A month or so after my first daughter was born a good friend sat holding her. “You know,” she said, “Her name just fits her. It’s perfect.” And it really does. So … whew … because, you know, it’s her name. I use it a lot, and sometimes — when she’s ignoring my sixteenth request to go brush her teeth — I combine it loudly with her middle and last name, too.
But sometimes parents don’t like their baby’s name. Maybe they never liked it to begin with and gave in to their partner or family pressure, thinking the name would grow on them. Or maybe they loved the name, but it just didn’t fit their baby.
That’s exactly what happened to Lena Corner. Though she waited until her second son was six weeks old before settling on the name Ralph, it just never stuck. So when Ralph was six months old, she and her partner changed his name to Huxley.
In the Guardian she writes:
It’s remarkably easy to change a baby’s name before the age of one. You just fill in a form from the register office and the birth certificate gets amended. It’s a little more complicated if they have already been christened, or are over the age of one, but not much. The Name Change Company, for example, the UK’s leading deed-poll facilitators, will take care of the whole process for just £33.
It’s much less easy, however, to break the news to other people.
Although my mum just laughed and my sisters encouraged me, there were mutterings about me and the future identity crisis I was creating. Ronnie [Corner's older son], who was three at the time, was a bit cross about it and insisted on using Ralph, until one day, a few weeks later, he forgot and switched seamlessly to Huxley.
I never hesitated with either of my girl’s names, but I can see Corner’s point. You and your child will have to live with your choice for life. If it’s not a good fit, better to fix your mistake now. Would you or have you ever considered changing your baby’s name?
Photo: @cdharrison, Flickr