It’s the moment you’ve been both waiting for and dreading: Introducing the baby to Grandma – your Grandma. Sure, she’s going to be thrilled to meet her new great-grandchild, delighted to discover that the infant has her late husband’s dimpled chin and her own dark eyes.
The potential for dread comes in when you reveal the baby’s name. A lot of names today are going to feel unfamiliar, confusing, ridiculous, or downright stupid to Grandma. If you choose one of the following, you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.
Finley – Whether Finley is a girl or a boy, you’re in trouble, partly because the name doesn’t give any clue whether the baby is a girl or a boy, and partly because isn’t Finley a last name and not a first name?
Iris – Or Florence or Edith or any other name, maybe even her own name, that feels to her like a dowdy unfashionable old lady name that she’s always hated. And no, she’s not happy that you named the baby after her.
Leonardo – Or Bridget or Abraham or any other name, maybe even her own name, that feels like some embarrassing remnant that should have been left back in the Old Country. After all she’s been through, you couldn’t pick some nice American name, like…Susan, maybe?
McKayla – Oh, Michaela, like the girl’s version of Michael: She’s heard of that, that’s an all right name. But then you spell it. You try to explain it. Which is as impossible as explaining Twitter. Or Beer Pong.
Ophelia – Grandma’s read her Shakespeare, and she knows who Ophelia is. But why would you want to name a baby after such a tragic character? Juliet, Delilah, Holden etc. all have potential to cause similar problems.
Palin – We’re imagining a Who’s On First scenario: “The baby’s name is Palin, Grandma.” “The baby saw Sarah Palin? You mean that lady from Alaska who ran for President?” “Vice president, and no, her name is Palin.” “Yes, I know her name is Palin. But what’s the baby’s name?” At which point, you might as well just give up and say Reagan, or Kennedy.
Ranger – Ranger’s not alone: Grandma is probably not going to understand Archer or Sailor or Sawyer or any of the other new occupational names either. If you name your baby Ranger and your Grandma is over, say, 90, better just tell her his name is John.