For some reason, coming up with a name is much harder this time than it was last time. Or maybe it was equally hard last time and I've just blocked it out. (Apparently, the latter.) Either way, we're past the 34 week point and still haven't really made any progress on names. Well, we did sit down this weekend with our spreadsheet* from last time, with popularity data updated and prior grades and notes removed, as well as some names added, and then we regraded and rediscussed. But I am not feeling at all settled in our rankings, and certainly don't feel as though those rankings represent our selections. Or at least mine.
I think for me, the main issue is that of significance. Harry's name has meaning to me. And we have a few more boy name choices that have some significance (three of our top four, in fact), though my top pick among them isn't Ps. But we can't get there with girl names. (And we are waiting until birth to find out what we're having again.) In part, this derives from the fact that many of the women in our family have had names that are decidedly unfashionable today, and I just couldn't saddle a baby with one of them. The names of our combined grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and sisters of our grandparents and great-grandparents are: Edna, Esther, Wilma, Mildred (x2), Helen (x5), Marie, Blanche, Adelaide, Emma, Clara (x2), Florence (x3), Meta (pronounced MEE-ta), Wilhemina (x2), Anna (x2), Mary (x3), Margaret, Magdalena, Elizabeth, Theresa, Lucile, Edith, Almira, Maude, Ida, Joyce, Eva, Ruby, Lillie, Effie, Bessie, Gertrude, Cecelia, Marian, Agnes, Althea (with the number in parantheses noting when that name was used more than once, and the order generally reflecting their proximity (i.e. grandparents, then great-grandparents, then siblings)). I tried going back another generation, but mainly got another set of Marys, along with a few names we'd never use because they really don't work with our last name.
The second problem is that using family names is wholly unimportant to P. I think he'd prefer not to use a family name. Which just doesn't work for me. But it looks increasingly like it will be the case, as only one or two of those names got an even remotely positive reaction from him.** This kills me. But I can't just override his preferences, as much as I may sometimes want to.
In all honesty, I think it kills me in part because of the fact that Harry's name does have this connection with the past. When people ask our kids why they got their names, I hate that one will be able to give a lengthy explication while the other will only be able to say that their name was one of the few that one or both of their parents didn't dislike. No "it has this great family history" or "it has an awesome meaning" or "it's the name of a favorite character in a much loved book." And that makes me sad. And makes me hope we have a boy for this reason alone.
* Did I mention the spreadsheet last time? I got sick of feeling like his principle contribution was the veto of every name I suggested, so I decided we would each make lists. I then combined our lists into a spreadsheet and, for each name, added potential nicknames, popularity ranking, and meaning. We then went through the list and came up with a combined grade for each name on a 1-5 scale and made notes on the name, also adding possible middle names. We then resorted by grade. It was incredibly geeky, but incredibly helpful.
** Note that some don't work because of our last name -- pretty much any name ending with M or any name that is two syllables and ends with A is out. And some of the above are actually funny with our last name (for those who know our last name, Emma is probably the funniest of the above choices, though Uma is definitely the most comic overall). The best choices tend to be longer names. Also, we are nickname people, so if the name doesn't lend itself to some kind of tolerable nickname, it becomes much tougher for us to imagine using.