Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jr. high school. Jr. sports. But not C. Jr!

Our most common reoccurring fight has everything to do with baby names.

C. wants to name his first born male in his God-like image. No middle name. Just C. Jr. (Gag me. Pleazzzzzzzzz.) Maybe it's the fact that I grew up with a Big Cliff and a Little Cliff, wondering why parents would do that to their little bundle of joy. Or the fact that Big Cliff lived up to his name — he was a big failure at all husband and fatherly duties. Or because the sound of his name stirs up bad memories of every kind. Or that bestowing the "honor" of passing on your name to only ONE of your youngens seems pretty unfair to me (unless you're named Clifford, then I'd feel lucky to be the second son named Matthew). Or that it seems pretty self-important.... Any of those reasons seem like good reasons to me not to have a Jr. baby.

If that's not enough, I seriously think that ANY and ALL children naming duties should be a privilege that the mother has right to. (Bring it on guys!) If dad wants to name the dog after Jeter, by all means, knock yourself out.

Just remember, it's the ENORMOUSLY pregnant Mom-to-be that wanders around the ER waiting room, praying her water will break because they won't admit her yet. And when it does break, in public, it's the mother who looks like she peed her pants. If fact, she did pee her pants a little, from the pressure in her uterus, like a Hummer vehicle making its way out of an ant hill. But she doesn't care. Because compared to the "GOD, KILL ME NOW" cramps she's experiencing at that moment, a little urine and a lot of public humiliation is the least of her worries. Pooping in front of her husband and a team full of doctors is at the top of her mind. So is the needle that goes in her spine and what level of vaginal tear she'll be when the baby's shoulders enter the world. (so I've heard).

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE old family names and I plan on choosing ones that honor distant relatives, with C.'s input. But ultimately, I am not having a C. Jr. I'll have a C Jr. and call him by his middle name. I'll have a ____ C. Jr. and call him by his first name. But NOT a C. Jr.

What do you think? Should the woman have more say in naming the child?


Chrissie said...

i totally think a woman should have more of a say in the name of her child... she has to carry the thing around for 9 months, she's entitled.

although, i must say that if a couple can't compromise about the name of a baby... it doesn't say much for their ability to compromise when it comes to actually raising that child.

Jared said...

I think the baby should have the most say, since they have to live with the name for their whole life.

sarah said...

I doubt everyone is going to agree with us Chrissie.

And to your second point, since "we" are that couple, right now, there's no pressure on us to compromise. C. Jr. is a playful argument. At some point, I hope it turns into a serious discussion, and a final agreement leaving both satisfied.

Also, C and I were both raised with similar family values, and have not gotten in a single squabble regarding raising our offspring.
So you see, you could be wrong.

Chrissie said...

i wasn't implying that a playful argument means anything more than just that... but if it came down to the real thing, the day the child was born, and putting the name on the birth certificate caused an actual argument or illustrated a lack of compromise, then that would be a bad sign.

and so, i don't think i'm wrong in making my previous statement... just perhaps misunderstood.

and i'm never wrong.
at all.


sarah said...

Let me clarify too.

I could see how the argument over the baby's name could happen and continue post birth. And I could see how an outsider might think that's not a good sign. But I can also see how the couple might be great at resolving issues, just that this ONE particular issue might be very personal.

E.g. - her father (a Sr.) didn't deserve a Jr. to carry on his name.

And his father (a Sr.) died young, passing on his name to his son.

In some cases, it's just not that simple.

BTW Chrissie, did I tell you you look fabulous today? ;1

sarah said...

Luckily, Jared has offered quarreling couples the ultimate compromise. thanks Jared :-0

jared said...

My point was really that I think its selfish and short sighted to pick a name for your own entertainment. I hear so many people come up with names that are cute for a baby but will make life more difficult as an adult. I don't think you're going to see a Chief Justice Apple Blythe Alison Martin any time soon.

Chrissie said...

good point jared... and i agree. there are certain names that while they're cute for a little one, they don't age very well...

and again, sarah we agree blah blah blah... i'm sick of this not-so-odd-couple. Lets fight!

vanessa said...

amen jared. What is it with people naming their kids after cars and food? I just dont get it.

Some other celebrity kids names: Coco, Pine, Rumor, Pixie, Moon Unit!! hahaha.

This site ought to entertain you:

You name your kid Candy, I dont think she'll amount to much else than being able to slide down a pole.

It makes you wonder what state of mind these people were in when they signed the birth certificate.

vanessa said...

I just found a link that says David Carradine named his kid IP Freely.

hahahaha. What a great way to end the workday. woo.

Anonymous said...

I find this post interesting. My wife and I came up with baby names and AGREED by the time she was 10 weeks. If it was a girl she could choose what ever she wanted. If it was a boy I got to choose the name. I think that naming your child isn't the sole right of the woman, despite all the weight gain, cramps, kicking and doctors visits, I think that it should be both parents working together. In our case that is what we did, we came up with a compromise.

vanessa said...

Anon that sounds like a good compromise, but did you have a list of "acceptable" names that you both liked for girls and boys? Or were you allowed to name your first son Hercules if you so chose?

baby names said...

I go with the custom of naming a baby after a pass away loved one.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call it a list of acceptable names, just names of the more traditional variety. No Thor or Hercules for us.

Also, as an addendum to my post last night, after discussing it with my wife, she said she didn't feel 'entitled' (as Chrissie put it) to the sole rights of baby naming.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant to say that she didn't feel MORE entitled than me in naming our child.

Chrissie said...

i still think the woman should have the final say... not the only say, but at least the final one.

but again, as i later pointed out, it's really about compromise, like all things in a relationship.

and who knows, in 100 years when i'm finally ready to have kids (maybe) i may be singing a different tune.

sarah said...

No one commented on the "JR" aspect.

What do you guys think — it's an honor to be named after dad? Or tacky?

vanessa said...

I dont like the "JR" aspect at all.

I think that naming your child after yourself is a self fulfilling ego booster.

I also feel it may make a child feel like he's supposed to follow in your footsteps or you want him to be a mini you.

Children (and adults alike) have identity problems as it is, if he doesn't even have his own name, don't you think it may make it a little more difficult for him to identify who HE is?

Anonymous said...

i guess i'll weigh in on this since i am, in fact, named after my father. though i am not a "JR" -- my first name is my father's first name, and my middle name is my died-before-i-was-born maternal grandfather's first name (which is not the same as my father's middle name). so my father and i have different middle names (hence, no need for "jr").

thinking about it now, i don't mind being named after my father... but i would ABSOLUTELY HATE IT if i were a "jr".

now that i think about it, i realize that all my life i've really cherished that middle name difference. that difference gave me a "uniqueness". it distinguished me from my father. it gave me my own "identity" (as vanessa pointed out), which i realize now was always very important to me. i've always identified myself with that middle initial-- it's in my signature, i sign my emails with it (work emails at least), it's on all my credit cards and whatnot...

so i guess there's something to be said for having your own "identity", distinguished from your father's. at least, that's how i feel.

so nay on the "jr".

but despite my opinion on the "jr", i do appreciate being named after someone (or someones, plural, in my case), rather than having my name picked out of a hat because it "sounded nice at the time". the "coolness" of names is a transient thing. it changes from decade to decade. so you might as well give your child a name that has some sort of personal or familial meaning behind it. hopefully your child will appreciate that. someday.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... being a Jr. I never felt the need to follow in my father's footsteps. In fact, he encouraged me to focus on what I wanted to do in life. Of course he wanted me to succeed, but he never said how I would know when I was a success. He left that all up to me.

I understand the identity issues, but I think that also comes in part from parents who pressure their kids. I think the emphasis needs to be that just because the name is shared doesn't mean that the life is.

Jared said...

I wonder about the legal aspect of this as well. What if the man and woman are both at the hospital and reach a total deadlock on the issue of the name? What actually goes down on the birth certificate?

Anonymous said...

Not sure about that one... I'll have to look it up. However, in the hospital in NYS I believe it is the woman's responsibility to name the child. The father isn't even listed on the birth certificate unless he fills out 4 pages of info affirming paternity.

Anonymous said...

What if the man and woman are both at the hospital and reach a total deadlock on the issue of the name? What actually goes down on the birth certificate?

"Your-parents-are-morons" is the default, I believe.

The Right Baby Name said...

I wanted to chime-in with an unrelated but hopefully helpful comment. One great tool for helping parents assess how names will be perceived is We offer parents lots of analysis based on name data and perceptions to help moms (or dads!) with this difficult decision. Check out our site and let us know what you think.

DLK said...

What wrong with the name Clifford? That's my father's name, my grandfather's name, my husband's name, his father's name. It's quite a nice name. I hope your brother doesn't know you don't like his name... geesh!

sarah said...


For starters, it was my father's name too, only my father isn't such an admirable person, so THAT's why I think it's awful to pass on his name to his child.

Secondly, it's my opinion that "clifford" doesn't have a nice ring to it, particularly for a baby name. But I don't mean to offend you or your family.

Finally, if my brother is offended... well he's older than me. He used to body slam me on the couch and tickle me till I peed my pants, and say I was pretty, followed by "Did you know it's opposite day?" or "NOT!" He deserves a little payback :1