Friday, July 20, 2012

By George!

Deciding on the name George, was a spur of the moment decision. He was actually going to be Mitchell Frances (with the Frances part still up in the air, and he would go by Mitch). George Edward had always kind of been the joke. At one point during my prenancy, I had said, "I am sick of naming boys, so if it's a boy, we could just do our dad's dads." And George was just kind of a funny name to say and think about for a tiny baby. We don't really discuss baby names with others, and I had even mentioned the name George to multiple people because I was certain we would not pick that name. We usually check the SS names site to make sure we don't pick a name that is trending upwards in popularity, and is somewhere in the mid 2-300's. Not real common, but not real bizarre. We hadn't looked up George. I did know Brock had a George in his class. And I definitely knew that everyone has an uncle or grandpa George, but I had no idea where the name fell in the popularity curve. Risky, very risky.
So, when he came out, looking completely like a George and nothing like a Mitch. I kind of panicked. I almost regretted the decision. He might have another George in his class! I suddenly saw and heard George's everywhere. His name is almost 2 times more popular than Brock or Curtis! What was I thinking!? I frequently critisized and pondered the reason as to why one would name their child an insanely popular name, like Aiden, Caden, Jayden, Hayden, Jacob, Jackson, etc. Don't you want your child to be unique? Carry their own identity? Stand out? I hated my name growing up. I hated that I continually met, not only other Erin's, but Erin Smith's. I didn't want to share my name with anyone. I like to think there is no one like me. In fact, my brother-in-law dated an Erin for a while, and she was nice, but I could not stand the thought of the relationship going somewhere. Finally, I am Erin O'Laughlin, never met another one of those...and she threatened to become one!

I have observed and read about naming trends for a long time. I can nearly always predict the top 10 boys and girls names every year (it helps that I deliver and take care of babies on a regular basis) and it blows my mind how often someone names their kid the exact same name as the little boy, born 3 hours earlier, 3 doors down. The only thing going for him, is that despite it being more common than his brother's, the name George is still on the downward trend at #165 in 2011, peaking in the 1880's at #4. But I fear it is going to take a turn for the worse. Soon after his birth, I found out that a friend of a friend had given birth to her 3rd boy, just one week prior to my 3rd boy. His name? George! I smiled and laughed about it, but there was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Again, the regret threatening to rear it's ugly head. I love my kids' names. Love them. These 3 guys are adorable, but did I let my third child down? Did he just get a garbage pail name because I was too lazy to search for, yet another, perfect little boy's name?

Well, today, 5 months later, I can happily say, no. No, I did not fail him. George has so much personality, a unique name would be overkill. This kid is hilarious. A spaz at times, yet tolerant of all the chaos around him. He sleeps through being tackled, yet gets distracted by most noises. He can get across a room through a combination of rolling and dragging with his arms and pushing with his legs. None of it real coordinated. Or he will contently sit in your lap to observe his surroundings, or watch TV. He smiles at anybody willing to look his direction, but remains inquisitive and serious in expression when he thinks no one is looking. His movements are quite exaggerated and sudden. One moment you think he is drifting off in your arms and in the next his hand has reached into your bowl of cereal and grabbed a handful. And DO NOT set any kind of beverage glass or bottle with in arms reach. That kid is like white on rice when it comes to fluid filled containers.

He has always had this bipolar type nature. For his first three months of life, I described him regularly as a ticking time bomb. He would appear content. Pleasant. Happy to be held. Engaged when being spoken to, then BAM. Not happy. In consolable. Tired. Fighting sleep. Or whatever it was. Then one day it stopped. He has been sleeping through the night for quite sometime now, an entire month maybe? Not only that, but he prefers to be put to bed to fall asleep. No rocking, feeding, or consoling required. I think this can be attributed to the discovery of his hands and the ability to control them. The fingers of choice seem to be the left hand pointer and middle finger, palm side out. Don't worry, we have already started a savings account for the orthodontics which will be necessary for the buck teeth. If he ever grows any of those things.

George giggles. George laughs. George loves. People love George. And I think it's due, in large part to his name. I can see the smile, and reflection, and love in people's eyes when they hear that name. Almost everyone has a George that they love or loved. Even if it's George Clooney, or George Brett. Even small children giggle, and say, "like Curious George!?" And, by George! it became clear to me why one might choose a popular or common name; because people like it. Perhaps it's not so bad to have a bit of familiarity in a name. Perhaps George will have another boy in his class by the same name. But George will be George. He will be the cute, funny, snuggly, full of life, spunk and character kiddo that he is today, 10, 20, 30 years from now. And he will become the George that people know, and fondly think of, when they meet a strange new baby by that name.

1 comment:

danielle rider said...

So funny!! We actually have George at the top of our list for our next one (if we are blessed with another stinky boy). Zach's dad is a George and we love old man names for baby boys :)