11.22.2010

Why my child will likely be known as Voldemort

Reason #1: My parents do not know how to delay gratification.

Once we found out we were having a boy, my sweet mom wanted to know what his name was going to be. I told her the name we were thinking about, but with the caveat that we weren't 100% sure it would stick, so don't rush out and start getting things monogrammed.

(Note: Boy names were really difficult for us. It's not that our tastes were dramatically different, with me wanting Fitzwilliam/Thornton/Wentworth and GH preferring Lennon/McFly/Anyone from LOST. We just had a hard time coming up with something that we both felt enthusiastic about.)

My sister Jenny had names picked out for her kids before they were born and she would use those names while talking about said in-utero babies. So my family got pretty comfortable referring to The Precii by name well before they were born. But for some reason, it has felt awkward for GH and me to do the same thing. Even though we found a name we feel pretty good about, we don't actually use it when discussing the child. He's just "the baby" or "the child" or "crazy alien creature that won't stop moving." And, in my super-sensitive-pregnantness, I just Could. Not. Let. It. Go. when other people tried to pin us down.

My mom: "So, is it for sure going to be Baby -----, then?"

Me: "MOM. I don't know. Maybe. GOSH. Stop pressuring me! And don't be telling your friends that we've picked a name because I could totally end up changing it. You're not the boss of my baby's name, you know!!"

(Aren't I a delightful conversation partner?)

Mom, pleading: "Oh, but I just want something to call him! What do you call him?"

Me: "We call him The Baby."

Mom: " . . . huh."

Me: [Snarling sounds.]

Later on into things I did tell her that she could go ahead and call him "Baby ----" if she wants, just not to be mad at me if I end up changing it to something else. But by then the damage was done, as evidenced by this phone conversation with my parents.

Mom: Your dad wants to know how little "He Who Must Not Be Named" is doing.

Me: Um, did Dad just call my baby Voldemort?

Mom: [gasp] What? NO! That's terrible!

Me: Pretty sure he did. And The Dark Lord is doing just fine, thanks.

Mom: Y'all are sick people. I don't know where you come up with this stuff.

Reason #2: It is karma.

It is karma for that one time (or maybe more than once) when I used the word of Smeagol in connection to a face that little baby Savannah made as a newborn. And then how maybe I called her "My Precious" before we meant it in a strictly adoring-of-her-very-real-preciousness sense.

Jenny has been waiting for payback, and now it is here. She did promise though that if the child is born with just slits instead of a real nose then she will refrain, because she is nice like that.

When I gave GH the heads-up about our child's probable nickname, he shrugged and pointed out that while it's a very rude, awful thing to call a baby girl Smeagol, we are having a boy. A boy who will likely grow up to be a nerd. So he will probably like that nickname.

We'll see.

Also, is it wrong that Ralph Fiennes still kind of does it for me as Lord Voldemort? Just wondering.


Update question: For those who have played the Naming Game, how many of you were 100% supersure about the name and how many gave themselves some wiggle room? Did anyone change their minds after meeting the actual baby? I am curious.

38 comments:

Anonymous said... [reply]

We had a list of 5 names that we were going to choose from. After seeing our daughter though, none seemed to fit. We waited until about 20 minutes before leaving the hospital to pick a name for her. Sometimes I'm still not sure... :)

dietcokegrrl said... [reply]

My first baby was a boy and we were set on the name Ira (my grandfather's name) and then we saw him...and Ira just didn't fit him (and the last name is Hernandez...so seriously...Ira Hernandez...jewish mexican? just too odd a combo). As soon as we saw him , he looked like a Sam, and so his name is Samuel Ira. Worked for us.

Second baby was a girl. I decided while preggo that her name would be Hannah. Had no idea where it came from as it was never one of the names I ever had picked out for a girl, but I was set on it and it fit her looks and personality perfectly. Hannah Elizabeth (dad got to pick out middle name).

Third baby. We didn't find out beforehand what we were having, but I knew for sure that it was girl. Total instinct. We had tossed around a few names but couldn't agree on anything. She was born (I was right!) and we still couldn't agree on a name. We took her home and called her "the baby". 14 days later, we went back to the hospital to officially give the name. Helene Elyse fits her perfectly.

Anyway, sorry to write a novel. Long story short. IMO--every pregnancy is different. Do what works for you...although I totally get the mom thing. My mom called me EVERY DAY after Helene was born to ask if we had decided on a name. And when she finally got sick of waiting, she would call and give me name suggestions. Lovely.

I'll shut up now...good luck!!

Crazy Walker said... [reply]

I'm coming out of lurkdom. I came over a while ago from Mormon Child Bride's blog, and have been following since you announced you were pregnant or so.

Anywho, just had to comment and say that we named our son Locke, not JUST from LOST of course, (It's from a family name-Lockhart), but it was influenced a bit. We also love Linus (Benjamin Linus, of course. Although, now that we have a Locke, I'm not sure we could have a Linus...since they were enemies. I don't think I need a Cane & Abel situation on my hands).

We had Locke picked out since before we were even pregnant. I dunno, it just stuck. Even before we found out what the gender was, it just seemed like it would be a boy and he would always be named Locke. My mother told me all through my pregnancy that it sounded like a bank robber's name...? He's a Locke now though, and I can't say if he grew into it or it fit him all along!

Good luck with your delivery & naming & parenting!

Ana said... [reply]

We were going to call our first child Ruby - but we called him Michael. A wise choice I think, since he ended up being a boy :)

Tonya said... [reply]

I think that only a couple of ours had names before we left the hospital. The others were around 7-8 days old before they were tagged. Just don't let the hospital's "paperwork that needs to be completed" make your decision for you...I just tell them that I will call them when we have a name. The hospital did call me once to ask the name, and I repeated very firmly, don't call me, I will call you when we decide thank you very much:)
Take your time and get to know him. We try to narrow it down some, but our last boys' name wasn't even on the list we took to the hospital.. go figure.
It can be a fun process if you try not to let your type A-ness, wanting it done in a neat and timely manner, get in the way..
Really, relax, look at the little man and try them out on him...
You will choose a great name!

Katie said... [reply]

We've always picked the name out before but I've never felt comfortable calling my pregnant belly by a name other than "baby" either.

And maybe I'm an insensitive mother/woman, but I've never really understood the whole "He/she didn't look like a such and such" or "We'll wait until we see him/her to pick a name" I just think a baby (especially a newborn)pretty much looks like a newborn and they sort of grow into their name until one day when they're two (or whatever) you think "yep, that was the perfect name and I can't imagine him with a different one."

Lisa said... [reply]

We didn't find out what we were having either time, but had names picked out. With our first it took a good six weeks before I was convinced that's what his name should have been. Picking out a name is such a huge responsibility!

Elsha said... [reply]

We picked names early both times but didn't use them in utero. Also, even though we had Will's name picked out LONG before I was even pregnant with him, I still always said "probably" when I told people the name.

I have a friend who didn't name her daughter until she was 3 or 4 days old. She said they weren't sure until then.

Jenny said... [reply]

I will tell you what my BFFs did, since I know you care tons.

Heather mulled over names for all the boys for days and days, except the 3rd boy. They totally had the hospital pressure but were like, ehn, shut your face we just had a baby.

Their girl they were pretty set on the day she was born


Bethany picked her baby names beforehand and called the babies by their names.

I pick my names beforehand. Obviously. Ed needs a good few months to practice saying it before he gets into it, and I can't have a 4 month old getting called baby.

Joy said... [reply]

We don't want to know what we're having, but we have a girl and a boy name picked out. I have a list of names we came up with a year ago on a long car ride, and none of those ended up being the names we chose. Right now I'm struggling with what to call the baby while I'm pregnant, because saying "it" just sounds wrong.

Bridget said... [reply]

We always keep our babies' names secret until they're born which is easy because we're never absolutely sure about the name until then (and then I don't have to hear about everyone's random associations with the name). We go into it with two or three choices and see which one fits once the baby is out.

For the in-utero name, we've used the same one with both our kids and it's not a name we would use in real life. So we had Sasha and then Sasha 2.0 (in Russian, Sasha can be a girl or a boy so it worked well for us). Anyway, long explanations, but you asked for it.

I can't wait to hear what you chose!

FoxyJ said... [reply]

With both our girls we had names picked out even before getting pregnant; our second girl has a family name. They both have significant Hawaiian middle names, and we spent hours reading our Hawaiian name book and arguing about sounds, meanings, etc for middle names (language geeks).

For our boy we could not agree on a name during my entire pregnancy; I think my husband even ran a poll on his blog and everything. Then I had the truly awful, scary delivery that I won't remind you about and I spent the next day in a total fog of shock/blood loss/drugs. My husband asked again about his name, suggesting the one he liked, and I said something like 'sure, whatever'. I actually really like his name now and I'm totally happy with it.

I don't really remember, but I think in utero we've just referred to the baby as 'baby'. I have no idea. I think we must not have actually talked about the baby much when I was pregnant--I don't remember.

And for some reason my word verification is: foalize

Maleen said... [reply]

Totally loved this post by the way.

We picked all our babies names while they snuggled in utero. I pretty much figure that you could give them almost any weird name and after a while, you can't imagine them being named anything else.

What is really killing me is that you use nicknames for everyone on your blog and we will probably never even find out what the real name ends up being.

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Yes! We didn't want to name our child until we saw him--to see which one of the names we had picked out fit. However, my dad, my brother-in-law and a lot of other people were asking what the name was going to be. I made the mistake of telling my BIL our short list and he started calling the baby by one of the names (one which we didn't use) which is problematic because my nieces and nephews were starting to use it too.

SuziQ said... [reply]

We had picked a boy name and narrowed it down to two girl names, and when we found out what we were having, one of them just sounded right to me. And I guess we lucked out because her name totally fits her!

Natalie said... [reply]

My mom would not stop asking about my #1 baby's name, so we told her we were going to name him The Edge, after the guitarist from U2 (not some other random The Edge). She believed me, and cried a lot. He is now 14 year old Spencer. She paid me back by telling all the hospital nurses that Ainsley Eliza was to be known as "Lizzie." Good hell, woman!

Also, it is wrong to think that Voldemort is hot. Very very wrong. However, I cannot judge, because I secretly think Little Harry Potter is hot (okay, not until the 5th movie, at least, but still) and that makes me a skeezy perve.

Good luck with the whole having a baby thing!

Natalie said... [reply]

Also, I forgot to mention that the delayed gratification part of your post conjured up images of your parents eating marshmallows. Love it!

Mart -n- Marci said... [reply]

For my first two, I had the names picked out before they came - and was sure of them, but still allowed myself the chance to change in the event they 'didn't look like the name'....for my last two - we sat and ran through names AFTER the birth, while staring at the babies - hundreds of names - until we finally picked one that worked, except for the last one - whom we had to change the birth certificate for a week later because my hormones had me naming her a some Spanish name, and when I finally came to my senses, we had to go to city hall to take care of it. I recommend against that. (waiting that long to figure it out, I mean)

C. said... [reply]

First boy: we decided at about 34 weeks and were for sure. We told people... but we still called him "the baby" or "Abem" (in-utero nickname).

Second boy (currently pregnant): we are pretty darn sure of the name. Not really considering anything else. We have told people. But we reserve the right to change our minds, and we call him "the next one," "this one," "dos," or "Gondor" (long story).

liesel said... [reply]

I am one of the boogers who knows long before my kids are born what my kids names will be . Sometimes (but not always) we even start calling them by that name in utero. Most of the time they have some sort of fetal nickname too (that disappears after birth). Still we haven't changed our minds after they've been born yet (prego with #4). Its people like me who are screwing it up for you! oops.

mj said... [reply]

We had frontrunner name and back-up name. After she was born, we kept trying to call her frontrunner name but it just was not working. So, we went with our #2 and never looked back.

Maggie said... [reply]

With #1 we had the name figured out really early on and just called her that.

With #2 once the battle royale was over and we negotiated an appropriate name that was it. He was that for the remainder of the pregnancy and on through life.

MJ said... [reply]

I feel you. I've always said that babies should come out with their names tattooed on their feet, because naming kids ssssucks. And no matter what, the liklihood that they'll even like their name is SLIM.

We had 2 names we agreed on. We named our first son one, and gave our second son the other. Heaven help us if we have any more boys!

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Ralph Fiennes. *sigh* Did you see Quiz Show?

We named ahead of time. It alleviated my stress and helped Plantboy feel connected.

Jack--from L O S T. British-y too. I always loved Tobias (nickname, Toby), but husband vetoed it pretty strongly. I think that name is the reason he doesn't want to have more kids. My boys' names are unusual, and my parents have always taken it upon themselves to point out problems with our choices, particularly if they might be a little bit (drop voice to a whisper here) effeminate. My sister is much more acceptable, choosing names so common that each of her kiddos has to be distinguished by a last initial to be kept straight. But I don't care what they think--all of my kids have a hero name and a family name and each name would fit a Viking warrior-god. Nothing shabby there.

And I'm with Katie--all newborns look like Winston Churchill.

daltongirl said... [reply]

Do what my parents did--they went in to the delivery so sure they were going to have a boy, that they didn't even pick out a girl name. So they named me after the doctor, because apparently you weren't allowed to leave the delivery room without a name in those days.

I got lucky. Hope your midwife doesn't have a gender specific name.

Love Ralph Fiennes. My plan is to call your baby Tom. It takes less time to say than Voldemort, and it establishes that I have the upper hand.

Kimberly Bluestocking said... [reply]

My mom always wanted to name a son Christopher, but neither of her boys looked like a Christopher to her, so they're Andrew and Robbie instead.

My husband and I had first names picked out long before our two babies were born, but we kept them to ourselves because we didn't want any (negative) input and we might change our minds. We could never settle on middle names until we were about to leave the hospital.

Before birth we referred to our babies by nicknames. Since our last name starts with H and is ridiculously long, we chose nicknames that start with H and are ridiculously long: Henrietta and Hezekiah. Now they're Joy and Daniel (respectively).

And I suspect GH is right - your son would probably think Voldemort was a cool name. You could call him Mort for short.

elliespen said... [reply]

*snirt* Love it.

We had a hard time coming up with a boy's name, too, and didn't really share it much until he was born, just in case he didn't fit that name. (If pressed, we told people we were trying to decide between "Axel Danger" and "Captain Awesome.") It turns out he did fit, so his name stayed the same.

My cousin, on the other hand, ended up changing her baby boy's name once they got home after calling him a different name for most of the hospital stay. So, as Shawn Spencer would say, I've heard it both ways.

Jenny said... [reply]

I was just thinking... You aren't concerned about people not liking your name are you? I'd think you'd know the appropriate response for someone who dared insult your baby name to your face. Tell me you know it.

The Atomic Mom said... [reply]

We were 100% sure of a name right when we found out he was a boy, but did not tell anyone till the very end. We always referred to DS as Skeletor in utero. Bugged the heck out of my mom, but oh well.

Anonymous said... [reply]

I just had a little boy too and we didn't have a name picked out for him until he was born. Hubby and I also had widely divergent tastes in boy names (I'm a Charles, Edward,William kind of girl; he though "Jedi" would be awesome) We'd talked about several, but couldn't decide on anything we both felt good about before baby came. When he was born, we 'tried' a few names until we found one that fit. Also, we called him "The Blob" before he was born. It drove my mother and mother-in-law crazy.

emandtrev said... [reply]

I had both names picked out in advance, but we never used those names during pregnancy. We too used "The Baby" or "Baby Girl" most of the time. Thankfully the names we loved also seemed to really fit.

Anonymous said... [reply]

With my first, I was certain it was a girl, so I picked out a list of 6 amazing girl names. And then... it was a boy. The night after the ultrasound we went home and battled it out for the name (type A). The middle name was a mandatory family name, so that was easy. We did use his name in utero, BUT I refused to tell anyone except for my parents and extremely close friends. I had way too many friends/acquaintances who were pregnant, and I didn't want them stealing the name. Plus, since you have so little privacy (especially from complete strangers) as a pregnant woman, I wanted to have a few things be a mystery...

We picked out our second boy's name when we picked out the first's name (two years before I was even pregnant with him), and it seems to fit him just fine. I like things to be settled so I can find other things to think/worry about.

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

Oh, wow. The heavy responsibility of giving your kid a name. Since I run the Utah Baby Namer website, I ought to know.

My kids were born back in the Dark Ages when you didn't know the sex (yes, the SEX, not the gender. look it up!) So nobody really expected you to have a set-in-stone name for the growing fetus.

We battled it out over the first one (I knew it was a boy, just knew) by choosing names we liked from a name book. We ranked the names we both liked, and my first got my favorite and GH's second choice name.

Next, I had a girl--and again I knew she was a girl. GH wanted to name her Christina, after the Flambards heroine. I wasn't so sure. One night, I came up with Julie Christine, which he liked to. So that worked.

I genuinely thought #3 was a boy, though I was never very sure, unlike the first two. So we picked boy and girl names--and there she was! But her middle name is Rose, which my mother thought sounded like a stripper. Go figure. i ignored her.

Hard as it is to do it, ignore your parents and in-laws. It's none of their business. I am keeping my own counsel, except to ask the kids to avoid names on the UBN. Which everyone should do.

That said, a friend of mine's son wanted to name his baby D'Artangnan. We agreed this was a very bad idea.

Good luck. And you are due at the same time as Melynda from French Press Knits!

Eva said... [reply]

We chose both baby's names before they were born but we didn't tell and we certainly didn't call them by name. Mainly because I don't want commentary from anyone else. I've found that when you tell people a name before the baby is born they think it's some how up for discussion as if their opinion will count for something when obviously it wont.
We had fake names that we called them by in utero though. The more hideous the pre-birth name the better. My son was called Cleemack before he was born. that still makes me giggle.
My parents called all of us "peaches" before we were born.
My apologies to anyone who thinks Cleemack is a delightful name.

momof8 said... [reply]

We never tell our names before they are born, because everyone has an opinion and they will let you know what they think of it. We usually had names picked out, but felt like we needed to see the baby first--sometimes one name seemed to fit better than another. So nobody found out until they were born and named. Best wishes for you and hubby and baby boy!

Ken, Serena and Emilia said... [reply]

We were about 99% sure while I was pregnant with our little girl but flexible to change it if that's not what felt right. The day she was born I truly did not know for sure. Said a prayer, felt good about it, and voilĂ !
We've had a name picked out for our first boy since before I was pregnant with E, and we just found out today that we're having a boy! I'm still remaining flexible, though, just in case it doesn't feel right. I'm confident you'll make a fabulous choice and be happy with it!
Oh, and we called E "Baby Girl" in utero, and I'm sure we'll just do "Baby Boy" with this one. :)

Rachie said... [reply]

I had both my boys names set and we called them that from the moment we decided on them... however, my mom was the one who was "unsure" about the names. Even after names were chosen, she kept saying "I heard this name the other day... it's really cute, I thought you'd like it!"

I had to remind her about 989233 times that I wasn't changing the name and to stop coming at me with other (horrible) names.

Chad said... [reply]

I had both names picked out in advance, but we never used those names during pregnancy. We too used "The Baby" or "Baby Girl" most of the time. Thankfully the names we loved also seemed to really fit.

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