got a little stuck on our daughter’s name only because I wanted a name that we would then ditch and then refer to her by a nickname (Katherine to be called Kate). He didn’t like it because his name is like that and he has always hated it. I kind of had to go with his perspective. So we went with our second choice. Middle names were a little trickier. ; ) I think the good thing about two people making decisions sometimes is that they balance each other out, mostly.

  3. Oh my gosh, I love all of these. We talked about so many of your names! I loved Isla, and was pretty sure I wanted to name our daughter that for a while. I also love Clementine and Olivia, and–sort of similar to the January idea–we talked about naming her September because it’s a month that has significance for both of us (we met on September 11 after Zach read a piece I wrote about how 9/11 affected me and was so moved by it he decided he had to contact me). I also thought about Molly and Kate, but then the royal wedding happened and everyone we knew was suddenly giving birth to little Kates. My name is super common, so I wanted our kids to have names that were not crazy different, but uncommon enough that it didn’t feel like their names belonged to other people. I hated being in school and being 1 of 7 Ashleys in the class. In the end, we picked Sonia–a name neither of us had really talked about the whole time. I mentioned it in a pizza parlor 2 days before I gave birth and we both pushed it aside. Then I had her and it fit. Zach chose Abigail for the middle name, which–we didn’t know at the time–means “father’s joy” so that seems pretty serendipitous. Naming is so fun. If being a parent were a bit easier (and I won the lottery) I’d have like a gazillion kids just so I could name them all.

    • Wouldn’t that have been awesome? You know she was actually the one who introduced us! MIL got it from Something’s Gotta Give. It was THE name for a long time – Ian and I fought so hard to make it work. A nod to our matchmaker, our family (MIL) AND Nora Ephron? It was almost perfect…

  4. Found you through Truth and Cake, and glad I did! As an Amber-who-was-almost-a-Jacquline-Dean, I can totally relate to this post…some days I really wish my parents had gone with option #2. Especially when it seems every ditzy blonde who gets killed off in the first 5 minutes of a horror movie is named Amber…

  5. Ha! I so agree with you, with all we have to go through in pregnancy and giving birth, we should get to pick whatever name we want! I compromised with my older son and my choice was moved to his middle name – Skyy. I still love it, he hates it but that’s what happens when your mom is a hippie! Lol! When I was pregnant with the toddler, we had our dream girl name picked out, Ava Sophia. I can’t believe how common that name is now. Your daughter is so beautiful, I can see her as a Clara or Scarlett and I love the name Winter as well! She is lovely regardless :)

  6. I love these names. I lobbied for half of them. ESP January and Isla. My favorite was the one we got but I feel like an ass bc it’s not an alias. Please tell me they won’t get murdered. Please.

    • They will definitely NOT get murdered. YOU might get murdered when they learn to read, but your children will be fine. I think 99% of bloggers don’t use aliases. My decision was sort of an impulsive one as I was starting the blog. I thought to myself I can always reveal their names, but I can never take it back. If you give me your top 3 guesses I’ll tell you at BlogHer. So long as you promise not to murder them.

  7. She could always have been “Lulu”! Not a cow like “Clara” but truly a force to be reckoned with like “Coco”! …..But she does look like she can pull of any name!

    P.S. This post made me laugh out loud!!

  8. Love the name Voilet and she looks like she could pull that name off easily. Thanks for the read, thoroughly enjoyed it and agree wholeheartedly.

  9. I agree completely! I love your name creativity and I’m all for the two of us getting exactly what we want. Other moms are on their own!! No say for our husbands! Except my husband did get a say in the spelling of our second daughter’s name. I love it now, but didn’t at first. I love and wanted at some point: Scarlett, Vivian, Violet and Marin. Now I want more kids just to name them … And I also feel like an ass for not protecting my kids’ real names – maybe I’ll just say they are aliases. Will that work?

  10. You picked the best name. It suits your beautiful daughter perfectly. But, you should feel lucky to have such problems. Dave and I had one name picked out…there was no list, there were no backups. I don’t know what we will do if we ever have another boy!

  11. I totally agree, the one who grows a living being inside their body and then pushes it out of their nether regions should have naming rights.

    When I first got pregnant with Charlotte, I became obsessed with naming her Isabella, and calling her Bella. That was the summer of all the Twilight hoopla though… I managed to get it in as a middle name (along with my childhood dream baby name as her second middle name) and for the first few months even got everyone to call her Bella until we realized the name didn’t really suit her. So I guess in a way hubby was kind of right…

  12. I agree, naming should be the sole right of mothers! My hubby was the type who wouldn’t actually suggest names, but had no problems bashing all of my favorites. In the end, we finally settled on naming our girls when I’d mention a name and he responded, “I don’t hate it.” So now, all three have names that he “doesn’t hate”. Which I guess means I sort of got my way.

    • My husband was the same – he never had a suggestion of his own but immediately dished out the negative on my choices. I think he would agree that he “doesn’t hate” our daughter’s name either. That might be as good as I get…

  13. Our son goes by his middle name – something we regret because we always have to explain that when we register him somewhere or fill out forms, etc. But it’s an even bigger hassle to change it! I really dig your blog and though I suspect you’ve probably received this award already, I am tagging you with a Liebster Award! I’m hoping that you haven’t gotten it before and will accept it as I did. I’ve listed your blog link on my site and you can see all the details here.
    Thanks for a great read, I’ll be following!

  14. I love the names Marrin and Twyla (also a huge Twyla Tharp fan). But you’re right about the spelling aspect. You would think “Marrin” or “Maryn” are pretty straightforward, but as a girl named Rian, I can’t tell you how many people mispronounce my name!

    • Exactly. I’ve already spent 30+ years explaining my name sounds like Corinne rather than Karen and then I would be spending her 30+ years explaining hers was Marrin. We’d be quite a confusing mother/daughter team!

  15. I actually like Marrin pronounced like your name. Kind of like the Marin Headlands, a beautiful place I used to live just a little north of San Francisco.

  16. Max was always going to be Max (years before we decided to have kids) except we had to figure out in what form. Middle name switched from Shane to Dominic after birth. Ruby was supposed to be Brianna Mae up until birth. Saw that it didn’t fit her. If we had a boy instead of a girl we were screwed…the only name we could agree on was Ace!

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