Posts Tagged ‘ baby names ’

Daddy, Does My Name Have A “5″ In It?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

This is the third letter in a row I’ve written you that simply tells about some of the accidentally hilarious things you have said here recently.

It’s easy material for me, I have to be honest. I’m not making this stuff up… you are.

I mean, you’re asking good questions. In fact, I probably asked my dad similar questions when I was three.

At some point, someone had to set me straight on these facts. For you, this is beginning to be that point.

A few days ago on the drive home from school, you asked, “Daddy, does my name have a ’5′ in it?”

I explained to you that our names have letters in them, but not numbers.

So you immediately followed up with, “Daddy, what about ’1′? Does my name have a ’1″ in it?”

The first thing that came to mind was Star Wars characters, like C-3PO and R2-D2.

It wasn’t until this morning when you and I were playing in your bedroom with trains that I discovered what might have led to your confusion about numbers in our names.

You pressed the button on top of your talking Gordon train:

“I’m Gordon… I’m the Number 4 blue engine!”

Got it. Makes sense now.

Still though, I think you’re secretly hoping that you’re going to meet somone with a number in their name. I’m not saying it’s completely impossible.

Between some of the off-the-wall names I’ve been hearing parents name their kids (I won’t use examples, as to not come across as judgmental) and Russians (who use what looks like a 3 and a 4 as letters in their alphabet), you may one day meet someone with a number in their name.

For now, we can pretend your name has a number in it, if you want to.

Your “number name” is J5CK.





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I Approve Of Kanye West’s Name Choice: North West

Monday, June 24th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

A week ago, I spent a lot of time carefully writing about  ABC 20/20′s “D is For Dad And Dumb,” in which they advised dads for Father’s Day, “don’t be an idiot.”

I proposed that 20/20 do a segment about how dads are tired of being  portrayed as classic idiots. I suggested they show that the modern dad is very involved and caring.

They could interview me and let me explain it on national TV how a normal dad feels about the way we were are stereotyped. It could be a segment called “D is For Dad and Dignified.”

[Insert crickets chirping.]

But in hindsight, what I think people really want to read about these days is what Kanye West and Kim Kardashian named their daughter:

North West.

So today, I’m going to be relevant. I’m going to talk about what Kanye West named his daughter.

My response is, “Really? That’s it? That’s the worst he could do for his child’s name?”

Especially from the wondrous and innovative Kanye West, I was expecting something like really out there like Armageddon, or Platinum, or 808s.

Instead, it’s a name that I personally think is kind of cool. At least, it’s a whole lot better than a lot of the names that are popular these days; ones I won’t publicly admit I think are weird.

Of course, if I was going to name a kid North, it would be a boy’s name…

So to name a baby girl North, it seems a bit different; yet again, not that weird compared to other girl names I hear on Facebook.

Granted, the most peculiar part, I guess, about the name North is that the last name is West, which is a very specific direction.

But… I don’t know, compared to American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, it’s hard for me to see how “North West” is much more than quirky, at worst.

I totally don’t care what Kanye West named his daughter, as I shouldn’t. If anything, though, I think I might be slightly disappointed that he didn’t choose something more bizarre.

Ultimately, if Kanye West needs my approval on his child’s name in order to keep his level of self-confidence, then let it be clear:

I approve!

Tune in tomorrow when I talk to you about something that actually matters.





Top photo: Joe Seer / (Kanye West in the press room at the 59th Annual Primetime.)

Bottom photo: s_bukley / (West Hollywood- July 14: Kim Kardashian, Kanyet West at the opening of the new Dash store on July 13, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.)

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Pass the Baby from the Left-Hand Side

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Seven months.

The Dadabase

We all want our kids to be unique, right? But that’s easier said than done in an age where being unique is so darn trendy.

It was my mom who brought it to the attention of my wife and me: Jack typically reaches for things with his left hand; seldom his right.  In the process of deciding which pictures to use for my Dadabase posts in the past couple of weeks, I realized it was true. In most pictures where Jack is holding a toy or reaching for one, it’s his left hand that’s in the action.

Left-handed people represent only 10% of the world’s population. No one I know of on my side of the family is left-handed.  However, my wife is 9 of 10 kids in her family; and she does have one brother and one sister who are left-handed.  So if left-handedness is indeed related to genetics, then at least it is there somewhere in the gene pool.

The Dadabase

So Jack is probably left-handed. And of course, I’m not the least bit surprised. I mean, he managed to utilize the rarest genes my wife and I had.  He’s a blond-haired, blue-eyed, fair complected, big-boned baby from a family of dark-haired, dark-eyed, olive-complected skin where most men are slender and never grow taller than 5’ 11”.

I’m convinced that one of Jack’s many purposes in this life is to preserve the endangered traits of mankind.  Of course, this doesn’t just go for physical traits.

His name was deliberately chosen to preserve a seemingly dwindling tradition: giving your son a simple, easy to spell, familiar, strong, masculine, classic American name that a girl could not be named. I noticed that so many modern baby boy names are now sounding more like Irish last names. And that’s fine- it’s just not my preference. With all the unique names out there these days, I figured the way my son’s name could actually be the most unique was to give him one of the most universally recognizable names in American history.

And I guess that brings me to today’s dose of irony.  It seems that most of us parents find value in knowing our child is unique.  After all, my wife and I grew up in the 80’s and were told on a regular basis by our teachers and cartoon shows that we were special and there is no one else in the world quite like us.  Of course, it is indeed true that we are all special.

The Dadabase

But I think we like to reinforce that fact in raising our kids. I named my son Jack in an effort for him to be unique.  Meanwhile, a good number of other parents have named their son a form of “Brady” or “Collin” or “Quinn” or “Aiden” with the same inspiration. I guess it’s safe to say that none of these names (whether classic or trendy) truly accomplishes the goal, because ultimately a name is either really familiar or it’s so unique that it’s not really that unique, because being “unique” is currently trendy.  And being trendy is not being unique.

I’m not convinced that a name itself can actually make a kid that unique anymore.  Unless he’s named something gnarly like Mayor McCheese or Grimace- and then he’d be branded as the weird kind of unique.  And that’s not what any parent wants for their kid.

So instead, I’m looking elsewhere for my son’s own uniqueness. Because he’s got plenty of it.  And so does your kid.  No matter what his name is, whether he’s left or right-handed, or whether or not he is an identical twin.

When my son laughs at my every attempt to scare him by making my “evil hissing cobra face” at him. When he gets so thrilled and excited he starts coughing as a result of me pretending like I’m going to step on him as he lies belly up on the rug.  When Jack gets completely quiet as I take him on a walk at 6:00 AM to help my wife catch up on sleep lost during the night while I slept soundly. That’s unique enough for me.

Sure, “Jack” was the 6th most popular boy name last year; so my Jack is one of a million.  But… my Jack is also one in a million.

The Dadabase

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Jack’s New Cousin has Arrived!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Seven months.

A new character joined the cast of The Dadabase this week…

I’ve been mentioning that my sister, Dana, and her husband, Andrew, have been expecting their first child: due July 2nd.  Well, July 2nd came early this year… because at 2:07 AM this Tuesday morning (June 21st), my sister gave birth to her baby girl.  She weighs 6.1 pounds and is 19.5 inches long.

Jack has always been a big boy and he’s all I know when it comes to babies.  After seeing and holding my sister’s newborn daughter, it is apparent she will always be a petite little girl.  How appropriate- she will have a strong, protective cousin to watch out for her; even if the two cousins never really look anything alike.

On my side of the family, the only cousins Jack will have are through my sister and her husband, since I don’t have another sibling.  (Of course, this is not the case with my wife’s side of the family, since she is number 9 of 10 kids!) So this is Jack’s first cousin through the Shell side of the family and this means I am officially an uncle, through blood.

For the past seven months, my brother-in-law Andrew has filled the typical uncle role.  He knows how to make Jack laugh better than anyone else. He’s the fun uncle.  Now, I get to be a fun(ny) uncle to his daughter.

Have you noticed yet that I haven’t given the name of Jack’s new cousin?  If not, that means I’m doing a good job of my goal.  Whereas I plaster Jack’s name all over every post I write and have no reservations in making it public, I respect my sister and her husband’s decision to keep their daughter’s name semi-private; meaning I don’t include it on The Dadabase.

It makes me wonder, though, in the likeness of the name “Emma” gaining popularity because of the sitcom Friends, if the name would at all increase in popularity if it was featured in a blog.  Because right now the name is virtually unused- the last time it even made an appearance on any kind of popularity chart was the 1880’s.

“Emma” was the 13th most popular girl’s name in 2001.  Then the following year Rachel named her daughter Emma on Friends.  Unsurprisingly, Emma was the 4th most popular girl’s name of 2002.  And every year since then, it has either been the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd most popular girl’s name.

Well I know I can pull this off.  I can feature Jack’s new cousin in my stories without ever saying her name or even using her initials.  It wasn’t until I had seen the movie Fight Club about a dozen times before I realized that you never actually know the narrator and main character’s name.

So this won’t be the first time a story is told without revealing a main character’s name.  What actually matters are the stories.  And for a guy who never suffers from writer’s block, I know I can provide the stories.

Unnecessary Bonus:

To cut down on reader confusion in regards to the resemblance that my brother-in-law Andrew (featured two pictures above this one) and I share,  I shaved my head this week. People are constantly mistaking us for each other.  So I hope the buzz cut helps.

That’s not really why I did it.  I mainly just liked the idea of saving 15 bucks instead of paying for a real haircut.  Plus, I probably subconsciously wanted to be as cool as Bachelorette contestant J.P. Rosenbaum.

JP Rosenbaum Jewish

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