Pick a name, any name

Pick a name, any name


When I was pregnant we spent weeks, months even debating names, deciding not to commit whole heartedly until Hugo was here. It’s funny how so much rests on the name you choose for your child, at one time I’m sure you could open a bible stick a pin in it and bingo, job done. Now there’s a lot of painstaking nit picking, we can’t call him that, it’s too biblical, there are so many of those in school,  my friends dog/cat/rabbit is called… they just had a baby called… it’s too modern… it’s too old fashioned…

Then you find it and keep it a secret in case your friends neighbour’s sister has a baby and ‘steals’ your name. Once they arrive an it’s announced, as with everything babies, opinions are to be given to parents regardless of how it makes them feel (flash back to the theatre to hear all nursing staff repeatedly saying ‘he’s a whopper’ before estimating gigant-a-baby would be 11lb – not even close, and certainly not appreciated). Some of the first reactions to the name Hugo we had were ‘really? No one’s called that’ and ‘I suppose we’ll have to get used to it’.

It’s all pointless of course because as soon as baby arrives no one calls them by their name anyway. It feels at times like people actually go out of their way to avoid using a baby’s name, instead using choice terms such as ‘big guy’ and ‘cheeky monkey’, or just other names that people prefer, notably ‘William’, ‘Charlie’ and ‘Fred’ (I kid you not, there are people who regularly call my child these other names). There have been attempts to abbreviate Hugo, that really long four letter name, to ‘Hewgs’ which when said out loud sounds more like the results of a sickness bug than a name. I’ve given up on spewing my detest for the term ‘little man’ because despite my best efforts to inform the public, family and friends that I categorically disagree with everything it implies, they do it anyway. ‘How’s little man?’, ‘where’s the little man today?’, ‘let me see you little man’. He’s not a little man, he’s an infant, a baby and his name is Hugo.

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