I have a rambunctious, dramatic, jealous, clingy, climbing, unreasonable, pushy, frustrating, totally loveable 16-month-old boy named Kristopher.
Kristopher means “bearer of Christ”, which I love.
But really, most days I’m surprised he has a name at all.
Choosing a boy’s name just about killed me. It just about ended my marriage. It prevented me from enjoying a good part of my pregnancy. It is a major reason I may never venture to have another baby.
I wanted to take a minute away from food to talk about baby names, because it has taken me more than a year to get used to the fact that we chose that name, that is who he is, and that’s that. I spent most of the first 6 – 52 weeks of his life trying to convince Carl that we needed to change his name to…
That was the problem – I didn’t have another option. I just felt that his name was not right. I love the name Kristopher, and I would have totally applauded anyone else’s choice of this solid, traditional, pleasant-sounding name. But calling my own kid Kristopher? Weird.
Carl, meanwhile, attributed my drama to postpartum hormones and generally thought I was joking. Or emotionally unstable.
I was not.
Or at least, not enough of either to discount my strong feelings on the matter.
With neither of my babies did I know the gender prior to their squalling appearance in the delivery room. Yet, I was 99% certain with each that I knew what the gender would be, sure enough that both times we went into the hospital with a name chosen for only one gender. “Knowing” that I was having a boy meant a rather lengthy focus on boys’ names, a focus I was thrilled to avoid with my first, a girl. I love girls’ names.
For a boy, I knew I wanted a name that was traditional, solid, and decidedly masculine. Call me conservative, but I want people to know my boy is a boy and my girl is a girl based solely on name.
Carl leaned towards “strong” names, with favorites like “Slade” and “Gunner”, so as you can imagine he was very little help aside from his veto vote on a couple of my favorites.
I kind of thought I would decide after a long labor what the name would be, leveraging the blood, sweat, and tears of labor against Carl to let him grant me my wish for any name I desired. Two short hours after my first contraction, out came the little boy I expected, and I had had no time to think about names, let alone acquire leveraging power.
Kristopher he became.
After more than a year, I think I’m ok with Kristopher. He also answers to Mister Kristopher, Kristopher Columbus, Kristopher Robin, and, most commonly, K-Fer (in the tradition of Brittney’s baby daddy K-Fed) and just Kafe.
Oddly enough, we never call him Kris, which I had totally expected we would. It just doesn’t suit his rough-and-tumble, burly little personality. Maybe he’ll grow into it.
I still feel “Kristopher” is a big name to saddle a little baby with – I certainly pray he will live up to it’s meaning, but I better start teaching him his letters now if I want him to know how to spell it by Kindergarten! Maybe we will stick with Kafe for simple ease of writing!
What are your thoughts on baby names? Is it your favourite part of pregnancy, or a major cause of stress and arguments? Does a name actually affect how a person turns out – their popularity, intelligence, income, etc? How many children do you realistically think you could name and be happy with? Does a name grow on you over time even if you don’t like it initially?
And you now know I’m going to need your help if I ever find myself in a boy-naming situation again…for now, we keep plenty busy with this little man and his sister :)
This post is funny in so many ways now that you’ve had/named your third little mister!!
Hey Anna, I check on here every once in a while, and smiled when I saw this post. I had Josiah picked as a boys name for years, so I never wanted to change my mind there, but it took a fair bit of work for us to pick a girls name. 5 weeks after Josiah was born, Linda used our girls name, so we don’t have the choice of using it or not for this baby.
So far this pregnancy we have spent very little time discussing names…and I’m 30 weeks! 5 babies have just been born in our Church in the last month and there are 3 more due before this baby is due, so we’re not discussing for a few more weeks even. When we do, it’ll go like this…. I’ll sit down with several baby naming books and make a nice long list. Eric will then go through it and cross off all the ones that I REALLY like and leave me with the ones that I kind of like, but don’t really love. I’m not looking forward to it. After loving the name Josiah so much, I’m sure that I’ll be doubting our decision even after the baby is born.
Haha, I love that you say Eric will go down the list and cross off all the ones you really like :) Sounds exactly like us!!
My sister sent me this blog post, because I could pretty much write the exact same post, but insert my son’s name. We also could not agree on a boys name our entire pregnancy (girls name no problem). We had a second name picked out, and I figured it would all come together at the end. Big mistake. We ended up using what was supposed to be his second name (Benjamin) as his first. Much more traditional than I like (my picks were Cohen or Mason) and my husband pretty much shot down everything I suggested.
As for the rest, it is pretty much exact to what you described. Wanted to change it for a while, husband thought it was PP hormones etc. or my usual waffling personality.
Now my son is two, and his name is his. I still would not call him that, given a second chance (shh….don’t tell him) I love him dearly though!
Good for you for posting this. It gave me a good laugh, and made me realize I’m not the only person who ever waffled over baby name sorrows!
Thanks for your comment – it’s good to know I’m not the only one who was willing to do the paperwork for a new birth certificate! I’m glad to hear you say you would still do it differently – most people tell me once I’m used to it I would never change it, but I know I would definitely do it differently given a second chance!
Funny enough, Bryan and I had a boys name picked out from the start and had difficulty choosing a girls name. That was because I couldn’t think of any other boys names I liked, so we stuck with the only one we agreed on. And I liked so many girls names – only we didn’t agree on any – so thankfully I got to pick one from my list between contractions! I don’t think we’d ever use the boy name we had picked out though, unless we had a boy and couldn’t agree on any other name! :) Now that Adelyn is almost 2 I’m finally reasonably happy with her name. It’s who she is now, but it definitely took a while for me to get used to it. There were times in the past two years when I’ve regretted calling her a name that nobody has heard of. But I really like calling her ‘Addie’, and I love it even more when she calls herself Addie, so I’m happy now. It’s funny because when I was pregnant I didn’t want my child’s name to be shortened or abbreviated, but now I definitely love having options. Hmmm…
Thankfully my husband and I have an uncanny way of agreeing about every name we come across, which makes things easy. We preferred names that were ‘heard of before’, not common, and had nice meaning/associations. Being a teacher, I thought that the associations thing would be difficult but it wasn’t. The one thing though was that just before, after, and still now, LOTS of people used the same boy name we ended up using. So much for the ‘not common’. I just couldn’t think of our little one as anyone else if it was a boy, so we’d went with it. No regrets though. Maybe he’ll have others in his class with the same name, but maybe it just seems like it’s a common name only because we know so many people, and have contact with so many through facebook across the country.
I also wanted “heard of” but “not common” – yet we picked Gemma for our daughter and I couldn’t believe how many people pronounced it wrong, even though “gem” and “emma” are both common words!
Good thing we always found girls’ names we liked since we ended up with 5 of them (girls that is). We always had a new boy’s name picked just in case. Funny but it was a different one with every pregnancy. A couple of times I was relieved we didn’t have to use it…like with you Anna. Going into the hospital on Oct. 31 had dad suddenly deciding if you were a boy you should be called Martin, after Martin Luther. No wonder I held you in until Nov. 2. (Sorry to all the Martins out there).
Melissa Bredenhof says
Well, with only 4.5 weeks left before baby #3’s arrival date, we still have not settled on a girls name. With both girls, names were no problem! Now, after tossing names around for the last 35 weeks, still nothing. We both like certain names, but nothing that WOW’s us. Our boys name is still recycled from Sidney, our firstborn. We both LOVE it and hope to use it one day. Maybe in 4ish weeks? But, if a girl pops out, we’ll have to go from our list we tossed around!
I actually enjoyed finding a name for our kids though with the second child I had a really hard time finding a girl name that wowed me, and that my husband liked. My quirk with baby names is that, while we didn’t find out the gender with either baby, I didn’t want to use first pregnancy names on our second baby. for example, if Nadya was a boy, she would’ve been Tanner. And while I still like the name, I couldn’t imagine my second child with the name as I talked to baby number one, frequently asking if she was a Nadya or Tanner… we’ll see if this quirk keeps up if down the road (quite a bit) we’re blessed with more kids
I definitely have that same quirk – so it’s a good thing I only pick one name each time! Love your (quite a bit) note, you made me laugh :)
Heidi Blanken says
We had a hard time with a boys name this time around. We literally went through a thousand boys name one night on the computer. There where a lot I really liked, but Derek said no to them all. then one afternoon Derek was paying bills and he kind of said to himself out loud, “Oh, I thought this guy’s name was Norman, but it is actually Nolan.”….Me being in the backround said…” Hey, do you like Nolan for a boys name?” Derek was like “Yeah it is not bad.” And so that is how our third son acquired his name. And i must say I really love it now!!
I love it! We kind of randomly decided on Kristopher too after going over thousands of names and trying SO hard to agree on one!
Lisa W says
We found the girls names easy to pick but had a much harder time finding a boys name that we both liked. Good thing we had two girls! :) Jordyn was a name book pick and Kylie was a little more random. We picked it while we were shopping – we saw it written on a whiteboard on a changeroom door and both loved it!
Sara Ludwig says
We never agreed on a girl’s name and with each pregnancy never knew the gender till the birth and each time were glad we had a boy named picked and relieved we didn’t need to think of a girl name. I still have lots of boy names and we still have no idea what we’d call a daughter if we ever had one. :-) I have a cousin whose name is Kristopher and he was always called Toffer for the longest time. :-)
YES, I like that abbreviation too actually!
He is beautiful! I don’t have kids yet but can’t imagine narrowing it down!