We know there are two of the rascals. And now we know they’re both boys. So naturally, the question of the hour is – what are you going to call them?
Right now, we call them “the twins.” I started calling them River and Creek. Thanks to an off-the-cuff remark from Jon, my brother has begun referring to them as Rocky and Bullwinkle. The doctors call them Baby A and B. And as life has come full circle from a code a friend and I created in the seventh grade – they’ve earned the oh-so-clever nicknames Boy A and Boy B.
Yet, as amusing as all those are, none fit the bill for a lifetime. (Boys, you can thank me later – after you’ve read this blog archived on some super-micro processor tech thing.) For the record, we’re not telling anyone until they’re born. That way everyone with “oh no, I knew somebody named that who . . .” will feel too guilty to say anything.
My grandmother never loved her name – Winifred Welker. She recalls working at an escrow company where clients would call and ask to speak “with the Pooh.” My mom has been in education her entire life; she has an unlimited list of “oh no, I knew somebody named that who . . .” stories. Naturally, both of them have taken on the naming quest with unmatchable zeal.
“What about family names? How about Leo?” my mother inquired. “My grandfather’s name was Raymond Leonard.” I made it clear that we were not naming our son after their dog.
My brother has focused on one particular name. He has begged and pleaded that Jon and I not name our child Andrew as that is the name he wants to name his future son. Here, I would like to note to my unmarried brother, “It’s good to be the oldest.” =)
Children seem to have an uncanny ability to adapt to their names as well – just to add additional pressure on the parents. One of my girlfriends named her son Henry James Harrison. I know, sounds like the next Supreme Court Justice to me too. And Henry (age 18 months) isn’t wasting any time – on a recent trip with them, Henry began waving at passengers in the airport terminal, shaking hands with passengers waiting to board and hugging babies. So we’ll need two very successful names.
According to one of the many baby Web sites with never-ending advice, there are eight major baby-naming no-nos.
1. The nickname trap – Finnegan is out. Finn Stream just sounds funny.
2. Embarrassing initials – Looks like my brother doesn’t have to worry about Andrew Scott Stream.
3. A lifetime of corrections – I know I’m a horrible speller. Don’t worry, we promise to use standard spellings.
4. Over-popularity – I had six Jonathans in my elementary class. And we’re not doing a Junior.
5. Problematic name pairings – Hunter is out. As are any rhyming names.
6. Humiliating e-mail handles – I’m not terribly concerned with this one as who knows what technology they’ll be dealing with in the coming decades.
7. Names not to live up to – Yahoo! quickly cleared up this dilemna. Although there are a lot of streams in our world named after people.
8. So-so meanings – The nursery has a Calvin and Hobbes mural, but Calvin means bald, so we won’t be going literal.
It’s nice to note that we already know the names of both of our sons. One of Jon’s favorite mantras is “Poor Planning Produces Poor Product.” We’ve planned early; we’re organized and ready for their arrival (well, at least when it comes to signing the birth certificates.)