A Baby Name Battle Royale
I’m pregnant with my first child, and neither my parents nor my in-laws like the names we’ve chosen. In fact, my mother has gone so far as to tell me she will call my child a name that she likes, regardless of what name we give him or her. I am about a week and a half from giving birth, so this has become a rather urgent issue. What do I do? I can’t have my mum calling my kid by the wrong name!
MM: That sounds like quite a stressful week before giving birth!
I’d say blackmail is the way to go in this situation. You stand between these adults and their grandchild, so use that to your advantage. Deny hospital visitation, participation in all important rituals, and everything else you can, to the grandparent who don’t use the child’s name. Those who use the right name get to pick the first pair of shoes, drop your kid to the first day at day care — or anything else they want to be entrusted with. Good luck!
SB: The cardinal rule of choosing a child’s name is not to share unless you want unsolicited opinions on the name you’ve chosen. Rookie mistake aside, I would really let them know how you feel and tell them that it’s your decision what your child is called (they had their chance)!
If all else fails don’t worry, you can play the long game, and your child will know their name no matter what, consider the other name a pet name which would emerge no matter what.
LG: Parents and in-laws have a way of coming around after babies are actually born. But if they don’t use the child’s name that you have given… fight fire with fire. Bide your time until your child gets old enough to speak. Then, teach him or her to call your mother something funny (but not mean). Something like … Gobi. Or Billee Ma. Or Rani Pop Pop. Chances are, you’ll get your point across in a nice way and her dream of hearing your child lisp ‘nani’ will lead a detente — and the use of your child’s actual name.
KB: Don’t you know the first rule of having in-laws? Smile and nod! Don’t bother fighting irrationality — you can’t win. Just smile, nod, and call your child whatever you want.