i won’t tell ’em your name.

i’ve had a running baby name list since i was a teenager.

it has changed and adapted as i’ve gotten older, or as names that were on my list suddenly became baby name gold. the thing about these lists is that they mean nothing once you get married. you can whine and pester and demand and count on a name all you want, but if your spouse isn’t on board… well then you have a problem.

due to christian’s absolute rejection of agnes, i worked hard on a back up girl name that’d win his approval. sometime last year we agreed on one. and i love it. i remember the night before my gender ultrasound, i lay in bed nervous for the next day but so excited about my little girl name. and then something gently whispered, try not to be too excited about that name. and i knew then, that we would need a boy name.

i started referring to the little guy, in my head, by my number one boy name. as time wore on it became clear christian didn’t think we had a name yet, which distressed me a little. i reminded him the name i was calling the baby, and he laughed, reminding me that that was just one of many baby boy names on my list. chalk this up as another time in our marriage where i somehow missed having an important conversation, or thought we had already had that discussion!

and so i commenced reading him dozens of names from every list i could find. i quickly learned that he clings to more boring traditional names while i am much more adventurous. he’d get testy and tell me to stop reading him fake names. i’d have to weed through each list and read only those names which were most boring standard.

i read him lists of spanish, portuguese and italian names. people won’t pronounce it right, he’d say. looking to our genealogy i’d read him danish and scottish names. no, he’d emphatically declare. i’d tell him my favorite random words to use as names. it’ll sound like we’re trying too hard, he criticized.

so that’s where we’ve been for quite a few months, much to little malynn’s dismay.

she is one of my sunday school kids from last year. every sunday she tracks me down several times during our church schedule. we have three hours of worship services and sunday school lessons so malynn takes very good advantage of that and i have to be prepared for her sneak attacks.

she only ever asks one question, do you have a name yet?

now imagine this 11-year old finding me before sacrament meeting. an hour later after sacrament meeting. and usually two hours later in the hallway at the very end of church. each time she asks with the same amount of enthusiasm and anticipation. i feel like i need to have an answer by the third interrogation, but i don’t.

malynn has offered her baby-naming services. she suggested i turn to a very too many daveshelpful resource written by dr. seuss called too many daves. for the past month or so i’ve been embarrassed to report that i have yet to read the book.

i can feel her disappointment in my lack of commitment to this baby naming project.

last week i tried to appease her. before she could even ask her one question, i spoke up. i have a name i like and christian has a name he likes. she thought about this all through church.

after church she found me, with her older brother and dad trailing. i have a solution! she beamed. you can use your name for a first name and christian’s name for a middle name! she nodded her head with a little, problem solved look.

i was telling my sister asia about malynn. she said something that made malynn’s urgency all make sense, i am in that primary kid’s body!

it appears we have more than just malynn to contend with.

name; goo goo dolls


12 thoughts on “i won’t tell ’em your name.

  1. I totally understand! We have had baby boy’s name picked out for ages, but we can’t decide on baby girl! It’s SO hard and it stresses me out!!

  2. Simplest solution ever: he’s not at the hospital when they bring you the birth certificate to sign.

  3. I’ve taken Malynn to Idaho, so you should be safe for the next 2 weeks. But, in the meantime, you should probably come up with a solution, because I know from 11 long years of experience that she is a dog that will never let go of a bone. Long years.
    I’m still rooting for someone to give their kid the moniker “Oliver Boliver Butts”. Thank you Dr. Suess.

  4. We could NEVER name any of our children until their were born, and even then sometimes it took 10 days after that. Zach was called Herkimer for 10 days, poor kid. Here’s the secret (because even though you can fill out the birth certificate while he’s not there, he gets the last laugh at the baby’s blessing in church), turn on the tears. Serious. Hearts soften after watching your wife give birth. And, even if they don’t soften that much, tears work.

  5. I have that same problem with Kyle! I have these lists of great names, but Kyle’s against so many of them. My favorite boy names are Oscar and Theodore, but Kyle is staunchly against both of them. It makes me a little sad on the inside to know that I will never have a little Oscar or Theodore in my life.

  6. We had the same problem with naming Grayson. We finally narrowed it down to 3 names (we each had a favorite) and I thought that the baby would come out and I would just *know*, but no such luck! Right after I had him, Jake actually said that I could pick the name since I just gave birth, but then I felt too guilty picking the one that I knew he didn’t like as much, but his name just fits now. Can i just say how excited I am for you guys! And thanks for sharing this journey with us!

    1. wait so was grayson the name you wanted the most?? i want to do gray as a middle name but christian thinks it sounds like i’m trying too hard! but i love gray!

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