“Well what’s on your list?” she demands.
I show her my list. I examine her list once more. Our lists are not quite like those Venn diagrams where the circles don’t overlap, but are more like those Venn diagrams where one circle is at the centre of your piece of paper and the other is in your mate’s kitchen, in Chelmsford.
“I am not calling my child ‘Humphrey,'” I insist.
“I am not calling my child ‘Floyd,'” she insists. But she has fallen into my trap; by putting a ridiculous name on my list, I have started my negotiation with an impossibly high demand, and everything else that I will ask for will seem reasonable. I stare at her list again.
“Charlie,” I read. I think about it. “Hm. That seems reasonable,” I admit.
We have borrowed Big A’s baby names book, and I am bored with reading through it. It is basically just a list of names. Which is very useful and all that, but not incredibly interesting. All I can say is: show me a kid called ‘Aaron’ and I will show you some fucking lazy parents.
I am also bit torn with the issue of Googleability. This is a new consideration for parents. Is it an advantage to have a fairly anonymous, privacy-friendly name, e.g. ‘John Marsh,’ where nobody can particularly track you down? But on the other hand I am obviously expecting my children to be highly successful and renowned. Would it be more helpful to them to name them something like, e.g. ‘Xylophonehead Marsh?’ It is tricky.
I grab my list back and write ‘Xylophonehead’ at the bottom.
Neither of us can agree or compromise. We put the book down. It can wait.