A Rosebud By Any Other Name

There seems to be a steady market for those books that contain hundreds of examples of names for expectant parents to consider for their new baby but I sometimes wonder why. Let's face it, most folks take the safe route, opting for the pedestrian in dubbing their new arrival, be it Tom, Dick, or Harriet. Who needs assistance to come up with Bob?

If I were anxiously awaiting a blessed event, I believe I'd prefer a guide to those rather more sticky decisions that a young couple must confront, i.e. what little nicknames are to be used for the child's genitals and bodily functions? This is so daunting a quandary as to keep me up nights.

I would certainly want to do all I could to insure that my child grew up sans excessive inhibitions, with a healthy attitude regarding her or his body and sexuality. And it seems to me that a key element in this effort would be the selection of pseudonyms of a personal nature that I could say without giggling. I certainly wouldn't wish to pass on to my son, for example, the notion that there was anything laughable about his...um, willy. Nor would I wish to give the impression to my daughter that...er, piddling is anything to be embarrassed about.

And I'd be terribly dismayed to learn, years from now, that Brett, Jr. was devoting his valuable time and hard-earned money to therapy in attempt to deal with the fact that his father had forced him to call his penis Mr. Happy or Little Brett or Oscar Mayer or...well, you get the idea.

I really cringe, though, when I imagine the spousal discussion of this matter. What a horrid reason for a row: "Okay, tell me. Explain to me, please, what is so wrong with doody?" "I don't know, I'm just not comfortable with it." "Well, doody was good enough for my parents, and I don't understand why it's not good enough for us!" I shudder at the thought.

I suspect that the primary reason we opt for these biological aliases is the potential for public embarrassment. I, for one, am not so advanced -- so mature if you will -- as to feel comfortable having my child exclaim in the produce section of the A&P, "Daddy, I have to urinate!" On the other hand, I don't believe anyone is fooled by the terms tinkle, wee-wee, or pee-pee, either. So, I think I may attempt to advance the process a step further. Why not come up with a code that is a little tougher to crack than, say, #1 and #2? What if, when your child felt nature's call in that same A&P, he proclaimed, "Man, could I go for some couscous right about now!" or "We must remember, Daddy, to tape Diagnosis: Murder tonight!" or even "How about those Mets?" With a little pre-planning, you'd know just what your child was trying to tell you, and Sal the stockboy would be none the wiser.

Read next article.
Return to table of contents.
Return to BRETTnews.