New research, conducted by parenting website gurgle.com, reveals that over 50 per cent of parents grow to regret the names they give their newborn children.
At first reading this made me feel quite smug that I don't regret any of the names I chose for my own offspring ...until I remembered that unless that name is used in anger (when it's the full first, middle and last names at full volume) they rarely get called by their given names at home AT ALL.
Sometimes it's because we use nicknames and shortened forms. Or I can't get my brain to work fast enough to produce the right name at the right time and have to resort to "Oi, you." And then there are those other times when I have to go through each name one after another before landing on the right one, so the whole brood answer quite cheerfully to the name "Emelleisaoll." *sigh.*
And then I remembered just how difficult it was to choose those names in the first place and I didn't feel smug at all.
When I had the TeenTwins I considered myself fully prepared names wise. Names for twin boys, sorted. Names for a twin boy and a twin girl, sorted. Names for twin girls, oops. And when I'd worked that one out, I went slightly mad and gave them three names each because it wasn't as if I was going to be having any more children was it?.... Oh.
The Third Girl was consequently even harder to name than the first two and she had to try one or two names on before a decision was made ... though it makes no difference really, she's been called Boo by her daddy from that day to this and mostly ignores me whatever I call her.
And you might have thought it would have been easier to name The Small Boy when he came, but it wasn't. I had LOADS of girl's names that time. Boy's names? Not one. I sat on a hospital bed and stared at him for two days tentatively trying out one name after another until I found one that suited him. And somewhere in those two days I decided that every known male name in the entire universe was completely rubbish and/or reminded me of ex-boyfriends, sweaty schoolmates, drunken colleagues and psychedelic rabbits.
And when, finally, I chose a male name that wasn't reminiscent of anyone I'd ever met or ever heard of, I rang the daughters to tell them what he was called. "Oh lovely," they said and immediately launched into a theme of a well-known Lionel Bart musical ....