The Name Game

Parenting is not exclusive to mothers. I repeat, for emphasis: Parenting is not exclusive to mothers.

Sure, the mother carries the child in her body for approximately nine months; nourishes the child with her very own milk; is typically the parent that stays home with the child (whether this is a full-time gig or only when the child is sick). All too often, we forget the very important role that fathers play in the lives of our children. Fathers provide homes, food, and other basic necessities for the family; introduce children to practical skills and rational thought (because let's face it, moms - we are emotional creatures!); and teach children how to succeed in the real world.

This description of mothers and fathers does not necessarily fit all, or even most, of people. This is simply the observations that I have made from my life experiences. But I digress...

Sometimes fathers get left out of very important decisions. For example: choosing the name of the child. As a mother, I felt entitled to make the decision for my daughter, simply because she was growing inside of my belly - and I was puking constantly. Since my husband couldn't possibly understand what I was going through (not to mention the pain and body-altering effects of childbirth) I made list after list of unusual, and sometimes just plain strange, names for my little girl. Maybe the hormones were to blame for such beauties as 'Briar Rose,' 'Nadja Leisel,' and 'Amelita Noveau,' but needless to say, my daughter ended up with a classic, timeless name.

I couldn't be happier.

Want to know what caused those strange, hormone-induced names to disappear from my list? My husband put his foot down. He reminded me that I was not in the parenting realm all on my own, and that his input should be considered, too. He suggested a name, and it was the first name that we could both agree on. I was ecstatic that the decision had been made, although that meant that I had to make some more decisions about childbirth and other things that I had been dreading.

My sister delivered her sweet baby girl yesterday, on Valentine's Day. She has yet to choose a name that she can live with. The father is the one in that relationship that wants strange names. In that situation, I want for her to put her foot down with him. She's offered a few names that were a compromise, but he won't back down.

So... that leaves me to consider just who should be the winner in the name game.

Any thoughts?