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Adventures in Baby Naming

Candy's Column

Adventures in Baby Naming

Bad: Telling people what name you’ve chosen. Good: Choosing the name over a pitcher of sangria.

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Just taking a break from drowning in a pool of my own sweat (better than somebody else’s sweat, I suppose) to re-post this column about picking out a baby name.  Originally published on March 9, 2009, I was pregnant with Miss Skye at the time and successfully kept her name to ourselves UNTIL…Mr. Candy convinced me that telling our moms would make a great Mother’s Day present.  Still kind of wish we’d kept it to ourselves.

Back in the good ol’ days (read:  five months ago), Mr. Candy and I would tipsily wax poetic over a pitcher of sangria about that day waaaaaaaaay in the future (read:  now) when we’d create a life together.  I would, of course, sail through my illness-free pregnancy and pain-free delivery to welcome a perfectly healthy, Penn- or Northwestern-bound baby.  (Yes, our names are Mr. and Mrs. Preppy McPreppy.  Why do you ask?)

And names?  Oh, we had the names all picked and ready to go.  A boy?  His name would be Drew.  Girl?  Why, she would be Miss Madison.

Again, with the preppiness.  I KNOW.  I know.

Now that the sangria buzz has long worn off and reality has set in… well, selecting a name for our little girl on the way has turned out to be not so easy.

My eyes used to glaze over when my seven-year-old cousin would tell me about her friends in class, because that’s the kind of caring relative I am.  Besides, hey, let’s face it:  all you need to do is distractedly smile and nod, and make armpit farts every once in awhile, and a seven-year-old thinks you’re awesome.  Rapt attention not required.  However, now that I am with child, I make more of an effort to actually, you know, listen to what’s happening on the playground these days.  And do you know what’s going on out there, my friends?

Every little girl in the world — nay, the universe — is FREAKIN’ NAMED MADISON!

Also, telling booger jokes to friends apparently never goes out of style.  Just a little tip from this parent-to-be to you.

So, yeah, “Madison” has withered on the vine, along with our sangria buzz.  Not that there’s anything wrong with choosing a hyper-popular name (read:  Candy is trying to avoid a barrage of e-mails from indignant parents of little, booger joke-lovin’ Madisons); in fact, we clearly think it’s a lovely name, but it’s just not the route we want to take anymore.

No, instead, we want to thumb through our stupid book of “60,000 Baby Names” and yell out names while the other person noncommittally shrugs, “Nah” or yells, “No way!  I knew a girl named that in high school and she was such a BITCH!” — till we become utterly delirious.  The next morning I wake up, look at my scribbles and wonder, “How in the world did ‘Shadow’ get on our list?!”  And boom!  We’re instantly transported back to square one.

By the way, it must be noted that the author of our “Big Book of 60,000 Baby Names,” which suggests the likes of “Pribislava” and “Cupid” for our baby, is the mother of a girl named JENNIFER.  Her middle name is probably Madison.

Although we do have a list of possible contenders, albeit a shaky one, Mr. Candy and I do not yet feel inclined to share the names with anyone, including our parents.  Naturally, this has landed us on their list — their shit list, that is.   What our family does not understand is that we do not WANT their input.  We do not need that drama.  Between you and me, we just can’t shake a baby-naming story that Mr. Candy’s colleague shared about her own name; a story so tragic, that all we can do is try to learn from it.  You see,  Mr. Candy’s colleague’s parents wanted to name her “Romney.”  The grandmother hated that name with a passion, so in an attempt to keep the baby from being named Romney, she actually BOUGHT A CAT AND NAMED IT ROMNEY in hopes of deterring them.  Yes, yes, she did.  Unfortunately for the grandmother, her li’l scheme did not work:  Mr. Candy’s colleague is named — yep, you guessed it — Romney, and Grandma Crazy ended up with a cat and a granddaughter named Romney.  Ah, karma and all that.

The moral of this story:   Wait till you pop out the kid, then whip up a pitcher of sangria — and the baby naming process will become a snap.  Until, of course, you wake up the next morning, look at the birth certificate and wonder, “Why in the world did we name our baby Shadow Madison?!”

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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