Last week the 2010 Social Security Administration folks came out with their annual list of the most popular names for the year.  They take all the babies that were named across the country and rank them.  It’s some women’s version of the NCAA College Football rankings.  It’s a very big deal.  

Way back in the day when I was pregnant I didn’t want my kids name to be on this list.  Not in the top 20 and definitely not in the top 10.  Addison is #11.  And although I feel some kind of way about this, I’m also totally fine with it.  Not like there’s anything we could do about it anyway.  She’s been named for 10.5 weeks.  I mean blankets have already been monogrammed.  We’re stuck with it.

Apparently wanting to name your kid something new and unique is a very new concept in the world of child rearing.  There was a time when everyone was a Mary or Sarah or John or Michael, and although those names still exist they are nowhere near as prevalent today as they once were. 

As most girls do, I had my kid names picked for a long time before I even had them.  And I did not even consider to consider the fact that whoever the kids father would be would want some input in the naming process.  If Monkey Pie would have been a boy he would have been named Christopher Aiden.  If Monkey Pie would have been a girl she would have been named Ashton James.  I mean those names rock.  I didn’t even have anything else to consider.

But then real life happened and I had to create babynoname  because we couldn’t have civilized name discuss when things were hypothetical and now that shit had got real we had to be more adult about it.

I stuck with the classic names on my boy list.  But I felt some sort of way about girly girl names.  Basically they’re dumb to me.  Not like for already named people but there wasn’t a one single girl name that I could see myself saying over and over for the rest of my life to my own kid. Signing papers for school.  Coming to pick up LittleGirl.  Yelling LittleGirl get down here and clean up your room (my brain put my future family in a 2-story).  A little girl, especially a cute little girl can pull off a name typically given to boys.  And my little girl would have been awesome at it.  Ash. Ashton.  James. Jim. AJ. Those are just a small selection of things I would have called her.

Parents want their kids to be unique snowflakes just like everyone else.  How would my kid feel special in a see of same-named kids? we all wonder.  Since the 80s apparently, which is how I ended up with my name spelling.  I wanted different, still a real name, not one made up.  I even conceded to Brownlee’s ridiculous demands that if Monkey Pie was a girl she’d have a girls name.  UGH. But a little rarer than #11. Maybe like #250. So you’ve heard of it but you didn’t know 10 other kids with the same name.  Over the course of name searching I totally fell in love with “Adelaide”. She still would have been an ADDY! But Brownlee vetoed it because he said it sounded funny and was too hard to spell.  

Addison was actually a late ringer in the race for names.  I’m sure Addy would have preferred her parents put more thought into naming their child but we didn’t and this is just what you get kid (which is what I will tell her whenever she disagrees with any of our decisions).  We had been settled with our list of names since week 20 before Brownlee found out the sex at the ultrasound.  It was my plan to have them picked so he didn’t try to skew me one way or the other.  And apparently it was a good thing because turns out he would have really tried.  He told me his plan to just sneak in his name at the last second if it was a girl because maybe I would be too tired from labor and too out of it from the drugs to even care.  Wrong. WRONG.

Around week 36 we were watching TV and I go “let’s go over this name thing again”.  My body had already been getting me ready for the baby since I had finished nesting and moved to buying post-partum items and even scheduling haircuts for me and the dog.  Maybe subconsciously I knew it was a girl and to save us some heartache I had to give it one last shot at the name game.

I asked Brownlee to think really hard about Addison and Sloane.  Sloane was pretty awesome but I wasn’t sure how that would work with the middle name.  And I wasn’t too keen on Addison because of the alliteration.  But Brownlee said he’d think about it and we upped our girl name count to 3 or 4.

When I first got a good look at Addison and the initial shock of her being a HER and actually having a real live baby in my arms, for some reason Addison was just a good fit.  We immediately gave her the Addy nickname and out went the text.  And I knew it was a popular name but I was ok with it because my Addy would be different from every other Addy there ever was.  And worse come to worse nobody would have her last name.

And the more the girls on The Bump discussed the top 10 names, I realized that even though I’m sure Addison won’t be the only one in her school (plus there will be some Addissons and Adysons and so on), it won’t be as bad as it was.

In 1982 the #11 name for girls was Michelle.  There is no way there will be as many Addisons as there were Michelles.  No way.  Because even more silly kids my age are having kids and feel the need to be even more unique than our silly parents were in the 80s.  


What really sucks is that if there is a Monkey Pie 2 (still not discussing the possibility and/or planning) is that I have to throw all those names out and start over from scratch yet again.


Here’s the website for the name popularity rankings.  You can see how cool (or uncool) your name is J