Full Baby Name Disclosure?
This week's letter to The Name Lady was from a woman whose husband suggested a baby name to honor a famous football coach. She liked the sound of the name, and the deal was done. A simple, happy story, with just one little catch: he didn't tell her about the football homage until after the baby was born.
That mom, fortunately, had a sense of humor about this little "oversight." She did like the name, after all. So what did it matter that he liked it for a different reason? In fact, she eventually agreed to continue the football theme with their next child's name. But her story raises the question: is full disclosure expected in the naming process?
Suppose that dad's football obsession were already a bone of contention between those two parents. Wouldn't that change the dynamics of the situation? Or suppose she had already made clear she didn't want a football name. In that case, his little sin of omission would be an out-and-out deception, and might even point to deeper issues in their relationship.
The football example may seem far from your experience, but some form of the disclosure question comes up for many parents -- especially when there's a name you love that your partner is still mulling over. It's a natural instinct to accentuate the positive....
• OK, Calvin comes from a word meaning "bald." Is it your obligation to point that out, when you don't think it matters much? Aren't Calvin Klein and Calvin & Hobbes more important?
• Yes, you loved the Disney movie Enchanted and he couldn't stand it. But is it your fault that he doesn't remember that the princess was named Giselle?
• Your sister-in-law thinks the name Alma sounds "fat." That's just one random opinion, and most of your friends love the name, so why muddy the waters?
• Umm, yeah, maybe you did date a guy named Alec in college, briefly. Very, very briefly. Nobody here even knows him, and you've dreamed of naming a son Alec since you saw The Black Stallion when you were nine, and you don't associate that college guy with the name at all. (What was his last name, even?)
Where do you draw the line? Did you ever pick and choose which info to share with your partner about a name? And did you run into any naming surprises after the baby was born?