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Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Boy Henderson

Erica writes:
Here's the critical data: The baby is a boy. He is our second and last child. Our daughter is named Madeleine Louise Anelda after both of our mothers. In my husband's family, it's traditional for the son to get the father's first name as a middle name. Therefore, the boy's middle name will be Gerald. Our hypothetical last name is Henderson. Got all that?

Here's the list of names that we've agreed on thus far:
Dexter – Dex
Malcolm – Mal
Oliver – Ollie
Samuel – Sam
Phineas – Fin

Our three top contenders are Samuel, Xavier and Dexter. I also like Jasper, but that name requires the addition of a second middle name to break up the J and G sounds, so we can skip it.

Just to give you some more insight into my naming preferences, names on my list that didn't make the cut were:
Beckett (Beck)
Cooper (Coop)
Lucas (Luke)

We had pretty much decided on Dexter as the front-runner. Maddie latched onto it and calls her baby brother Dexter exclusively. (That's going to be fun if we chose another name.) Dexter was my idea, and at first, I loved it. However, as time as passed, I feel less and less sure that our son will be a Dexter. I'm also feeling unsure about ALL the names on my list. I think that there's this magical, perfect name for him out there but I just can't find it.

Does this just make me a normal pregnant woman or should I continue scouring the internet and emailing friends (ahem!) to ask for advice?

OH SO NORMAL! I mean, I've heard there ARE women who are just like, "Hm, what should we name the baby? How about Paul? Yes, that's a nice name." My own mother-in-law was that way. But if we are measuring normal by what I'M like (and why shouldn't we?), then you are VERY VERY NORMAL.

With two of my children, we had a list of finalists and then I thought of the magical perfect name---a name that we hadn't ever considered before, which became The Name within 24 hours of us thinking of it. With the other three, we had a list of finalists and gradually one became the winner---but without ever seeming like the Lightning Bolt Choice. In all five cases, I had SERIOUS DOUBTS about the name that only increased as delivery approached. I would lie awake thinking, "IS this the name? DO I like it more than the others? Is this a GOOD name for the child, or will it seem crazy as soon as I put it on an actual baby? What if it's too popular? What if it's not popular enough and no one likes it? Fret fret fret fret fret!"

So let's fret together for awhile about your baby boy's name. I see your point about Jasper Gerald, so I tried to think of names that were similar to Jasper but didn't have that problem. The first one I thought of was Asher, Asher Gerald Henderson---but I know your actual surname, and I don't think Asher is good with it, do you?

The more I think of it, the more I think Jasper Gerald is fine. Gerald is a family name and everyone will know it, and it's rare that the first and middle are both used. If you want to strike it, I'll understand (I like a good flow, too), but if you want to use Jasper I don't think it's out of the question. I even kind of like the double J sound, as I did when one of my friends in high school was Jennifer Jean.

Well, but let's find more names, because what you need is MORE names to fret about, right? And because sometimes introducing new options can bring out your loyalties to one or another of the original contenders.

Dexter makes me think of Baxter. Declan makes me think of Duncan and Deacon.

Rowan makes me think of Ruben. When I first heard that name a couple of years ago, I thought "!!!!!!!!!"---and then put it with my surname and cringed. But it's really good with yours! Ruben Gerald Henderson.

Another name that gave me that sudden rush of appeal is Miller. It's a bit of a reach, but so familiar as a surname I think it brings it into the realm of reason. Miller Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Miller.

I like Emmett for you: Emmett Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Emmett.

I also like Carter for you: Carter Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Carter.

I LOVE Archer for you: Archer Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Archie. OMG LOVE. I don't know why I think it's good with your surname when I don't like Asher with it, but there it is.

And it's not perfect with the middle name, but I like Grady anyway: Grady Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Grady.

Corbin is a teeny bit rhymey with your surname but I like it anyway: Corbin Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Corbin.

I think the name Keegan is wonderful: Keegan Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Keegan.

On a different track, I like Louis: Louis Gerald Henderson, Maddy and Louis. I think Louis sounds like a sweet little boy and a dignified adult in the style of Oliver and Theodore.

From your list of finalists, my favorite is Samuel. Sam Henderson; Maddy and Sam.

A note to readers: I KNOW Erica, so I've found it particularly difficult to choose names for her to consider. I'm BEGGING you to help with this one!


Kit said...

What about Mitchell? Maddie and Mitch.

I really like Ronan and Declan from your list, but I wonder if the -an sound at the end would be too rhyme-y with your last name?

I also like Simon, Elliot and Andrew (with Drew as the nickname).

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Ooh. If you like Dexter and Declan, I love the suggestion Swistle made of Deacon. Madeleine and Deacon, Deacon Gerald. I like that A LOT. You can call him D or Deak (spelled that way for pronounciation clarity, lol). It would be similar enough to Dexter for Maddie too, lol.

I think you have some really great finalists. I like Ronan, Malcolm and Samuel from your list as well.

This could be a case of, "bring the finalists to the hospital, look at the baby and see who he is".

Christine said...

I'm going to apologize right off the bat, but I just don't like most of the two syllable names you have chosen followed by Gerald. I like the names, but I find the flow off. Even with Dexter. I would suggest that if you do go w/ a two syllable name you throw in a second middle name (maybe another male family member?)

But given the syllable hang up (that really exists only for me: in real life, who is going to use the middle name? likely very few) my favorites for you are Oliver and Samuel. I actually really like Samuel and think that it is fairly underused. (Plus I have a cousin in Italy named Samuele, nn. "Samu" and it's just adorable.)

Other names that you might like: Finnigan ("Finn")

Good luck!

donna said...

I'm a traditional namer, as you know, so the only one I REALLY love is Samuel. And I am personally not a fan of an M name for him because I don't like the alliteration among siblings. That's me. I'll love Bonk no matter what you name him.

Becky said...

I like the name Jasper, and I like it with Gerald - I love alliterative names- Erica knows I grew up with one - and Jasper Gerald is fun to say (but my mouth gets all tripped up saying the initials JG together). So you'll know that I like any of the names that match your real surname as well.

I am not crazy about siblings with all the same initial; that always strikes me as gimmicky. So I tend to lean away from the M names.

Samuel has always been one of my favorites from the original list.

I really, really like Deacon. The more I say it the more I love the way it sounds. That's my new vote.

Anonymous said...

I love Archer. Great name!

I was also thinking Zachary. Zachary Gerald.

Cooper made me think of Connor.

How about Walker? Walker Gerald.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Archer!!! A top contender for me-- Archer Gerald is so cute and Archie and Maddie is sweet together!

Katie said...

From your list I like Dexter okay and Samuel a lot. My favorite names are on your "almost" list -- I think Luke (Lucas) and Nathaniel are both great with Madeleine.

Good luck with your baby boy!

StephLove said...

I like your whole list, but I think Phineas is my favorite from it. I think Louis is a great suggestion and I like Zachary, too. I also agree Jasper is fine with Gerald.

To throw some more in the mix-- how about Silas or Simon?

Liz said...

You can't go wrong with any of your options! Whatever you choose, your son will have a great name - just like his sister (I love the name Madeleine!). I just met a toddler named Dexter, and I was totally surprised by how refreshing the name sounded (didn't hurt that the kid was adorable). So that's my vote for your existing choices. You've probably already thought of this, but if you like Ronan and Rowan, would you consider Roman? That's another strong but underrated name.

beyond said...

You have some great names on your list. In fact, you really can't go wrong with any of them!) My favorites are Samuel, Phineas and Dexter. I also think Jasper is fine with Gerald. (How often do we really use our middle names? If you love Jasper, go for it.) I also like some of the suggestions like Elliot and Zachary. I love Swistle's idea of Louis, but your daughter's middle name would rule that out for me.
Good luck!

kakaty said...

I also dislike alliteration among siblings and am facing the same thing (due in 8 days!). We HAD names picked but as we get closer I'm just not sure...

So - No Malcolm and Dexter makes me think of the murder HBO show. I like Oliver, Samuel and Phineas.

M.Amanda said...

Stick with Dexter. Your daughter already loves it and it is a great, normal, but underused name.

On a side note, perhaps it's just the people I know, but I know lots of Sams, including a father and son on one side of the family, a girl cousin on the other side, a coworker's little girl and a dog. Completely understandable as it is an awesome name (and those I know are all awesome people - except for the dog who is an awesome dog), but if you're concerned about popularity, it's something to consider.

Sabrina said...

Dear Erica,
I really like a lot of your ideas and a lot of Swistle's suggestions, so I don't really think you can go wrong.

But. After hearing that your daughter already calls the baby Dexter, and it was the first name you loved, and your partner has agreed on it... I just have to say: I think you found a winner. I totally understand the second-guessing oneself. And fretting is part of the fun. But from a perfect stranger's point of view, Dexter is totally adorable and there is NO reason to believe that your little boy isn't a Dexter (as you put it.)

Dexter passes my baby name test: it has to look cute on a preschooler's cubby written on a construction paper flower, and respectable on an office door plaque with Ph.D., or Esq., etc., behind it.

Dexter Gerald "Henderson"

Have no fear. I love it. And Maddy (sp.?) loves it. And I guess that's the clincher for me.

Best of luck!

JEN said...

Here's my issue - Gerald is a traditional name (my dad's BTW and I like it). Thus a name like Keegan (which I feel sounds like a disease) doesn't sound good with it. I lean towards Samuel or something equally traditional. I alos have never heard "Declan" used in the US, only in Ireland.

Amy said...

What about Roman, or Sebastian, or Caleb? Logan? Brennan? Niall? I like Dexter, but now I'll always associate it with serial killers - sorry:)

Anonymous said...

Everyone will have their opinions...mine is anti-Dexter. It brings to mind the HBO series and also someone with a pocket protector. But, that's just my opinion!

What about:
Dax Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Dax)
Neil Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Neil)
Dean Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Dean)
Landon Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Landon/Andy)
Raymond Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Ray)
Brody Gerald Henderson
(Maddy & Brody)


Erica said...

Thank you all for your opinions! We've got another couple of great names to add to our list. I think we're just going to have to wait and meet him and see which name feels right.

Thank you, Swistle!

Saly said...

Wasn't Callum in the running at some point? Cal? LOVE it!! That would be my vote. I also really like Swistle's recommendation of Carter. Carter was a top contender for us if Liv were to have been a boy.

Jan said...

I like Dexter! Another name you might want to consider is Rex. I like a non-n ending name with your hypothetical last name. Good luck!

Mommy Daisy said...

So funny. My sister, who you know is due the same time as you, has several of these names on her finalist list.

She likes Jasper, Landon, Easton. They won't tell us, but I think Jasper David is the chosen name for him. I suggested Carter to her that she liked as well.

I think you have many, many great names here. I don't have any favorites, so I won't add any. Good luck! I can't wait to find out who he is. :D