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Naming is hard

Started: 2015-02-03 19:28:59

Submitted: 2015-02-03 20:03:38

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator contemplates an official name for version 2.1

Years ago, when Kiesa and I first started talking about having children, we began talking about names. We decided that two boy's names and two girl's names would be sufficient for almost any contingency, and decided upon Calvin, Andrew, Jade, and Jewel for our naming pool. Our theme for boy's names was obscure presidents; it was only years after Calvin was born that Kiesa learned that I'd really intended to name him after Calvin and Hobbes.

While we intended to blacklist names in the top-ten list, we apparently forgot to actually check the top-ten list, otherwise we would have seen that Andrew peaked at number 5 twice in our lifetimes, most recently in 2003, and earlier in 1988. Only recently has it fallen to a still-quite-high 22nd place in 2013. This meant we needed a new boy's name.

When we learned that we were having a confirmed singleton boy, during the count-the-chromosomes genetic screening test in the middle of first trimester, that reduced the search space. I started thinking of the name Julian, inspired by John Lennon's son who inspired the classic Beatles song "Hey Jude" (and also incidentally Julian Bashir on Deep Space Nine). I thought about the name while climbing Mount Julian, and convinced Kiesa it would be a worthy name. (And probably a better choice than my other suggestion, Thomas, after the namesake for the stuffed tiger Hobbes.) I registered the domain name, just in case.

Only then did a new problem emerge: Calvin didn't like the name Julian, because he had a classmate in preschool named Julian that he apparently didn't like. We tried to ignore the problem for months in hopes that Calvin would forget about Julian, but that seems to have been futile. We're working on a compromise in which we name our baby Julian but nickname him "Joules" (spelled in a slightly-nonstandard way after the SI unit for energy).

We are also considering a compromise in which we give Calvin middle-naming rights for his brother -- which is the very arrangement by which I got to designate Willy's middle name as Alexander, after the inventor of the telephone and the namesake for the Bell Company. (I still see, on occasion while running around Gunbarrel, Bell Company manhole covers, presumably dating from before the before the breakup in 1984.)

Though I would not be especially surprised if we just kept calling him "two-point-one", since that's what we've been calling him for more than a year anyway.

If you want to kiss the sky, you had better learn how to kneel.
- U2, "Mysterious Ways"