Thursday, 14 February 2008

Names, Names, Names!

I wish I were one of those people who could name their kids whatever they liked and didn't care what people thought. I am becoming one of those people but very slowly. I have a friend who named her firstborn Fabien and I wondered if she was losing her mind, though of course I never told her that, I obviously said I adored it! (I'm a excellent friend like that!) Fabien is now 4 and he suits his name perfectly. She just recently had her 3rd baby and called him Ephraim, I hardly batted an eye because I know as I get to know this child I'll equally love his name.

Celebrities are in a league of their own when they name their kids and they ruthlessly just don't care. There's Gwyneth and Mr Coldplay with Apple and Moses, Ginger Spice with Bluebell Madonna and some woman who used to be in Eastenders called her daughter Tallulah. Any child's names are gonna sound normal in comparison to those.

I had planned during my mission for my Church that I'd name my girls after my most revered companions. So far our house only gets fueled with testosterone which is maybe a blessing because no offense to my most lovely friends but I'm not sure I could live with the names Jodi, Heidi, Amy and Alisha. Plus there is no chance I am reproducing 4 more times and I just couldn't leave one, two or three of them out. It just wouldn't be fair.

So, before we were even married we were talking about baby names with my in laws. We said we really liked the name Caleb for a boy. (I wish I could say that this is because of Caleb from the Bible but instead it's because of Caleb from the movie The Skulls, in my book hot guys and biblical characters have the same standing!) My in laws couldn't quite hide their utter dislike for it. Before I was even pregnant it became a family joke so much so that by the time we found out Thomas was a boy (I don't do surprises!) the name was utterly ruined for us. So then we had to find an alternative. I'd like to say I had some great reason to call him Thomas. I've always liked the idea of having a reason behind the name. For instance Thomas is the 4th generation of Siswick to have James as a middle name. He shares it with his Dad, Grandad and Great Grandad. So one day at work my mind was occupied with this very matter and I was addressing appointment cards for people to come and have CT scans. I addressed one to a Thomas somebody and decided then that we'd call our first baby that. Plus I knew the in laws would approve because they named their 6th child the very same thing. Of course the idea baffled other family members due to the fact that having two Thomas Siswick's in the family could cause some confusion. So far it hasn't. I always seem to bring the right Thomas home from church and from the in laws house. So far so good!

So during pregnancy number 2 we discussed names. Caleb was still ruined for us and we couldn't decide. One night we were calling out for Chinese. Rob wanted me to go pick it up and I wanted him to go. In the end I made a bargain that if he went he could choose the name for this baby. So he did. I chose his middle name after my father, David, and baby ended up being called Eli. I am frankly surprised by the amount of people who have never heard this name. Especially when they're religious people. Hello!!!!!! Do you not know the story of Hannah taking baby Samuel to Eli??

The thing that frustrates me most about Eli's name is that we named him such when alternative spelling of names is becoming ultra popular. This malarkey has been going on in the states for a while but here it is just getting up and running. So whenever we go some place new and they don't know Eli, he gets called Ellie. People think I'm just a hip parent who wanted to change the traditional spelling. Which would be fine if Eli were a girl but he's not. But still fairly routinely gets called a girls name. (No wonder he's so angry all the time!!) Like today we went to pick up some antibiotics for his ear infection we'd been to get his medication at this place before so they had his details handily on the computer.

While I was waiting the lady came out and said: "Is IT a boy?"
Me: (Thinking she's insane) "Yes (Isn't that obvious?)"
Lady:(Thinking I'm insane) "But he's called Ellie?!!"
Me: "No he's called Eli and he's a boy!"
Lady: "Oh you hadn't made that very clear......."

How clear am I supposed to make it? Enter every room saying, "This is my son ELI and he is a BOY, just to avoid any confusion on your behalf!" If only I had gone out for the Chinese that night this whole thing would never happen every time we go anywhere.

If only we had named him something normal like John!

2 lovely comments:

Heidi said...

Yes, would you do that? Can you please always enter the room yelling something? Just for me.

And don't saddle a child with Heidi. People will always make swiss references, and something, someday will happen to make the entire country of England turn against the Swiss. Like their proximity to France.

alisha said...

I have a friend who is choosing their childs' names by how "yellable" they are. Their first born is Stella. They are going to name their next daughter Adrienne (perhaps they will name her YoAdrienne just to be sure)

Although I am flattered and honored with you wanting to call your child Alisha ( glad to be one of your revered companions) there are some problems, First, noone can pronounce it. And as I mentioned to my husband the other day, Me:"Will Smith isn't a very black persons' name" Him: "Well Alisha Wade isn't a very white persons' name"