What’s in a name?

Oh, just your entire familial wellbeing.

I recently held the adorable new addition of some dear friends. He was a perfect little human, with that addictive baby smell that makes you want to hold them close and never give them back (no, I’m not clucky, not in the least).

I did hand him back, but only after having some serious flashbacks.

Remember those days when your life was consumed by baby powder and stale milk, breast pads and nappy wipes, giggles and gurgling?

Beautiful but painful memories, for lots of reasons.

This little man fell fast asleep in my arms after just a few minutes of cuddling (seems I’m pretty good at putting men of all ages into a coma.) 

“He’s just gorgeous. What did you name him?” I asked.

“He has no name. We can’t agree,” said Mum, sounding exasperated.

Uh oh. I touched a nerve. Dad had apparently come up with “at least twenty names” but none of them met Mum’s extensive suitability criteria.

It was a stalemate. Poor little bub, at almost five weeks old, nameless. Well, not entirely: he was being called “Pickles” in the interim.

A rather appropriate label given that was the predicament he had left his parents in.

Dad rattled off his list. Nothing too outlandish or overly objectionable.

Mum rattled off hers, as well as why Dad’s list was absolutely abhorrent.

No child of theirs would be receiving an Oscar, initiating world peace, or inventing the next renewable energy source, if he was called Arthur or Fred or Pat or Luke, she said.

“Luke is not a strong name. He needs a strong name, a masculine name,” explained Mum.

In Mum’s defence I completely understand her concern that an ill-conceived name will be a bone of contention forevermore.

Best all parties at least be indifferent to the selection in order to avoid World War III.

I also appreciate the desire not to name a child after the kid who bullied you at school, or your first boyfriend, or to lumber the unfortunate little soul with the same name as every other Tom, Dick and Harry getting around the playground.

I will of course have to qualify my argument by stating that I come from a family who boast the odd left-of-field additions – Echo, Theo, Roarke, Ziad, Ingrid, Rudi. Not your usual naming conventions, but thankfully no Apples or Tigerlillys just yet.

With just sixty days to register bub’s birth, the happy couple are now feeling the pressure more than ever.

The countdown has begun and I don’t mind saying I’m glad I’m not a fly on the wall of that bedroom when the pillow talk turns to a moniker melee.

There’s talk of giving Pickles two middle names, with Mum-in-law now weighing in on the debate and the list of prospective candidates growing by the day.  

What is a fair compromise in this christening conundrum? Who has the final say? Given Mum pushed the little fellow out, does that give her a greater stake in the name game, or does that simply mean it’s now Dad’s turn to claim some ground?

P.S. All naming suggestions are welcome and will be passed on to the couple in limbo. Let’s help put them out of their misery and save Pickles from anonymity.  

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