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She Suggests Names, He Vetoes Them: Can This Couple Negotiate?

June 17, 2009 Pamela Redmond

Lookydaddy.com’s Brian Sargent, today’s guest blogger, is the stay-at-home dad of now-four-year-old twin girls and a third-grader.  Those are his daughters, above.

My wife and I knew it would be tough to name twin girls, so we assigned ourselves jobs. My wife’s job was to suggest possible names for consideration. My job was to say I didn’t like them.

Not to be immodest, but I did my job well.

“Rebecca.”

“No.”

“Jocelyn.”

“No.”

“Hester.”

“You’re not even trying, anymore, are you?”

I did my job so well that toward the end of my wife’s pregnancy, I began to fear for my life.  With each passing week, in an attempt to sleep comfortably, my wife had stacked foam pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and even an air mattress on her side of our marital bed, and as the twins’ due date approached, I knew that all she would have to do was roll over in the middle of the night to literally crush the baby-name objections right out of me.

I kid, of course. My wife could have never rolled over without my help.

Finally, exasperated with the selfless way in which I saved my children from names that belonged to my ex-students or had too many Ys, this is what my wife did: She wrote down a list of her ten favorite names, posted it on the refrigerator, and informed me none of the names could be removed from the list unless they were replaced with better ones.

So there they stood: Ten names. Who knows where they came from? Some I recognized as my wife’s coworkers. Some may have been from TV shows. And some were there simply to make me wonder why I had ever thought my wife and I had enough in common to successfully raise a child together. And, unless I could come up with better, two of them would become my twin girls.

I never came up with better. The two girls currently pulling on my arms as I type, giving my spellchecker a run for its money, bear names that came from that list of ten. And you know what? It’s fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. When I look back on it, I’m not sure why I was such a jerk about the whole name-choosing process in the first place. My girls, my beautiful, wonderful Lila and Victoria, are beautiful and wonderful no matter what we call them. And besides, they turned out to be identical, so it’s not like we use their names anyway.  Beats us who is who.

But, happily, neither of them are is Hester.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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