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Challenge: Choosing Baby Names

Hello, My Name Is Dark

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Dark was a turning point in our quest to name our first child. Dark as in, Hello my name is Dark. In all fairness to the process, Oscar technically came before Dark, but the look on the grandparents faces when we unveiled Oscar forced us back to the drawing board.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to have a daughter named Samantha. Sam for short, like Sam from “Who’s The Boss.” By the time having a baby became a reality, I was into the letter E in a big way. It would be Elliott for a boy or Elsa for a girl, and not that I'm bragging or anything, but I picked Elsa long before the “Frozen” frenzy of 2014.

Alas, that first pregnancy didn’t stick. My Elliott or my Elsa weren’t meant to be.

I did two things after that loss. I got a dog and named him Harry. I also created a new list of baby names that made everyone pray I’d have a boy because who in their right mind would name a girl Agnes, Josephine, or Gertrude when you could name her Emma, Ava, or Sophia.

Worry not. My rainbow baby was a boy. I daydreamed about Henry, Asher, Levi, Booker, Paxton, and (the short-lived) Oscar, but grandparents are an opinionated bunch and spouses get a say, too (sigh), which led us to Dark, which was a dark time, indeed, because I had to reconcile that I married a man who wanted to name a baby Dark.

For obvious reasons, we 86’d Dark (and Oscar), and on an early morning walk with Harry and my cankles, we contemplated Dillon. Or Dillan. Or Dylan.

Dylan.

That was that. Years later, I met a boy named Declan and immediately had baby name regret, but it seemed unfair and potentially confusing to change Dylan’s name, considering how many monogrammed items we owned from Pottery Barn, so I left it alone. But, whenever I needed to speak in code around him---you know, when you want to talk about your young kids in front of them without them knowing you’re talking about them so you either have to spell stuff, which is exhausting, or pretend you’re talking about some other children---I referred to my first-born son as Declan. My second child, when speaking in code was required, was Rebel (never has a name so truly epitomized a child).

Rebel’s birth certificate reads Riley. Not girl Riley, thank you very much. This is a sore subject for my boy Riley. Anyhow, most of his friends call him Nutty. Me? I prefer Riley Pie. My Dylan will always be my Pickle, but tweens embarrass easily. His 10th birthday cake had icing that, per his request, read: “Happy Birthday, Sugar” because Sugar is Life.

So much for all the time and energy we spent picking names.

p.s. I finally got my baby girl (puppy)…

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…and her name is Gertrude.

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