On the Naming of Babies

There is apparently a celebrity out there called Robert Rodriguez who has a child called Rocket Valentino.

The naming of things is an important and weighty matter. I name everything around my place, as I explained in this post. My car has a name, my computers all have names – this tiny laptop of mine is called Tyrion Lannister, because it is small and powerful.

Michal Hutchence and Paula Yates have a child called Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Should that be “had” since she is, now, an orphan.

I’ve heard two rules of thumb about naming children. One, will it get them teased in primary school? And two, will they be able to stand up in front of a board room and have their name not cause tittering. Some of the above fail this, but it’s not just celebrities. I went to high school with a woman who was known by her nick-name Coco. She grew up to become a lawyer, and went back to her real name! Then there’s the former CEO of a company I used to work for, who delighted in the name Elmer Funke Kupper!

Names of late have gotten bizarre, odd spellings of normal names, weird hyphenated names. The worst example I’ve heard recently? Elvis-Tiger.

I answered a call from a woman called Ishy the other day. Fails some tests there!

So when it came to naming our child, my criteria were simple: Interesting but not weirdly exotic, easy to spell and remember, and not rare but not too common either. Pip, as I’ve mentioned, is just his nickname, but lets just say he has one respectable, unhyphenated, first name and one surname – his mothers. I’ve got literally dozens of relatives, my family name is showing no signs of dying out, whereas D’s surname is shared by maybe six people.

I did at one stage want to give him a number as a middle name, but funnily enough D wouldn’t have a bar of that idea. Despite the excellent example of Jennifer 8 Lee.

And the winners in the name stakes? The four children of Frank Zappa, Dweezil, Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen Zappa, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and of course who could forget Moon Unit!

Please Madam, May We Have the Dummy?

Pip Enjoys his Dummy

Pip Enjoys his Dummy

Dummies (or Pacifiers to you Americans) seem to go through phases of acceptability. Some of my cousin’s kids, who are teenagers now, never had them at all. A friend’s baby who is just over one gets you use one sometimes at night to help her settle. We’ve been told to not let Pip use one till he is six weeks old – which is, by the way, today. The current thinking being that they interfere with a baby learning how to feed.

(I’ve just looked up pacifiers on the wikipedia… There’s a wonderfully creepy section about adult sized dummies for people who like to dress up as babies….)

We were given a couple of them in one of the many piles of gifts we got when Pip was still in the womb. The other night, I cracked one out and popped it in Pip’s mouth. He was very grizzly and making hungry mouth motions, but could not possibly have fitted any more milk into his belly, full as it was of more milk and many burps! And it worked, to an extent. It really did calm him down. That sucking motion is comforting, Pip often likes to suck a nipple more than he should for the comfort rather than the milk.

However, D is very anti the Dummy, so when she found Pip asleep with it, after Daddy had run out of ideas to calm Pip down after three hours, she was annoyed with me – and has since hidden it somewhere. Pip and I may only use The Dummy if we beg and plead. The rules seem to be: only when Pip cannot be comforted any other way! Daddy clearly has differing ideas about how often that is. I’d argue he should get it when he won’t settle and shouldn’t be eating any more. I also think it helps him work out his gas…

Please, Mummy, can Pip have his dummy?