June 6, 2007 Edition

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The name game

Gretchen Hunt

I still have two months until our baby's due, but I have increasing pressure from family and friends (and some from myself) to settle on a name for the young man.

Baby showers are quickly approaching, and there are several who want to make personalized gifts.

Jason and I have been throwing out names for a month or so now and have narrowed the field to a few choices. I think part of the reason I am still not quite ready to pick a name is that I was hoping for our son, Conley, who is almost four, to be a part of the magic.

Unfortunately, his suggestions so far have been a bust. When we first started trying to pick a name all he ever offered were things like "Grandma," "Maw Maw" and "Mommy." I explained to him that the baby needed a name all of his own just like Conley was his name.

When he finally realized we were trying to pick a real name (and one that was unique to the baby), our prospects went from bad to worse. What he ended up settling on was "Chucky," and he was quite insistent.

Of course the first thing that comes to our minds when we think about Chucky is that evil-possessed doll from the movies. For Conley, though, Chucky is his favorite "baby" on Rugrats.

When I explained to him that we didn't like Chucky because there was a scary doll named Chucky, he decided that we would just have to name the baby Tommy Pickles then.

I hate to admit it, but I'm afraid this is going to be one decision in which Conley is not going to be able to contribute.

At our last checkup, the doctor asked me if we had picked a name yet. I told him no, and he said not to worry about it, we had plenty of time and the name didn't have to be selected until we were ready to leave the hospital.

My immediate thought was that I could not imagine waiting that long to pick a name. Then, the other day, while talking to my mother-in-law, I found out that her father didn't decide on her name until they were on their way out of the hospital. She said she has always heard that one of the nuns told him that he could not leave until the baby had a name.

I have this need to have everything in order and ready for when the baby gets here, and I guess selecting a name is an important part of that for me. For others, they may not want to choose a name until the baby is born and they can decide if he looks more like a "Joe" or a "Bob."

My friends, Andy and Toni, are expecting their third child. They have always waited until they deliver to find out what sex the baby is and plan to do so again this time. Even though they may select a boy name and a girl name ahead of time, the final determination will not be made until the day comes.

Of course, my husband's aunt is still convinced that the ultrasound technician made a mistake, and we are really going to have a girl. If she's right, I guess the ordeal will begin again and all of my planning will have been for naught.

Either that or we might have the basis for a new country hit in the same vein as "A boy named Sue." I can hear it now ~ "... life ain't easy for a girl named Chucky."

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