Thursday, 1 May 2014

Popular names = a quiet life

Sulking
I once had a run-in with a fellow mum at a play group when my eldest daughter was a baby. She was horrified that I had named my child Betty.

She asked me if I had considered the bullying that Betty would endure at school because of her 'unusual' name, and had I prepared myself for her hating me for it. 

And she genuinely felt sorry for Betty that she would never find those cheap plastic mugs, and pens, and door plaques, and toothbrushes, with her name emblazoned across them. 

I quietly seethed at her rudeness, and scoffed at the idea of a common, sorry, popular name and marched out of that playgroup and never ever returned. 

Seven years later I am happy to report that Betty hasn't endured any bullying about her name, and has only mentioned a handful of times that she wants to be called Emily instead. And I don't think she has started hating me yet. 

But... in recent weeks, Betty has become obsessed with trying to find one of those garish plastic mugs with her name on it. And despite me telling her that this is a pointless exercise, it hasn't stopped her dragging Tom from one tacky greeting cards shop to the next. 

And while we were away in Pembrokeshire last week she sulked for three days because her name could not be found on any merchandise anywhere. 

As I sat there on a beautiful beach near St David's, gazing out to sea, the wind in my hair, Betty persistently moaned in my left ear about personalised pens with gold lettering.  It made me think of that mum at the playgroup all those years ago, and I decided that perhaps she had a point.  Chantelle would have been a much easier option, if only to be able to enjoy my holiday in peace...

12 comments:

aendr said...

There is a solution, that of spending a little more on what is generally more carefully chosen, better quality, personalised items for a less frequently used name, though you do have to plan ahead a little. At least the name in question is not extremely long, which can be an issue for per-letter charges or number of character limitations.

I have 2 classic names for my children, one in the top 20 of boys' names, and one rare girls' name.

The main pitfall of having a more common name is forever having to use the child's surname initial - "oh, it's Matthew J" you mean. It gets even worse when there are two Matthew Js, and the full surname or class at school or other descriptor has to be used. Also, they are forever having to check which person was meant when their name was called.

I think it's better to be rare.

Louise said...

You'll love this. As you know, my two are called William and Huw. If EVER they ignore me when I call there names, no matter if it's home or a public place, supermarket, school, rugby pitch etc. I find that shouting out "Hubert" and "Wilberforce" gets their attention EVERYTIME! ��
I've had other parents exclaim "Oh my God! Did you REALLY name your boys THOSE NAMES???"
Sometimes I tell them my tactics for not being ignored, sometimes I just leave them guessing! ��

Elsie Button said...

haha Louise! Well actually, I rather like the names Hubert and Wilberforce! X

Iota said...

I REMEMBER that post. One of your very first few, probably.

Elsie Button said...

Hi Iota, ha yes I think it was one of my first! :)

nappy valley girl said...

Haha...

Get her a personalised book instead! Check out itsyourstory.com (massive plug for my really good friend's business here, but it really is fantastic). She'll never look at a key ring again..

fareeda mahmoud said...


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مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة
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fareeda mahmoud said...


شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه
مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة
تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة
كشف تسربات المياة بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة

شركة تنظيف بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل برأس تنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات برأس تنورة

fareeda mahmoud said...


شركة تسليك مجاري برأس تنورة
كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات بضرما
شركة تنظيف بالخرج
شركة تسليك مجاري برأس التنورة
شركة عزل أسطح بالمجمعة
fareeda

Kirsty said...

Hi there! I found your blog via a link on Pinterest which led me to an article on a baby chat board, then from there to here - that's what it's for by the way ;)
The link was about feeling broody. I can see you haven't had any more children - I'm in a similar situations and was wondering, does it ever go? I'm scared of feeling this way forever!
On another note, I grew up with chickens and know first hand about feeling the wrath of a territorial cockerel. I'm sorry yours resulted in so much pain, however I did appreciate the giggle today!

Sparx said...

You do know, of course, that you can order any of that stuff personalised online - you can get any name on anything these days

I promise you, if you'd called her 'Emily' you still wouldn't be able to find a personalised mug because they would all be sold out.

I tell you this as Charlie's Mum - the "Charlie" pegs are ALWAYS empty.

You can't win, you know. They're children, their job description is to ensure that we fail... :)

X Sparx

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