The Name Game

In addition to all of the other things NewsBoy and I are doing in preparation for Humphrey’s arrival we are also trying to pick a name. This is MUCH harder than I thought it would be!

While NewsBoy and I know if Humphrey is a boy or girl, we are not sharing that information with anyone but our parents and siblings. (I think we’d have kept it to ourselves had it not been for the Anatomy Scan debacle. ) We are not however sharing the names we are considering with anyone. I’ve watched too many people get upset and annoyed when names they love get blasted by friends and family members. I have no interest in dealing with that in any capacity. I’d also like to keep at least something just between NewsBoy and I. (Sometimes it feels like with everyone else’s excitement and desire for knowledge the fact that this is about us and our family growing gets lost a bit. ) And frankly, I just don’t care about what other people think I should name my child.

The vast majority of people don’t really have an issue with this at all. Granted, most are annoyed that we know Humphrey’s sex and aren’t sharing…but that’s become a fun game for me. At work my co-workers have taken to try to get me to use the proper pronoun. It amuses me. But I digress, everyone seems to get the name thing….that is except my Father.

My Dad can’t seem to accept anything the way I want to do them during this pregnancy. From the moment we told my parents that we were expecting he jumped ahead what felt like a million steps. I was all of 5 weeks pregnant and terrified that everything would go to shit once again. Dad’s main focus? When can he tell his family? And it was a boy…cause I would give him a Grandson. He hasn’t once comprehended that maybe I needed to do things slower because of everything I’d been through. Never mind that it was ludicrously early. Even after explaining to him a few weeks later that I needed him to go at my pace because I was scared my body would fail me again as it had for the last two years…he rolled his eyes and told me I was wrong. When he found out my best friend knew I was pregnant before I allowed him to tell the family I was greeted regularly with snide comments. It got to the point where I finally said that my in-laws were content to follow my lead and haven’t bothered me at all about anything, and that I never thought someone else’s parents would follow my wishes better than my own. My in-laws even came up with a code so we could talk about my pregnancy without using words I wasn’t ready to use. I was so touched by the way that my husband’s parents were just accepting of my fear and neurosis that it hurt that much more when my own parents kept telling me that I should get over the lost child, my fears and just be happy. As you all well know, I am still not over any of the miscarriages I’ve had, especially the one last July. Am I coping and dealing with them better? Absolutely. But I don’t think that pain will ever fully go away, no matter how many children we may have in the future. It will be four years Labor Day weekend this year since my first miscarriage and I still think about that child from time to time (I’m also acutely aware of when that child’s birthday would have been). And at that point in my life I didn’t even want kids! Neither of my parents can seem to understand that I carry both of those miscarriages with me no matter where I go or what I do . I’ve always been close with my parents and for them to disregard and dismiss my feelings in this way was hard for me. It continues to be hard for me.

When the whole Anatomy scan debacle happened it was never about what NewsBoy and I wanted but how I hurt them by not wanting to share Humphrey’s sex with them. My Father specifically was quite nasty. And I’m not sure they still understand how much they have upset me over the course of this pregnancy. Somehow I did get them to agree to not tell anyone the baby’s sex. Although I’m not sure they’ve stuck to that.

So back to the name game…we aren’t telling anyone any of the names we are considering. Once again, my Father is not okay with this. Sure he jokes about outlandish names, but I know him well enough to know that’s his way of trying to get the information he wants to know. This week my Dad was kind enough to sit at our house one day while we went to work so the painters could start on the house. While we were waiting for the painter to arrive on Tuesday morning he says, “Tell me a secret.” I cocked an eyebrow and he continues by saying, “tell me what names you are thinking about. ” I, of course, said no. I also reminded him that any name he suggests will not be used. (I foolishly thought that rule might keep him from suggesting names I’d actually want to use. How wrong I was…) He went on. “Well Sam’s a nice name. “. Of course that is one of our top (if not the top) names. So I smiled and told him it was a nice name but we won’t be using it since he’s suggested it. He pouted. Fortunately the painter showed up, ending the conversation.

But here’s my thing…Sam was my Grandfather’s name. (Dad’s dad). Really both NewsBoy and I really just like the name (FYI we are talking either Samuel for a boy and Samantha for a girl.) My choice in Sam had nothing to do with my Grandfather. It has always been (even before I wanted kids) one of my favorite names. And our naming our child Sam wouldn’t be about my father’s father. If I were to name a child after one of my Grandparents it would likely be my Mom’s parents. I was much closer with them. My father would never get that. My fear is that he’ll just assume my child is named for his father and mention this to anyone who will listen. Why is this a problem you may ask? I mean really NewsGirl let the man think whatever the hell he wants! Mainly I’m really worried that my Dads bragging (and I promise you there will be bragging) will upset not only my MIL but my Mom as well. That’s not something I want or need to deal with when this child arrives…or really at any point in my life. So now I don’t know that we will use Sam. (In fact, I’m nearly positive we will not be using the name Sam.) That just upsets me, and its something my Father will never understand. And that upsets me even more.

So what do you think friends? What would you do if you were me?


4 thoughts on “The Name Game

  1. Ugh. Sorry you’re dealing with this. I totally agree on not telling the names you’re thinking of. People seem to completely forget that this really has nothing to do with them. My SIL told the sex but not the names until the day her sons were born. And, there were some complaints for a bit but everyone finally got over it. We plan on doing the same.

    As to your dad — I’m so sorry that he’s making this so difficult. It amazes me when parents can’t seem to listen to what their kids are telling them!! I’m also sorry that he’s made it so difficult to use a name you liked now. I think, though, that the name you choose has to be what makes you happy. If Sam is it, then that’s it. But, if that just reminds you constantly of your dad being so snarky all during the pregnancy, then that’s probably not good.

    My uncle is named Solomon. Both of his grandfathers are named Solomon, too, and his parents never said he was named after one or the other of them specifically. BUT, his maternal grandfather NEVER stopped complaining that they’d named him after his OTHER grandfather. And he was serious! What is wrong with people?!

  2. This is tough, for sure. I’m very sorry that your family has put so much emphasis on knowing things that you want to keep private. And for them not being able to understand why you want to keep things private and close to you. I used to spout out whatever names former DH and I were planning on using until those name started getting used by people that were lapping me. So now my plan is (shall I ever get that far) to keep the name a secret. Like you said, no one makes any comments about a name once it has been assigned to a living, breathing baby. All those comments come beforehand…”really? why that name?”…”it doesn’t really flow, does it?”…”how about this instead…?” Ugh.

    On that note, If you really love the name Sam, then in my opinion, you should just use it. And when you tell everyone, just reiterate that it’s because you love the name and no other reason. If they all hear that, then maybe anything your father could say won’t mean much to them. Just a thought. But I agree in keeping it a secret until Humphrey is here…I think it’s a great idea.

  3. *hugs*

    I agree with both Rebecca and teejay here. You and Newsboy should use whatever name suits Humphrey best when he or she arrives, be it Sam, or actually Humphrey πŸ™‚

    I know how hard it is dealing with a parent who feels that their wishes should trump yours. I also know what it’s like to have a parent tell you you’re worrying too much because they “know” everything is going to be fine. They do mean it from a place of love, even if it doesn’t come across that way. They’re just happy and want to shout it from the rooftops, and that sort of blinds them about what that might feel like to you.

  4. I know we discussed this last night and I hope I gave you some good advice. It’s amazing how much our parents are alike!
    I think mom and dad are just super pumped that you are having a baby…and they just want to insinuate themselves into every situation and be totally involved. They love you…this isnt them trying to be hurtful or mean…its just what our jewish mommy and daddy’s do. πŸ™‚
    That being said….if you really wanted to use the name Sam (and thats how you see Humphrey in your head, ie Chase was always Chase and Paige could have been Quinn but NEVER Willow) , you should have a very uncomfortable frank discussion with Pops and MIL and tell them the scoop. You love the name, its what you have always invisioned for this baby BUT is no reflection on said grandparent. I do think you’ll be able to fall in love with something else…do your research and roll it around your tongue a few times. A good test for me was to stand at the bottom of the stairs and in type mom fashion, yell for the child…ie Chase! Paige! Get down here this instant! And then insert middle name of choice…Chase Nathan! Get down here! Paige Schuyler! Get down here! And when it felt right…thats when I knew the name of monkey butt and lady bug. πŸ™‚

    Love you tons. I’m here if you need me!

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