Monday, October 25, 2010

Brookside Baby Names

After nine months of baby-naming stress (i.e. arguments, tears, second guesses, etc), I am very happy to give my baby-naming obsession a bit of a rest. However, my name-sensitive ears still can't help perking up when an interesting moniker comes their way.

Before I gave birth to our darling Hattie P. I spent quite a bit of time at the pool (i.e. fancy country club that I don't belong to, but had the temporary pleasure of using), where I listened intently as well-groomed mothers with perfect tans called to their brilliantly blond little darlings as they frolicked in the water. Names here included many lovely and classic appellations such as:


and so forth. Now I very much love each and every one of these names. But as I listened and took note, I began to worry that my own sweet baby "Harriet" would feel a bit odd amongst her peers...and thoughts of taunts and teasing occurred to me (i.e. "HAIR-y" Harriet). These country club cubs stirred up quite a bit of anxiety, and almost caused me to back down on our Choice completely. I am happy that my husband held firm, insisting on the virtues of the lovely "Harriet."

After this crisis, many things happened. Harriet was born and named and that was that. We also moved to a new neighborhood, which is a bit...funkier...and a little less country-club. AND where the parents name their babies a bit differently. I am happy to announce that Harriet "Hattie" Winter will not be the odd-baby-out in her play group. Names I have heard recently include:

Claudia and Stewart (siblings)

Today I joined the neighborhood mothers' association, where I found even more graciously named children:

Victor and Josephine
Oliver and Juliet
Faye and Evelyn
Henry and Amelie
Valene and Phillip
Hudson and Neva
Constance and Zooey
Soren (yes folks, as in Kierkegaard!)

...just to name a few. Methinks Harriet will fit right in!


  1. those sound like DC names! (minus Beau. and Soren, I know no Sorens) We're friends with a baby Silas too.

  2. I am also experiencing severe name anxiety over here ... minus the country club. It was so much easier to name imaginary children! But to name THIS child ... much trickier. Especially if he is a boy. Is he ready for the heavy name we favor? Can he play soccer and be popular and be the crush of high school girls with such a name? Will they doodle his name in marginalia or will it make them snicker too much to do so? Will he have to be serious and old-fashioned with such a name? OR is he more suited for the nice, less meaningful, more common name that never occurred to me before last month but now I keep returning to?
    Or is it just that we have not found *the* name yet? None of the names on our list are totally winning us over; do we need a new list (not that we even have a physical list)?
    I keep asking God to just give me a name like in Old Testament times.

  3. Just make sure there's an unexceptionable nickname that carries with it no connection to physical attributes or the simian sidekicks on any TV show.

  4. The Sorens abound here.
    Harriet is classic and elegant. I'm glad you kept it.

  5. Ali. I am now dying of curiosity. What could the "heavy name" that you are favoring be??? I definitely vote "heavy [meaningful] name" over "less meaningful name" and maintain that YES the girls will doodle Mr. Winter's moniker all over their notebooks no matter what he is called. Heck, those Winter men are studs (as we all know). Besides "heavy" names never got in the way of genuine male sexiness, but only serve to increase it. Humphrey Bogart, for example.

    Brandy. I am glad we kept Harriet too. But I'm also glad we can call her things like: "Lumpy," "Shnookems," "Dog Fish" and "Little Snorty Poops-a-lot"--at least until she hits puberty.