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  • Parenting from Pop's POV

Babynaming x 3

How humiliating that a writer for BabyNames.com is struggling with a name for his impending third? We’ve scoured the site, read through name books, flipped through favorite literature and textbooks. Like our first two, this baby’s gender will be a surprise, so we’ve picked some boy and girl front runners, but I’m uncertain.

Naming the third is a whole new ball of wax. There’s the name itself, the sound and the meaning and how it sounds with our boring, weird vowel-sound starting last name. (So sad that “Woody” is ruined forever. Could have been a real contender.) We also have to consider how it sounds with the other two names we’ve already picked. It can’t sound too similar. Luke, according to Elizabeth, negates Sam from the list – we already have a strong one-syllable boy’s name. But it can’t be too dissimilar – Otis and Luke won’t have a Staci for a sister. There’s a brand at stake, a brand we’re making to forward our genetics into history. Will Larry Allen be able to snag a wife and continue the family line? The name really does make a difference.

It happened so naturally with our first two. With both, we were stuck for names deep into the seventh month, just as we are now. With our first, we were out on the deck tossing names around, mostly bad ones, and an Otis Redding song came on, and that was it. With Luke it was “The Weight” by the Band (“Well Luke, my friend…”). This summer, we’re listening to records with Spanish and Ethiopian lyrics, and it hasn’t been at all helpful.

Maybe it’s a result of having two kids already, but my free association has gone down the pot. Coffee cup? Fireplace? Susan (the cat’s name)?

With the first two, we had our top choices picked out and a couple of backup choices and we decided on the name after the baby was born. The decision was clear, at least for Elizabeth, and the fact that she’s the one in a state of transcendence means that she’s the one to be trusted. I think whatever names are in the mix at that time, she’ll be able to sort them out and find the best one.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get some on-brand favs in the pile. Generations of Allens hang in the balance.

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