Wednesday, 16 September 2009

How we chose your name

My darling Doodlebug,

I imagine that in the years ahead you will curse our names for giving you yours.It's a beautiful name, but it does seem to throw people a bit. IN fact when I called the Yorkshire contingent, the conversation went as follows:

YC "So can we finally know the name?"
Mamma [taking a moment to smile at her newborn baby] "It's Cecily?"
YC "Eh?"
Mamma "Cecily."
YC "Stephanie? But we've already got one of those!"
Mamma "No, Cecily. C-e-c-i-l-y. Cecil, with a Y."
YC [silently contemplates the news] [for a long time] "Thats......nice. I'll let everyone know."

Thus since you were born, I have had to repeat the process every time I have had to give your name over the phone. I don't think that Daddy and I really factored that in to our choice. Of course, if we had, I am very likely to have dismissed the spelling issue summarily, pointing out that our surname requires similar treatment. As you grow you will get used to nobody being able to pronounce it, or spell it, even when you pronounce/spell it for them first. I'm sorry about that. I should have married Mr Smith. But I'd probably still have called you Cecily, and Cecily Smith doesn't sound as nice as your name.

Anyway, on our first wedding anniversary, Daddy and I went to Copenhagen for a long weekend. We had a wonderfully wintery time, got a bit drunk at the Carlsberg factory, and went out for some fabulous meals. On the night of our anniversary we ate at Sankt Gertrude's Kloster which I thoroughly recommend incidentally. Over dinner the talk drifted to babies (we had been hoping to have a baby for a while) and to what we would call them when they finally arrived. The boys name proved surprisingly easy. The girl's name was a little tricky. The added issue with our surname is that some letters of the alphabet, when combined with the surname, make up words to do with genitals, which is not something you really want to do to your child. In Daddy's usual way, when he hits a stumbling block, he looks at things from a different angle. He suggested that we give you the nickname CJ and I had been thinking a lot about Cecily, Romilly and Orelie that week/month/year. So Cecily it was. For the 'J' name, I knew I didn't want Jane, so you got Jean instead. The Olivia I added for fun, and because the boy's name had two middle names. (I can't tell you what it was in case we use it for your new sibling!)

The day before I went into hospital to have you, Daddy and I went for a last supper. He announced that he wasn't sure about Olivia. We spent the whole evening trying to come up with something he liked more. I couldn't, so I went to hospital and left him with it. I told him that if you arrived and he hadn't got something he liked, we'd stick with Olivia. 5 days later you arrived. I suspect he forgot to think about it anymore; between the hospital visits, the dog walking and the looking after Granny M, he was a bit tied up.

But on the day you were Christened, he declared it to be the most perfect name ever. And it is, because it's yours.

All my love,



  1. This is beautiful name and a beautiful post. It is so hard to choose a name. You have all these ideas before getting pregnant and then you realise that it is going to stick with them not only for their life time, but for the rest of the family history. You feel the pressure and the choice might not please everyone, but who cares. This is your choice and this is your child's name. I really like this name!