Monday, March 29, 2010

What's in a Name?

My husband and I sometimes amuse ourselves (when anyone cares enough to smile and nod politely) by telling the story of how we came up with our sons' names. With Baby #1, before we knew the sex, we already had several girls' names in mind. But, we were really struggling with what to call a boy (good thing we decided, huh?) In order to break the mental block (and to feed an incessantly hungry pregnant woman!), we went to Austin Grill for dinner one night and brainstormed over chips and salsa. As we threw out possibilities, the list of potential monikers grew to maybe 10 or so, but the minute someone mentioned "Derek", we knew that was It. With Baby #2, we went down to the wire, disagreeing back-and-forth for months without being able to commit to anything that we both liked. Then the night before I went into labor (which was NOT supposed to happen with a scheduled C-section--again, good thing we made up our minds!) Royce suggested we sit down and hammer it out...Riley Christopher rolled off my tongue, and that was that.

In the seven years since that night, the subject of "names" hasn't come up much (except when one brother calls the other a poopyhead or something similar, and I have to intervene). Until last week, when the same Riley Christopher, now a 6-1/2 year old wiseguy, poked his head into my room after school--no "hi, Mom, I'm home! by the way--and inquired, with a huge hopeful grin, "Can we change my name to Bradley?" I looked at my baby, in his muddy shirt, his face flushed from playing basketball, impish Riley-ness written all over him, and asked the obvious, "Why would you want to do THAT?" Undeterred, he shot back, "My name is kinda getting old, and I'm tired of it." (Dude, how "tired" can you be, you're S-I-X! Heaven help me, this child will be campaigning for tattoos and pierced...somethings by Middle School, to fend off his Adolescent Boredom.) As this was going through my head, he took advantage of the momentary pause in Mommy Protest to proclaim with great pride, "And I know how to spell it! B-r-a-d-l-y!" (Um, there's an "e". He took this in stride as well.) Then he put on his most adorable, most innocent face, and said, "Pleeeeeaaaassssseee?"

Weakened by this strong parting shot, I heard myself promising to think about it. And fortunately for me he was fooled by this age-old Parental Stalling Tactic, and left happily to go back outside. So far, to my great relief, he hasn't brought it up again. If he does, maybe I can distract him...maybe he'll accept a cool new nickname...or as a last resort, a temporary tattoo!

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