Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Name Game

Ok, enough of this morbid mumbo-jumbo for a moment. It's time to talk about some good stuff. By far the most common question Kirsten and I have been receiving lately is "So you got a name picked out yet?" The answer is yes. Well, sort of. Maybe. We're really close anyway. But what an enormous and wonderful responsibility! To name a human being! I know people have been doing it for millennia, but wow! What pressure! I mean, this girl is gonna have to live with this name, for better or worse, her entire life!

Hmm. Wait a second. There's an idea. How about Millennia Stafne? Maybe not. We've more or less ruled out the really 'out there' names. No Moonbeams, Stars, or Uniques in this little family. Cool ideas perhaps, and most parents like the idea of their kids' names being different, but if your experience as a kid was anything like mine, you don't necessarily want to stand out that much. A bit of familiarity goes a long way toward making friends and avoiding the wrath of the mean kids.

But on the other hand, I had 3 other Scotts, including my roommate, on my freshman dormitory floor in college. Talk about confusing. It's not that I don't like my name mind you, but it was much easier for people to just call me Staf. Or Big Staf. I know dad was called Big Staf a bunch growing up. Makes sense. He's big. His youngest brother was Little Staf. He's a bit shorter. Nicknames are great. I've had my share of good and bad. Kids used to tease me with 'Buzzy' when I was a kid, because I had a pretty short haircut. I didn't care for that one much. In college a few folks called me 'Iceman' because I was cool under pressure during a big test. But for the most part, if I'm not 'Scott', I'm just 'Staf' or 'Stafne'. Although lately 'Staf Infection' has been making a comeback with a few of my friends. But please folks, don't jump on that bandwagon.

So yeah, nicknames are certainly a consideration for us in picking out a name. Based on our observation and reading, seems many parents are insisting on their kids being called by their full name. Michael, not Mike. Jonathan, not Jon (Ha! Sorry Jones). Fonzy, not The Fonz. Oh wait, I guess he was Arthur Fonzarelli. Art or Arthur just wouldn't have been as cool I guess, even though I like the name. Anyway, for the most part, we haven't liked too many names that have obviously undesirable abbreviations or nicknames.

The way a name sounds is important of course. We pretty much ruled out Stephanie and Daphne right off the bat. Daphne Stafne would be bound to provoke some astonished looks from other parents. We love our little girl too much to put her through that. I just really hope she likes the name we decide on. She might not. For some reason, I really preferred the name 'Steve' when I was a kid. Again, it wasn't because I didn't like my name. I think it was about the time Steve Austin, the Six-Million Dollar Man, was so popular.

And what about initials? Many of you are likely bored by the story I tell about how my name was originally supposed to be Andrew Scott Stafne. I'll let you do the math on that one. I'm just glad mom and dad realized and made the small but critical adjustment in time. We came up with a few names we liked for our little bundle of joy, but then realized her initials would have been ALS. At first I wanted to use one of them just to spite the disease. Not let it take the option away from us. It takes away so much already, etc. But I don't want our daughter's name to be associated with it in any way. She deserves as fresh a start as she can get. The only time the letters ALS will apply to her will be when I call her Adorable Little Stafne.

People also seem to think a name has to fit a person's personality. But how can you choose a name for someone who doesn't even have one yet? Girl don't even have a social security number yet and we're supposed to know if she's a Rachel and not an Olivia? Or vice versa? There is no hint hidden in those names by the way. But we have in fact ruled out a few names based on folks we've known that could summon less than ideal memories. I mean seriously, after Sandra Bullock's last few films, could you use her name for your kid?

I've tried testing a few names on her, by seeing if she reacts strongly by kicking in mom's tummy, but so far she seems to respond to everything. And "Sugar" or "Punkin" have been getting the most action. Probably not fair to name her that way though. You know, like telling her "well you picked that name!" when she complains about it.

So clock is ticking. Time is getting short to make our decision. Baby Stafne's current ETA is sometime before end of March. A wee bit early. I like to think that she's just really excited to see us.


Torial said...

Linnea and I had a girl's name.. Annika Linnea -- that would have made ALM. When we found out we were having a boy, that sure gave us pause.. we spent over a month before deciding on Caleb Anders.

Jessica said...

How awesome is that, to think that in a week's time you could be holding her?

We can't wait to meet her!

lizzhowe said...

Man, what a lucky girl. Not even around quite yet, and still loved more than anyone I know. You two are going to make excellent parents. I'm very excited for you both, and can't wait to meet the newest of Stafnes!