Naming a baby is hard. It is an honour. But it is a big responsibility. It has to be perfect. It has to suit them as a baby, a toddler, a young child, a school child, a teenager, and an adult. It has to go with a surname, and with other siblings’ names. And it has to have sensible initials. It can’t be too common, but it also can’t be too “out there” either. It should be fairly traditional, but should allow for lots of cute nicknames.
Or at least these are our criteria.
It is an impossible job. For us, most names were deemed unsuitable before we even began to find something that we actually both vaguely agreed on.
Anyone who knows me knows how much we struggled to name our third child.
Don’t get me wrong; we struggled to name all of our children (even the one that was named long before we were married and had even thought about children) as, no matter how certain we were about a name, officially registering it and making it legal seemed quite a daunting task.
But this time it was something else.
The third time.
The second boy.
My mind was blank.
It didn’t help that I had assumed I was having a girl for the first half of my pregnancy; I was so sick once again (something I hadn’t had with my first boy but had had with my girl). I had a long list of perfect girls’ names!
When we found out that it was actually going to be a boy we re-read all of the name books 10x over. But nothing was right. Except Paddington. He was always going to be Paddington, or Paddy for short, as that is what E named the bump very early on. It is what my sister still calls him now. It’s just a shame that it’s not a real name!
Everyone said that we would know when he was born. But he didn’t come out with a name plaque, so I didn’t really understand how we were meant to know.
I didn’t think he was actually going to get a name.
And you only get 6 weeks. 6 WEEKS (and I know it is even shorter than that in most places)!!! 6 weeks in which to recover from the birth, get to know the baby, learn to survive on biscuits, and no sleep, and copious amounts of coffee. And then, in the resulting delirious state, pretend you are a functioning human who is definitely capable of making one of the most important decisions in the baby’s life.
We eventually settled on a name. I thought it would grow on me. I thought I’d come to love it. But I feel so guilty. It hasn’t grown on me. I just don’t love it. Not like I love the names of my other children. I’m struggling to even call him by his actual name. And I think I want to change it. Is that weird?
I have finally found a name I love – I’m just a few months too late!
*Pictures by the amazingly talented Cara of bluebird and the bear.