Naming her offspring threatens expectant writer’s marriage

Guest post by Wilson Diehl Strote

Wilson submitted her post in October (ACK!) and it’s taken me this long to get it up because I suck. 🙁 Sorry world. In the meantime, Wilson has had her baby. More about that later… -Ariel

Welcome to the third trimester!
Welcome to the third trimester, Wilson!
Our baby is due any day now, and Dr. Husband and I still don’t have any agreed-upon boy names for the wee one. I’m getting slightly panicky about it.

Yes, we could be having a girl, rendering the issue irrelevant, but the only thing getting me through this 5-week window of “any minute now you’re going to start the most excruciatingly painful/gloriously magical experience of your life” is by being prepared as a way of deluding myself into thinking I’m in control.

Baby clothes and blankets washed? Check. Burp cloths personalized with poorly executed DIY alterations? Check. Diaper delivery ordered? Check. Freezer stocked with labor-friendly popsicles? Check. Pediatrician met, interviewed, and approved? Check, check, check.

If this critter curling its toes around my ribcage does turn out to be a boy, we know what we’re doing with the foreskin on his penis—we just don’t know what his name might be.

Every few days I come up with a new name that I love—Issac, Oliver, Grover—and every few days Dr. Husband makes the same horrified face at me that I make at him when he reasserts his inexplicable love of Conrad, Casey, and Percival.

“We’re not going to find the perfect name,” he warns. “We need to focus on ones we can both live with.”

Has this man not met me?

I’m a writer. Words are my life. Of course my child needs the perfect name—one that’s not too popular or trendy but not totally weird or obscure. Something dignified that doesn’t scream “I’m destined for private school!” (especially since he probably is), a name that’s classic but not so old-fashioned that people will assume we chose it from a tombstone in a local graveyard.

If our baby is a girl, we’re all set with two solid options and a third likely contender if neither of the first two options seem to suit her.

If it’s a boy, Dr. Husband and I will likely be leaving the hospital with a blank birth certificate and a renewed need for couples’ counseling. How else to reconcile his insistence on something manly like Conrad (!) with my desire for something sweet like Robin?

Last night during the second of two hours-long bouts of infamous third-trimester insomnia, my mind decided it would be delightful to present a roster of nefarious men with the various names on Dr. Husband’s and my “don’t totally love it but are willing to consider it for the sake of our child not being nameless for the rest of his life” compromise list.

In no time at all, my exhausted but wide-awake mind came up with a child molester, a mass murderer, and an assassin. Do normal people just block out these associations? Do I just need to get out of the house more?

Okay, the answer to that is clearly Yes.

But where can I go that doesn’t require standing, sitting on any hard surfaces, smelling any strong smells, staying awake, or wearing a properly-fitting bra?

Is it wrong to think that because the baby will have my husband’s surname and because I’m the one growing this creature inside me that my vote should hold more weight than his? Perhaps, oh, thirty pounds more?

Post script: Wilson had a girl!

Comments on Naming her offspring threatens expectant writer’s marriage

  1. haha i love the last part about carrying more weight! good point and i’m gonna remember it!!

    my FH and i have been rowing a bit about names. we plan on having 2 kids, and hoping at least one will be a boy, though we’ll be in love and happy no matter what. but if one is a boy, he wants to name him Soren. i was okay with it til i realized that sounded a lot like “sore end.” as a kid i went by my family’s nickname for me, and i was teased so badly for it that i dropped it and went by my middle name in high school (and beyond!). it hurt a lot. i want the name Gabriel but when he realized it’s an “angel name” he didn’t like it. for a girl he likes Annika. pretty, yes. where’d he get the name? big breasted actress on star trek: voyager (7 or 9) ummm no.

    our solution: 2 children…
    girl born first- i name
    girl or boy born second- he names
    boy born first- he names
    boy or girl born second- i name


  2. I cant imagine the hardship. My bub and I picked depending on the sex of the baby- if it was a boy, then I got to name, if a girl, he did. We both had to pick 5 names. We could eliminate from each others list 2 of them without question, or explanation. 1 with a valid point, and the last two, we put into a hat, and drew. Which ever came out was it. I know it doesnt sound much like fate, or destiny when picking a name, but it worked for us. Now, we are having a girl. He picked:

    I got rid of chole and lilly right off…too normal, too popular. I game him the reason that I dont like Jordan as a first name for a girl, although I feel like Isabell Jordan is a beautiful name (so I left Isabell and Abigail)— I prefered Abigail so lucky me that it was the one drawn! It IS on the top 10 list, BUT I felt it fit our family well. But the good thing about this list is that, if we ever have another girl– we already know isabell works for us etc.

    With as much disagreement as we had since 10 weeks ago!– it was only fair to us to do it this way. I really hope you found a way to come to some peace!!!! (and I agree, Percival wouldnt be my first choice either 🙂 )

    Good luck!

  3. I hear you on this! My FH is from a family of Italians who name their kids after another family member until no one had their own name. I HATE that tradition, and so am convincing him that our kids should have names that aren’t over used and unique. ^_^ I actually had a nightmare that we had a beautiful baby girl and I COULD NOT REMEMBER WHAT WE WERE GOING TO NAME HER!!! It was awful… then I woke up and remembered her name… Canaan. <3

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