How to Name Kids and Pets

My Loves

Audra and Austin

In the spirit of “do as I say, not as I do” I offer these tips for naming your children:

Perspective: Think about that name being with your child forever. Think about when they marry. Think about them as a child and as a professional adult. Bambi. Really? Actually think about your own last name. My maiden name is Schroeder. Charise Schroeder is a tongue twister.

Literally. We used it as an exercise in high school drama.

My daughter has a “cute” last name so I picked a name that sounded a little more formal for her first name. What if she grew up to be a doctor? I didn’t want her stuck with a name that sounded like a cartoon character.

Aspen and Paris

Aspen and Paris (L to R)

Alliteration: Okay, this is where I went awry. I named my daughter Audra because I loved the sound of it. It was also one of the very very few names her father and I both liked. Now, my son Austin was named after his maternal grandfather. But we also had a dog named Aspen. It was too much. The dog heard that first syllable and was sure I was calling her. And yes, my son started responding to the dog’s name. It was a mess.

For the record, I did not set out to name my children with similar sounding names. I do like that “Au” sound, but it really just was happen-stance since we’d planned the boy’s name to be after my grandfather. My step son’s name began with an “A” so as Little Sir was the “ours” of his and hers, we did like the all A thing. But it wasn’t something we set out to do.

Do I sound defensive? Probably because I made fun of other people who name their kids with all the same letter and here I am.

Nomenclature: So when we first got married we named our cat after the place we got him, Avery. We actually got him in Valley Springs, but Avery sounded better than Valley Springs. Here, kitty kitty…

So then when we got a dog from Stockton…yes, that became his name. And it became a thing for us to name the pet after a city or town. It did not have to be where the pet was from, hence the rabbit named Nola and the cat named Dallas.

Well, remember how I said we named our son Austin?

Yea. Well, it never even registered until a couple people asked me– in all seriousness– if we’d named him after Austin, Texas. Yes, we named the child the way we named the dog. Noooooooo.


Digger and Lady (L to R)

So my new pets are named anything BUT a city or town. And none of them start with an “A”. It may take a bit, but I do figure it out.