What not to say to someone picking baby names

Posted Tuesday 11th December 2012   By Ericka Waller

I wonder if Wills and Kate are already bickering over baby names. The husband I spent months doing it. Apparently it’s the most argued about issue for first-time-parents. My advice would be, don’t bloody bother. We never called any of ours any of the names we had spent nine (and-a-half) months rowing over anyway.

When I was pregnant, my baby name book became my bible. It had pride of place beside my bed (next to the bio oilpiles-cream and Gaviscon). I made (neat) notes in the margin next to names I liked. One day I opened it to find the husband had scrawled ‘crap’ and ‘no chance’ and ‘your pregnancy hormones have made you insane’ over my suggestions.

Family members and family-in-law members were also keen to join in the naming game.

My mother would often ring me up and say “Blanche?” instead of hello. “Sorry, wrong number” I’d reply, and put the phone down.

The husband’s mum was no better “Hermione?”, “Serendipity?”, while my father-in-law wanted to call them all Pele, girl or boy.

And if I did dare tell anyone a name I actually liked they would say “ Oh, you can’t call them that. I knew a dog called that” or “I went to school with a girl called that and she had a black tooth and a limp.” Lovely. Thanks for that. One poxy name I like out of 7000 in a book and you’ve just gone and ruined it.

(Pregnancy hormones made me a bit feisty at times.)

If I’m honest (and when am I not?) I find it a bit weird when people call their baby a name in the womb before it’s born, and then refer to it in there, by that name. “Oooh, Keith liked that chocolate cake I just ate.”

I don’t think people should find out the sex of their baby in the first place anyway. It’s like finding out your Christmas presents early. The surprise makes it all the more exciting. It certainly helped me get through labour, thinking “One more push and I can find out if it’s Pele or Blanche.”*

*NB: None of my children are called Hermoine, Serendipity, Pele or Blanche.

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