Baby Names for Boomboxes

I’m 24 weeks along with Baby Brother, or Boombox, as we’ve been calling him, and we are pretty far from deciding on a name.  I’m half-afraid we’ll accidentally name him Boombox after all.  Just kidding, grandparents!  Sort of!

Isn’t it weird how hard it is to name a baby?  It feels like you’re deciding the whole trajectory of the kid’s life, somehow, even though that’s a little ridiculous.  I mean, my name is Amy, just like every other girl born in the 70s who isn’t called Jennifer.  And I like to think I turned out to be my own person.  So why all the effort to find a baby name that’s unique?  Sure, having grown up as an Amy, I was always jealous of kids with unusual or extremely fancy names.  They seemed automatically cooler than everyone else, without even trying.  No fair.  And no wonder I communed with Anne Shirley, who insisted on at least adding the “e” at the end of her name to distinguish her in some small way.  Then again, you don’t want to go too out-there.  I live in a neighborhood full of the kind of wackadoodle kid names that I sort of love and sort of worry would make me feel way too silly.  You have to practice.  “Now Adam,” I’ve said to my husband a million times, “Can you really imagine calling out ‘Doctor! Doctor!’ on the playground?”  (“Yes,” he always answers.  “It would be awesome. “)

It’s even harder once you have a kid, because then you know so many other kids.  I was surprised to come across one of our original baby name lists and see the name August on it.  August! August is this perfectly adorable 2-year-old we know who is very gifted at making animal sounds.  But now I can’t imagine having my own August – August is that kid!  I also used to love the name Gus.  There is a terrible Gus who lives in our neighborhood.  I don’t actually know them (aren’t I nice?) but just hearing his mother cry, “Gus! Gussie, no! I mean it this time!” has turned me off of the name forever.

You also realize, once you’re a regular on the playground circuit, how unoriginal you actually are.  When we named our daughter Harper, my grandmother, for example, said, “Hm.  I wonder how she’ll like that name.”  People thought it was so different!  Even a little surprising!  And of course, we’ve met 3 or 4 other little Harpers around town, and now I hear that the name is one of the “hottest” baby names of 2010. When did this happen?  We’d never met a Harper before she was born.  I assume these are all copycats and that she started the trend.  Back off, biters!

You know what the real nightmare is?  An irritating pop culture phenomenon with your kid’s name.  This occurred to me when I was pregnant with Harper and loved this odd little name Maile, pronounced Miley.  I could never hang with how hard it was to spell, though. And then I heard tell of a certain young lady called Miley Cyrus.  Shudder! Dodged a bullet there!  But who knows? What if there is a new Miley Cyrus next year named Harper Somebody?  They wouldn’t dare.  I don’t know who that “they” is, but they just wouldn’t.

So anyway, wish Baby Boombox luck.  Today I asked Harper what we should name him and she said, “Wait.”  Wacky Park Slope creativity or sage advice?  Hm.

11 responses to “Baby Names for Boomboxes

  1. And I sort of think boys’ names are harder. We always had a load of girls’ names, but only a few for boys. Having had a hard-to-spell, unusual first name my whole life, I don’t think that’s a good way to go. I love August. Wish I’d thought of it in 1997-2000, but maybe it wouldn’ t have sounded good then. Owen came up with “Toby” for our second kid, after the Thomas train, and it grew on me, though his real name is actually Oliver. These days I’m fond of boring old fashioned names, like Billy and Jonathan and Rex. Actually David. David is my favorite name, but it’s my ex-brother-in-law’s name, so no good. Ramble, ramble.

  2. As a weirdly-named person from the 70s, I have Opinions about this issue but will keep them to myself.
    I will divulge, though, that I also love(d) the name Maile, and that I’m glad we didn’t go down that road because naming my girl “Averil,” as in my grandma, turns out to be close enough. Everybody says, “Oh, like Avril Lavigne?” And my response, of course, is, “Yes! EXACTLY like Avril Lavigne! I’m so glad she’s a judge on whatever show it is she’s a judge on, because I was worried that she might have peaked with Sk8r Boi and the ProActiv commercials! PLEASE NEVER LET HER STAR FADE FROM THE COSMOS BECAUSE THEN MY CHILD’S LIFE WILL BE WITHOUT MEANING.”

  3. As someone who is not actually pregnant and a good 6 months or so away from even attempting such a feat, i/we are actually hoarding our baby names so no one steals them. This is crazy, since we live in P Slope and every name is taken by some cherubic, free range baby.

    • Oh, that’s stressful too. Once we’d decided on Harper but hadn’t told anyone yet we awaited the births of friends’ and neighbors’ babies with dread, sure they’d steal OUR name. And everytime someone says Harper was on THEIR list we’re like, yeah right suckers! So anyway…hope we don’t steal a name of yours.

  4. There is always Randomness. Try this. Add some numbers together. Let’s say, my birthday. 10/06/51. That adds up to 22.

    Go to the Social Security Baby name website,
    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/
    And go to name 22 for 2009. You get Gabriel. Or for 2008, it’s Elijah. Or 1880, it’s Clarence.

    We didn’t use that system when we came up with our daughter’s name. If we had, Amy would have been Amber. Think about that.

  5. I’m getting the feeling you’re not even considering “Lazlo.” FINE.

  6. I’m kinda into Boombox. I remember when you were pregnant with Harper and we’re calling her Frankenstein which I was also into. Dropped the ball on that one Amy!

    I’d give you suggestions but I am also hoarding baby names, though seeing as how I don’t even have a boyfriend this might be a bit premature of me.

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