Sunday, September 13, 2009

The naming of kids is a difficult matter...

I have been meaning to write this post for awhile, but I have been putting it off because to people I know in person (who make up about half of my readership) it will be boring. So if you have seen me in the past month, feel free to skip this entry.

It's about the baby's name. You may have noticed that I have kind of gone back to referring to her as "the baby" since we found out "the baby" was a she. Zippy just sounds too masculine now that we know for sure we have a girl in there. I didn't want to randomly start using her name until I had explained it, so I went back to "the baby" until I got around to writing this post.

SO, from now on I plan to refer to the baby as Charlotte, which is her name. I am sure we'll field many inquiries about whether or not we named our daughters after the Bronte sisters (no we didn't), but we like the name enough to deal with it. We picked out all our kids' names long ago, and we still like it, so that's that.

But with Emily, her middle name was a no-brainer, since in my family the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter etc. has the middle name Elizabeth. There's a little ring to go along with the name and everything, which you may recall I just received recently from my aunt with great pomp and circumstance and quavery weeping. Charlotte's middle name has proved more difficult. The first one we came up with during our trip to St. Thomas 3 years ago; Amalie. We think this name is beautiful, but it has several problems:

1. Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas, and people who know that might wonder why on earth we named our daughter after a city, or worse they might think we named our daughter after where she was conceived, like in that dumb car commercial for the Chrysler Concorde where for some reason the little girl who was conceived in Savannah had a southern accent even though her mom didn't and the whole thing was just all weird and EW.

2. People who DON'T know that Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas (or who aren't Dutch) which is probably the large majority of people she'll meet in her life will think "Amalie" is pronounced Ah-mah-lee, when in fact it's pronounced Ah-mahl-ya. I guess we could technically change the spelling to "Amalia" to avoid that issue, but then people would think we're just ignorant and tried to name our daughter after the capital of St. Thomas but spelled it wrong.

3. Amalie is the Dutch version of the name Emily, and as you may remember, we already have a daughter with the name Emily.

SO, I decided it might be best to at least try to find a different middle name. I liked the flow of Amalie, so I tried to come up with something that worked in kind of the same way. I came up with Olivia. I like it, everyone else seems to like it, but Will does not :-( And his opinion is kind of important.

On top of that, I recently re-connected on Facebook with a girl who I was friends with in high school (and who Will had a big crush on in high school before he started dating me). Her name is Charlotte, and shortly after I came up with the middle name Olivia, I found out that she has a dog named Olivia. How stalker-ish would that be? "Hi, I just started talking to you again after 10 years and guess what!!!!1 I just named my daughter after you and your dog! Now we'll be best friends forever, right?!?!?" ::crazed, maniacal laughter:: I actually mentioned it to her at our high school reunion in June, and I must not have come off as TOO crazy because she just laughed and said to go for it, but still. It feels stalker-ish.

The idea of using a family name on Will's side is appealing, since Emily's middle name is a family name on my side, but as far back in his family tree as either of us knows, there aren't any female names that we particularly like. Plus his family is big on re-using names, so every name has usually been used multiple times already. My MIL says she has a book with lots of family members in it that she'll lend us, so maybe there'll be something in there that we like.

I just want her to have a pretty middle name. Sure, you don't use it much, and as a girl she may not even use it anymore after the first 20-some years, but I just don't want her to dread taking standardized tests at school because the teacher calls you up by your full name and "Oh no! Now all my friends are going to laugh at me because they'll know my middle name is Mildred!"

If we don't come up with something else, she'll probably end up Charlotte Amalie. I'm probably worrying too much about what other people will think anyway. In the meantime, we're still brainstorming, so feel free to offer suggestions. I'm kind of trapped in the mindset that it needs to be a 4-syllable name that ends in "a", but maybe if someone comes up with a good suggestion that I hadn't thought of it'll knock me loose from my name rut.

Otherwise she might just have to deal with a lifetime of "Did your parents conceive you in St. Thomas?"

1 comment:

Aunt Becky said...

I absolutely love it. The name just has a beautiful ebb and flow to it, and her middle name is a variation of my daughter's name, so I adore it. Naming children is a ton of work. *I* feel winded now.

If only I could take a nap!