More than one mom has told me that the bigger siblings had a hand in naming the new additions to their family—whether they asked that their parents name their siblings after their favorite characters (like Max in Max & Ruby) or had a chance to pick from a short list of names the parents selected. (That's likely to help avoid having a new little sister named Zoomy Banana.)
But I had a hard enough time sharing the naming duties with my kids when a new pair of kittens made their way into our house. The sisters came home with the names Tinkerbell and Wendy, but I thought we might be able to do better. I had my heart set on picking a few of the fun names from one of my family's favorite series, Harry Potter: Bellatrix for the mischievous little tuxedo cat, and Luna or Hedwig for the sweet little gray and white kitty.
But my kiddos had their own ideas—and strangely enough, they kind of represent the two schools of thought on baby naming.
My oldest definitely represented the old-fashioned, classic name house. She wanted a fancy but classic name for her gray-and-white kitten—nothing that was made up. After I threw several suggestions out at her, Penelope (shortened to Penny) was her choice.
My youngest wanted something that was all her own—much like the people who come up with brand new names like Nevaeh or new spellings like Aydin. She liked the name Tinkerbell, but felt that naming her kitten after the famous little green fairy was "copying." And so her kitten became Winkerbell—called Winks, Winksie or Winky, depending on who is doing the shortening.