Friday, September 17, 2010

What's your name, kid?

The great name debate at our house has entered a new phase. It's called compromise.
Greg wouldn't even talk about possible baby names until we found out we're having a boy, while I, on the other hand, had lists of possiblities for both sexes. But, that doesn't mean he wasn't thinking about names. Oh no.
I know this because over lunch immediately after the ultrasound revealed that our wee one is a boy Greg says, "how about Carter Alan?" and I said, "I like it." And then I waited for other options.
He had none. He likes this name and no others. I managed for a while to convince him to put Harrison on his ultra-short list of names, but yesterday he said he didn't want our son to be called "Harry," essentially crossing that one off the list and here we are back to Carter. Alan is Greg's middle name and I like that he wants to pass that name down to our son.
Meanwhile, my list has at least a dozen possibilites on it -- and Greg can find fault with each one.
Rowan? Your family won't be able to pronounce it right (and he might be right about that). Winston (my father's middle name)? Sounds too old fashioned. Justin? Too common. Caleb? Isn't that a girl's name? (No, Greg, you're a dummy). Holden? Is that even a real name?
Obviously, my husband was not as enamored with the Snyder brothers on As the World Turns as I was when I was young. Caleb and Holden sound like perfectly good, strong boy names to me. Not to mention they sound very handsome.
For such a laidback guy who usually just goes with the flow, my husband is being pretty hard headed about this name thing.
So, I find myself inching closer to Carter each day. I like the name. It's classic and strong and though it doesn't have a particularly interesting meaning, it is relevant in a couple of ways. My dad had a dear cousin named Carter who died young and said he'd be proud to have a grandson by that name. I've always adored that peanut farmer from Plains, Ga. who served as our 39th presidnet and later won the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, the baby name book lists Carter under a heading called "future Democrats," which is just fine by me. Frankly, I think this would could use a few more of us. And, lastly, you might recall Carter is the name of our doctor.
Now, I've always cringed when people name their babies after doctors. It just seems silly and if we were to name a baby after a doctor it should probably be the doctor who created this miracle -- Dr. V., whose last name is quite a mouthful and whose first name is David, a name already in use several times over in my extended family.
Our nurse laughed when Greg told her his pick for a name on Wednesday. She said, "you'd be surprised. There are a lot of little Carters running around out there."
Of course, Greg didn't get the name from our real life Dr. John Carter. His inspiration came from the other Dr. John Carter. You know, the one played by Noah Wylie on ER. I'm pretty sure that faithfully watching ER for all those years lodged the name Carter securely in Greg's brain only to surface now when we find ourselves faced with the overwhelming task of choosing a name for our son.
And, it is an overwhelming task. A name is permenant. It has to be just right. There's so much to consider -- will other kids make fun of it? Do the initials spell anything horrible? It it a good adult name and a good child's name? Does it sound masculine enough? Is it too feminine? Will people know how to pronounce it and spell it? The questions go on and on.
Who knows what name this baby will end up with? Sometimes, Greg rests his head on my belly and asks "what's your name?" He then jokingly puts his ear to my belly and looks back at me and says "he says Carter." ha ha.
But, when he gets here, out little guy's face may say something completely different.


  1. Awww, so cute! I think Carter is a perfectly sweet name! We've managed to be fairly agreeable on names. We decided a long time ago (and I'm not sure where this came from) that if the baby is a girl, N will get to pick the first name, and if the baby is a boy, I get to pick the first name. BUT, it has been a pretty agreeable experience sifting through names together. Whew! We've had a girl's first name picked out for YEARS, and we have a boy's name right now, but the boy's name is super subject to change. It's a very short list for us, too! ;)

    edited to add: my word verification for this comment is "dadsence", haha.

  2. Just found your blog - and very, very happy to see that you're one that made it out of IF hell.

    Carter is a lovely name! :)