Naming Rights

“Oh Jesus,” Master Seven moaned, slapping himself on the head.
“What is it?” I asked, as Learner Dad and I shared a concerned look.
“Nothing,” he replied, clearly distressed.
“Tell us,” Learner Dad urged.
“Well… it’s just… I’ve forgotten his name!” Master Seven gestured to Li’l Fatty, clearly embarrassed.
We were in the hospital, a couple of days after the birth.
I bit my lip hard, trying not to laugh.
I read recently that, while lower socio-economic families are increasingly embracing punctuation (bestowing beauties like ‘M’Shell’ and the now-well-known ‘La-a’ [pronounced La-dash-a] on their newborns), the middle classes are increasingly choosing surnames for their boys.
Names like ‘Cooper’, ‘Harrison’, ‘Fletcher’, ‘Davis’ and ‘Parker’.
So slap us in the middle ranks because give Li’l Fatty a first surname is exactly what we did.
Coming up with it was a no brainer.
We already had a list of boys’ names we were happy with before stumbling on his name at my baby shower.
But if we’d had a girl, there may have been a shit fight.
Learner Dad and I had both “meh”-ed each others’ favourite girls names.
This is a slight on me because, when it came to girls’ names, Learner Dad wasn’t too fussy.
Lucy, Lilly, Tilly, Milly, Marli, Molly, Holly, Polly, Poppy, Bonnie, Connie, Chloe, Elsie, Elli, Sally, Abby, Josie, Zoey…
Are we seeing a trend here? He loved them all – and many more.
He didn’t understand why names being too popular or associating them with other people was a reason for not choosing them.
“Surely if everyone’s calling their kid Lucy it means it’s a good name?” he’d ask.
Then there was: “What’s wrong with having the same name as Posh Spice’s and Nat Bass’ daughters? Wouldn’t that be cool of us?”
Or: “So we can’t call her Molly because your grade six boyfriend had an annoying sister called Molly? Seriously?”
Part of me wanted to give him this. I mean, being a single parent at the time, I’d got to name Master Seven myself.
But it’s a huge thing.
It’s a name you’re going to be whispering, singing and screaming for the rest of your life.
Little Master Seven wasn’t left out of the creativity – he came up with ‘Russia’ for a boy and ‘Chloe’ for a girl.
Needless to say, if the name had been his choice, we’d have been barracking hard for a baby… of the doodle-less variety!


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