The name game

March 11, 2015
Tamara Petkau |

I’m now in my ninth month of pregnancy, which is hardly the beautiful and magical time magazines and mommy-blogs would lead one to believe that it is. Pregnancy is difficult, magical—yes—but difficult. Part of me feels like the magic slowly wanes with every pregnancy I put my body through, and those not-so-delightful pregnancy symptoms only seem to multiple with every additional child.

Except “nesting.” I have yet to experience the symptom of “nesting,” which, I’ve been told, is a mother’s strong desire to prepare the home for the arrival of Baby.

My pregnancy has corresponded with the pregnancies of several of my friends, some experiencing their first pregnancy, some their second. They seem to have been blessed with the nesting bug. They’ve created baby registries and decorated nurseries. They’ve read books and written birth plans. They’ve stocked their freezers and cleaned their houses. They’ve napped and exercised. They’re acting like me four years ago, even two years ago.

But now, preparation is a luxury I just don’t have time for. My mom attempted to stock my freezer, but I thawed out those dinners for last week’s supper. I attempted to tidy up, but then we had some playdates. We have bedrooms, cloth diapers, and a crib—but they are all currently occupied.

Our little boy will not have the luxury of a space to call his own. He will simply have to join the chaos that is our family and find his own niche in the messy routine we call life. I think he will do just fine, because I know that he will be loved and cared for, no matter what. I’ve come to terms with my lack of preparation. Except in one area:  Baby Boy’s name.

Naming a child is a big deal. There are so many factors to consider. Is the name adorable enough for a child but mature enough for an adult? What will the initials spell out? Does it make them an easy target for playground taunting? Is it unique enough that they won’t be known as “Bob ABC” or worse, “Bob 123”? But is it even a name or just a passing trend? And the biggest hurdle in our house is: can both Hubby and I agree? So far, the answer is no.

My criterion for naming a child is that it has to sound nice. I also try to avoid the Top 100 names and opt for something a little more unique, but I don’t like to stray too far into the wild. Hubby’s main criterion is that there is a story behind the name. So far, we have yet to agree on anything, and when I listen to the names we call each other around the house, I wonder:  is the name really that important?

In our house, we seldom use formal names. Hubby is a huge fan of nicknames, and over time, he’s won me over to the love and intimacy that nicknames reveal. Boo (whose real name isn’t really Boo) is often called Skiboski, Halo, Shankashinka, Smile, or Bug, to list just a few. These sound random, perhaps even mean, but each one has a little story behind it and was given with love and affection. She responds to all of them proudly. Little E has her own growing collection of nicknames, many bestowed upon her from her older sister, like Ezmo and Smee.

I want Baby Boy to have a name worthy of him, as unique as him, as strong and as capable as him. I want it to be as perfect as he is. I suppose, since we haven’t really met him yet, we’ll just have to wait. After all, there is only so much preparation a person can do.

Author Name: 
Tamara Petkau
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