Friday, 11 September 2009

"Hey bus driver, what's your name?......That's a disgusting name, I think I'm going to throw up!"

Don't hold back dude, tell us what you REALLY think! I was in kindergarten when a naughty five/six year-old boy delivered this shocker to our school bus driver. The quote stayed with me for its daring rudery, but I was just a kid at the time and I wonder how this bully in the making's deadpan honesty and innocent but gaping lack of tact left that poor bus driver. Did he want to laugh at his feisty gall and deliver a gentle scolding, write him off as a "silly young kid with a thing or two to learn about politeness but hey, at least he doesn't have issues expressing himself" or did he want to get back to basics and give this youngin' a good ol' spanking?

Fast forward to the present and this boy would probably be named Jack or Callum, names identified by a Bounty survey of 3000 school teachers published earlier this week, as warning signals for a particularly naughty child. This poll revealed that one in three teachers 'expect' kids with certain names to be particularly naughty and that 49% of teachers make a judgement call about a child when they cast their first glance across their register in September.

Ahh, the pressure in choosing a good name for your child. Whatever THAT means. Does it mean it doesn't top the naughty name survey list OR that it lays the ground for future popularity.....what about when a name is not mutually exclusive like Jack, and appears in the top ten on the naughty and popularity list? (It's worth noting that Jack is currently the most popular UK boys name so odds are in favor of it topping a number of lists) Is it better to have a strong name that suggests conviction like Sophia (which means "wisdom"), or a softer name that sounds fun and full of creative energy like Lola (which means "moving to and fro")? Then you must consider your child's prospects for future fame and fortune - you need to choose a marketable first name that rings a nice bell with your last name.....Sally Smith just won't cut it.....Savannah Smith sounds all that more glam.

You thought you were sitting down to make a cosy baby name list but now you feel like Dorothy spun out of a tornado and facing the Wicked Witch of Decision. And everyone wants to help you...your parents, your grandma, your friends, your hairdresser, but you don't really want their help when it's all said and done. For right as you finally come close to THE name for your baby, you'll subtly mention it and one of the above kind souls will, in the spirit of the young boy on my kindergarten bus, 1) gag and/or grimace, 2) plain out say "I don't like that, 3) clam up leave you with a cold, telling silence. They might have well just said "they were going to throw up!" We're human and we've all got our opinions - but we're different and when choosing a baby name it needs to be a choice for you and your significant other - only. It's now that I imagine I feel like that bus driver - in a quandary about how to respond to a smarting opinion that I didn't really want in the first place.

I know some couples that have decided on their baby's name and shared it prior to the birth - power to you all for sticking to your guns and ignoring what anyone and everyone else has to say. While Chris and I have been happy to debate and discuss a spate of baby names with pretty much anyone (and everyone asks), we have decided when we do reach a decision we are not going to share. Once our little lady is born and named, people are far less likely to be openly critical; we've done a good deal of recon with others on suitable names, but with this on board I can see my tolerance for debating my daughter's name waning like the current hours of daylight.
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