Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hello, My Name Is...

Picking out a name for our baby girl was sort of tricky, but only because Dan insisted on having a say as well.

Talk about annoying.


(Sort of...)

When we first started thinking of names, we just picked ones we liked out of thin air without the aid of a name book or Internet name searches. And as with most things concerning Dan and I, the names we each presented the other were from vastly different ends of the name spectrum; in short, I liked awesome names and Dan liked 'Tanya'.

We were in trouble.

(Although, I know my husband well enough to know that he would like me to voice his defence on this matter: he was appalled by how many Irish names I liked because: "Caitie, YOU'RE NOT EVEN IRISH." Small detail.)

So I did some hunting around for a decent baby name book that wasn't going to give us every single name on the planet that starts with an 'A', and settled on the The Baby Name Wizard. It's not a huge collection of names, but there's a decent selection and they're arranged into naming styles.  I really liked the style of 'Guys and Dolls', which are short spunky names that make good nicknames and from there I'd try and find a longer name to match the nickname. Dan's style was more romantic with a twist of 'British monarchy' thrown in for good measure.

Despite our clearly preferred name styles, we quickly settled on a name and stuck with it for a really, really long time but it matched neither of our styles. We still like this name so I'm not going to reveal what it is, but as my pregnancy progressed the Little Baby inside of me did not feel like an 'X'. She was too gentle and quiet in there, and the name we'd chosen seemed really fiery to me.  Also, I started to have issues of not being able to think of the first name without also saying the middle name. At any rate, that name has been carefully packaged up and stored in a little box for a future baby girl who might join our family.

When I told Dan that this baby girl was just not an 'X' we went back to the short list of names we'd each drawn up, and we presented our number one favourite first and middle names to each other. This is where the second problem cropped up: the issue of her name being pronounceable in Switzerland.

One of the most annoying things that happened while picking our girl's name is every time I would give Dan a name, he would immediately pronounce it with a Swiss accent.  ARGH. It was so frustrating! However, I respect it because our children, whether born in Canada or a Swiss Canton, will always have Switzerland as a home country and German will be part of their life and their name needs to serve them in both countries. But that still doesn't change the fact that this really pissed me off because there are some great names out there and is it really my fault the alphabet isn't pronounced over here like it is in North America?!


Also, a friend and I were talking about children's names over here and we both agree they...aren't great. Ruth is still a name in circulation. For real. Also, there are a lot of boys with the name Leo, except you can hear mothers calling after their Leos by yelling, "LAY-O".  It's such a tragedy.

So anyhow, her first name had to be serviceable in German and English. From our top names that we provided to each other my name was not going to cut the mustard due to pronunciation, but we compromised. Dan had chosen Lillian has his top first name, and I had Blythe as my top middle name.  I liked Lillian but Dan was not crazy about Blythe because, "No one can say it over here."

On the issue of the middle name I was firm and didn't care about pronunciation, since middle names aren't even a big deal over here.

I'd found Blythe while hunting in the baby book, and it means joyous. To me it's a bit cumbersome as a first name, but I was smitten with it as a middle name. To clarify, I am not a person who needs to imbue meaning into a child's name: I think they are their own meaning; they will become their own definition. But something about Blythe grabbed onto me and wouldn't shake loose. To be blithe of spirit is to be merry and jubilant, and this Little Baby was/is our joyous celebration.

The world is already a more exciting place because she's in it.

So that is how our Little Baby became our Lillian Blythe.

In terms of nicknames, Dan calls her Lillie and Lemon (a name he called her while she was inside my belly, which turned out to be a rather ironic choice considering the jaundice).

I call her Lill, as well as Sparrow, little Mouse, Baby Doll, and sometimes Hobo due to the crusty milk that always seems to be on her face no matter how many times I wipe it off.

For the blog--when I do talk about her--I will keep referring to her as LB, though I'd like to clarify that if you should meet LB in person that is not a nickname we use. Please don't call her LB. The initials of 'LB' actually were an abbreviation for Little Baby, and when we went back to the drawing board after choosing to not go with our first name choice it was a mere coincidence that the name we chose could be shortened to 'LB'.

And...that's a wrap.

Or maybe I should say, "And...that's a swaddle."

Is it too early for baby related humour? Or is my baby related humour actually humorous? Only time will tell.


Anonymous said...

I like Tanja, not Tanya - sheeeesh!!



Ais said...

Haha, Dan is going to start whispering Tanya into her ear, and calling her that when you're not around... ;)

mom said...

Ais, you have such a wicked sense of humour :-)) Mom