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Challenge: Choosing Baby Names

What’s In a Name?

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There were no personalized toys waiting for my son’s arrival or hand painted signs bearing his name on the walls of his nursery because no matter how many baby naming books and websites my husband and I studied, we could not agree on a name. Naming your baby is a lot of pressure. You have nine whole months that are filled with hours of discussions on the value of names, but if you are like me, you’ll find yourself waddling into the hospital to deliver a baby that has no name. NO NAME!

I’d love a name and my husband would hate it.

He’d suggest a name and I’d suggest divorce.

I was a teacher, so naturally I already had a “Hell No” list. If you are a teacher, you’re nodding your head right now because you too have that list.

I’d mention a name to colleague and they’d say something really stupid about the name so immediately they and that baby name were dead to me.


Just think about the consequences of choosing a name. What if the minute that precious baby hits elementary school, some creep makes up an awful nickname for your kid because of the name you chose and THAT is the name that sticks? For instance, I’m still not laughing at A-Man-Da-Hug-And-Kiss, seventh grade boys. Yup, still not laughing.

Or maybe your kid makes it through school nickname-free but you chose the most popular baby name that year so your kid’s moniker morphs into their first name and last initial: “Nice to meet you, I’m Amanda M. because there are 10 of us.”

Maybe I should have taken a nod from my own mother who chose my name from the one hour of television she watched daily while my wild brother actually napped--Guiding Light. Yes, I was named after a soap opera character, but to be fair, my daughter’s name came from binge watching Friday Night Lights—Texas Forever and now we’ve got a Lyla forever too. Full circle naming.

But when it came to my nameless little boy, we were stuck. I adored the idea of naming him after my husband. I couldn’t imagine a sweeter name than the one that was a nod to the amazing man I married; however that man shut down the Junior discussions pretty quickly.

He felt like having a junior might be a lot of pressure or an annoyance for our boy. Because he shared his dad’s name, we’d always have to say “Which Aaron? Big Aaron or Little Aaron?” So that name got tossed onto the pile of other non-chosen names like Charlie, Ben, and Noah.

So here we were, in the hospital, holding our nameless bundle of joy and my husband says, “Well what about Preston? It’s the one name we both don’t hate. Wait, why are you crying? What’s wrong? Why is she crying?”

Through sobs that could only be described as a hormone induced ugly cry, I forced out “He’s NOT A PRESTON”

And as if right on cue, enters a chipper nurse, “Do we have a name for this boy? You know, you have up to a year to change his name!” Was this lady trying to kill me?

My husband’s eyebrow’s perked up and I snarled at him over the head of our sleeping newborn.

We were going to be released in a few minutes, but our inability to name our baby literally made my blood pressure rise so high the doctors forced me back to bed to “relax” for a few hours.

Husband: “Well that just gives us more time to name this kid, right?”

Me: “……..”

Husband: “Should we grab another baby book?”

Me: “………”

Husband: “So, no?”

Me: “Just. Name. This. Kid.”

I threw the paperwork at him, rolled over, and silently plotted his demise. A half hour later, he scribbled a name on the social security form, folded it up and slid it over to me.

Aaron. Just like his daddy, my boy became my Aaron. And it’s the perfect name for both my boys.


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