My friends are procreating. It was bound to happen, sooner or later. Enough of them are married and/or regularly rolling in the hay. Babies are the obvious, somewhat smelly next step. My Facebook feed has suddenly been taken over by nursery decorations and pictures of
pee sticks pregnancy tests. The infants, they draw nigh!
Now, on the whole, I’m pro-baby. Sure, I’m not ready for one (hooray whore pills!), but I can see the appeal: they’re even cuter than kittens, they often smell nice, and someday you’ll get to embarrass them with the naked pictures you take today. That’s a pretty sweet deal. So, when I’m invited to baby showers, I tend to be excited. Buying tiny clothes! Eating cupcakes with gendered icing! Making fun of the impending spawn’s name!
Oh yeah, that last one happens a lot. People are bestowing some terrible appellations on their children, kittens. I know this isn’t new. When Tiffany went from a store to a chart-topping first name, we were pretty much screwed as a species. Some of these modern trends, however, seem especially painful. When it comes time to name your own vomit-slingers, please don’t choose from these options:
Sex & The Twilight Inspired – When you were a wee single lass, you watched Carrie and Big live happily ever after, whispering to your stuffed camel, “Someday, Butternut Cantaloupe, that will be me!” Now, it’s happened and – hooray! – you’re having his bébé. It’s only natural that you’d want to honor your imaginary friends by naming a miniature person after them. I’m just going to caution you, however. If your friends pay too much for shoes, were written by Nicholas Sparks, or sparkle in the sunshine, rethink this decision. Every other kid in your baby
sinking swimming classes will be named: Aidan, Noah, Jacob, or Bella.
Chik-Fil-A Spellings – Question: Are you, or have you ever been, a bovine fast food mascot? If not, please use traditionally accepted spellings. Katherine v. Catherine is one thing, but Kathrynne, really? Really!? Your poor child is going to have her name misspelled by every person she meets, from Starbucks baristas to the police officers issuing her that minor-in-possession ticket. Worse, you can’t get mad at her for drinking underage. Repeatedly spelling such a name for twenty years would drive anyone into the arms of Jose Cuervo!
Words That Will Doom You – I know. Just subbing out some letters in an existing name seems too overdone. You want your child to be the most special snowflake amongst all of the special snowflakes ever. Ergo, you’ve decided to really blaze your own path, and pick a word that best encompasses their spirit. Wait – blaze! – that can be a name right? Blaze McGillicutty has a nice ring to it. No, it doesn’t. It has the ring of a child who will one day burn down your house. Children are already crazy, they need no encouragement. Names like Rowdy and Wilder are just dooming you to a toddler who’s even more rambunctious than usual. When you’re peeling stickers off the side of your BMW’s bumper, blame no one but yourself.
Sugar & Spice & Schnookums – Your child came out super hot. Congratulations! Your genes totally own other people’s! However, this is no time to get cocky with your spawn’s name. Just because she’s as cute as button doesn’t mean you should actually name her Button. Just because he’s as sweet as pie doesn’t mean you should name him Pecan. Cutesy nicknames are great – my brother has been called Bunny Boy by my mother for most of his life – but they don’t work as actual names. When she’s five, JuJuBee is adorable. When she’s a 48 year-old podiatrist? Less so.
Now, if your precious preciouskins’ name falls into these categories, my apologies. To each their own! I may snicker a bit about your choice, but I promise to give little Renesmee really great birthday presents. If you went with Torchy, however, I can’t promise he won’t use that set of Harry Potter books as kindling.