What’s in a name?

My son is 10 months now and most people know his name. For the purpose of this blog, he is affectionately known as Baby Beastie so you most likely won’t know his given name. When I started blogging I wanted to preserve some privacy for my boys and is the reason why I chose not to divulge their names. I realise their pictures are on the internet for all to see and if someone I knew were to stumble across them, they would know who they were straight away. They do indeed have their own digital footprints but I feel it’s better not to have their names to accompany their photo’s – at the moment at least.

Anyway, back to the point. Like anyone, the names my husband and I have chosen for our boys are what we liked and what we as parents decided would be fitting names for them. So when you have a child and you hear the endless question of ‘what did you call them?’ It can get rather tedious. The name we have given Baby Beastie is not common but it’s certainly not one of those ‘out there’ names. It’s even a biblical name, so not a made up one – not that it should matter anyway.

Now I am back at work, the questions have started all over again and the expected responses have reared their head again. Nothing changes the fact that my husband and I love the name and nothing will ever change that…but if I get another response along the lines of ‘oh’ or a blank expression, I might not be responsible for my actions.

Last week a particularly tactless colleague firstly asked the rather dense question as to whether it was a baby I had had. Well yes seeing as I am a human it was more than likely that I would have given birth to a baby rather than a puppy. He then proceeded to query the name and then ask why he was called that, clarifying the pronunciation a couple of times. Then he declared that he liked the name of my firstborn as that was a good name. How flipping rude! Had there not been a room full of people I might have reacted rather differently. Similarly my husband has had the same reactions at his work and we both have got into the habit of not using his name when referring to him. Which in itself is awful but we do it simply to avoid people winding us up and maybe unwittingly on their part, reacting in the wrong way.

On the flip side, occasionally people have said how much they love his name. I know when people are generally being genuine and I thank these types of people. I am sure if they didn’t like his name they would have been graciously tactful as well.

So I ask, anyone that asks the name of someone’s child. Be tactful. If you can’t be tactful, please don’t ask! Of course I have my own opinions on names that some children are given and I think some of the names given to offspring I know are downright ridiculous. Would I infer that I have this viewpoint? Of course not. When you become a parent you automatically become your childs most loyal advocate and fierce defender, so when I see a glimmer of disapproval I start to feel my heckles rise.

For this reason I believe people have the right to choose their names for their children without prejudice. We all hear of some of the proposterous names that some celebrities seem intent on naming their children but when all is said and done, it’s their children and their specially chosen names. Who are we to criticise and foist our opinions when they quite frankly are not welcomed?

As the years go by I know I will develop a thicker skin and no doubt a sharper tongue. In all walks of life and in lots of different situations, people will always feel the need to express their opinions and being human they often can’t help the way they react but still, I wish they’d bugger off.