What is in a name? For the Joneses nine months of brawling go into picking a name when a new member arrives. I never understand why Ariel has any say at all as he gets all huffy every time I tell him I'm pregnant and says stupid things like, "Why?" and, "How?". In the end, the very reason he shouldn't have a say is the reason I give him the power to VETO my proposed names. I'm always hoping to give him some way to get excited about the impending baby. I've fallen in love the moment the second line turns blue every time and don't need extra encouragement. Ariel really doesn't either though because three of the kids had the good sense to be born looking like carbon copies of their father, which makes my narcissistic husband's heart pitter pat, and Clara was just so adorable and pink who could help but love her?
We've never known what kind of baby we were getting so we try to have boy and girl names hammered out before go time. When I was pregnant the first time we had a pretty easy time picking a girl's name. Aurora had always been a favorite of mine and my middle name is in honor of my father so I proposed Aurora Ariel to which Ariel said "No WAY" on account of Aurora being an awful name to say with all of the Rs. Fine we'll switch to Rose because, let's face it, Rose was Sleeping Beauty's other name in the Disney movie and the elephant in the room is that my slightly burly husband shares his name with an animated mermaid. Rose Ariel was set in stone. So I prayed and prayed to have a girl (even though a fortune cookie I opened during the pregnancy told me Every Rose has it's thorn and I just knew that "thorn" meant "penis") because Ariel insisted on sticking this dumb name he heard in The Godfather on his first born son, Enzo. As my father had killed himself mere months before and I was missing him so desperately I wanted to name a boy baby Daniel after him. My mother begged me not to because she didn't want to have to utter the word Danny ever again and Ariel flat out refused because the name Enzo was IT unless I could come up with something better and he himself would be the judge of better and maybe the baby's middle name could be Daniel. The End.
Sticking with the Disney princess idea but ditching Rose because a couple we knew snatched it up during our two year baby break, my second pregnancy's girl name was Jasmine until a few of Ariel's buddies sat us down and explained to us that there is no way someone named Jasmine Jones was going to be anything but a stripper. I was seriously drawn to the color purple during that pregnancy so I chose the name Violet after deciding I couldn't get away with naming the baby Junie B.. Ariel researched baby names from the year 1900 and came across Clara, a beautiful name which we both decided sounded like it belonged to a good girl. My favorite boy's name was Julian and so was every other woman's who had a 2004 baby apparently. There were two Julians in the hospital with us when we had Clara and the hospital we use is microscopic and when we bought Jones Family Home #3 we were delighted to discover a little boy living across the road just Clara's age named, you guessed it, Julian. I went into labor with Clara on my sister in law's birthday and thought it might be nice to honor that by having the girls share the middle name Belle until my mother came to visit Baby Girl Jones four hours after her birth and asked the obvious question, "What is her name?" We managed to mutter out Clara before Mom cut us off with, "Really? Are you serious? You are naming your daughter after a talking cow?" The cow being Disney's Clara BELLE the Cow. So, in an instant Clara's middle name became Violet.
By the time I came to Ariel with the phrase, "I'm pregnant" for the third time it was obvious he could have thought of a zillion other things he'd rather hear me say so I tried to think of baby names that would turn his frown upside down. For a girl I decided Dorothy Grace was perfect. Firstly, I didn't want to upset Ariel by suggesting his name was a girl's name again and secondly these are our grandmothers' names and our Grannies are very special to us. Ariel gave me his stamp of approval first try on that one. The boy's name I had fallen in love with since I came to grips with the fact that naming our baby after the neighbor's son would be a bit awkward was Jude. I decided this baby's middle name would be Ariel because I couldn't bear to do a full on Jr. with The Little Mermaid issue but I wanted to salute my husband just the same. Ariel hated the name Jude. No shim names was an important rule to Ariel as well as no one syllable names. Then one day Car and Driver magazine showed up in the mail box with a bright and shiny Aston Martin something or other on the cover and knowing that these were Ariel's absolute favorite cars I scrawled Aston Jones on a page of Clara's coloring book and though it looked rather nice. So we went to the hospital with Dorothy Grace and Aston Ariel as our two baby names but as we paced the halls waiting for this little baby to fall out already I confessed to Ariel that I didn't really think the name Aston was such a hot idea. "Me either," my husband said, "but I promise you, this baby is a girl and will be our little Dot". When the baby came out Ariel strolled down by my knees to check it out and kind of gasped, "That baby has a penis!". All of my fears about the name Aston have come to pass. When I introduce him most people scrunch up their faces, tilt their heads sideways, then say the name Ashton real slow like perhaps either I or they are mildly mentally retarded. Once people get comfortable with the fact that his name is not, in fact, Ashton they will 50% of the time, confidently refer to him as Austin. Even my uncle calls him Austin (or Enzo, and one time Austrailia, but Uncle Gary is a story for another time). Worst of all is the reaction children have to his name. Just yesterday I encouraged Aston to introduce himself to some boys he was swimming with and as soon as "Aston" left his lips the boys were rolling with laughter and choking out, "You said a bad word". Poor Aston.
Obviously I had to tell Ariel I was pregnant one last time and it flew over like a ton of bricks. I made a list of names that Ariel and I had both stopped and said, "That's pretty" to upon hearing because I wanted Ariel to like the name but I didn't want to actually discuss the fact that I was pregnant with him until A) he brought it up or B) I wasn't pregnant anymore. My list consisted of the names Iris, Celia, and Mina. When Ariel finally did come around and start talking to me about the baby we picked Mina Iris to be the baby's name. By the next morning I had all of the kids at school calling her Meanie Mina and every adult she came across saying, "Nina??" when she introduced herself. The name list for baby number four ended up being several pages long until one day I said, "You know, we were all excited to name Aston Dorothy Grace and we didn't get to. Maybe we don't have to come up with a new name at all". We let the children vote on the baby's name and they all picked Dorothy (although when Dorothy was three days old Aston asked, "Who is this Dorothy anyway?" Since we had to explain to him that Dorothy was the baby we think maybe he didn't know what he was voting on). We had not agreed on one boy's name at the time of Dorothy's birth so thank goodness she was a girl! After she was born Ariel said he might like to just call her Little Baby Jones because she seemed so impossibly small and we toyed with the idea of calling her Minnie until Ariel said the middle name could be Mina and I accused him of trying to name this little girl who, yes, looked just like him, Mini Me. We love that we named her after our grandmothers though. It makes it special.
In conclusion I ask that the stork not deliver us anymore children or at least to send them with name tags from now on. Thanks in advance.