Why Kids Get to Name Their Pets and Not Their Siblings

I don’t know who decided this would be “Ralph’s Favorite Stories” week here at Snoodlings. I guess I did, since I write the blog. (Anyone else hear Barry Manilow right there? Just a quick verse of “I Write the Blogs That Make the Whole World Sing”? Or as a result of a couple of posts last week maybe that should be “The Blogs That Make the Whole World Sick.”) To be honest, my brain hurts. I don’t mean that I have a headache, I mean that my brain is just a little irritable this week and seems to be rebelling against making thoughts of any real import. So I’m just telling Ralph’s favorite stories instead. Here goes:

When we found out we were having twins we were very surprised. You see, I’d just spent over three months convincing myself that I was NOT having twins. I knew something was different about that pregnancy from the very beginning. I asked all my friends who had multiples what their pregnancy was like. I googled symptoms. I was convinced that I had more than one baby in there. But everyone I talked to convinced me that I was having a girl, not more than one baby. And the nurse practitioner only heard one set of heartbeats, so I also became sure that I was only having one baby. So sure, in fact, that even several years after they were born, whenever anyone said something about me being the mother of twins, I felt surprised all over again. I still have “Good grief! I have twins!” moments from time to time, six years later.

After the initial surprise, we realized that we now had to have two names ready instead of just one. We knew that we didn’t want “twinny” sounding names like Fred and Ted or Millie and Molly. We did want their names to have significance and to be connected in some way but without the rhyming or too much alliteration. Which is weird because we both grew up Baptist and Baptists are generally known for their love of all things alliterative. I’ll blame it on the fact that we weren’t attending a Baptist church at the time.

We didn’t know the gender of the babies initially so we tried to think of combinations of boy names, girl names, and boy and girl names. If the babies were boys we considered naming them after our fathers. What a tribute, right? Sounds great until you realize that my dad’s name was Jerry and my husband’s name was Benjamin. We thought asking our boys to go through life as Ben and Jerry would be too much to ask. Plus, I was afraid that I would constantly be craving Cherry Garcia and would never be able to lose my baby weight. (I’m a suggestible eater.)

We were almost relieved when the ultrasound revealed that we were going to have a boy and a girl so we could put our ice cream names aside. On the way home from one of our appointments I asked our oldest, who was two years old, what he thought we should name our babies. We were trying to help him understand the big brother role he would soon have and wanted to involve him in as much of the changes our family was experiencing as we could. He thought about it for a minute and said with great certainty that he thought we should name his little brother “Jesus” and his little sister “Bubbles.”

That night at drama practice I told my friends that my son had decided to name his siblings after the Messiah and a stripper. They thought the names were hilarious and for the rest of my pregnancy, that’s what they called the little people growing in my stomach. My friend Alex still calls them Bubbles and Jesus and I guess she always will.

I’m not sure why this is one of Ralph’s favorite stories. It doesn’t even really have an ending. Maybe you all should hope my brain feels better very soon. Who knows what Ralph will want to hear next. Ralph, any more requests?

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Why Kids Get to Name Their Pets and Not Their Siblings

  1. My son wanted to name his twin siblings ‘pansy’ for a boy and I can’t remember the girl name because I started laughing so hard I think I peed a little bit.

    Another one of those ‘twin pregnancy’ joys 🙂

    Though, my favorite story is what happened at the ultrasound. When I see you IRL, remind me to tell you what that kid announced about his twin sisters to be for all of creation to hear.

    oh yes, and I do so love this story. My husband and I think Bubbles & Jesus are GREAT twin names.

  2. I think I might just love Ralph a little bit.

  3. Jesus and Bubbles.

    At least their futures would have been decided for them. None of that “what do you want to be when you grow up?” stuff.

  4. This comment has nothing to do with your post. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I dreamt about you all.night. last night. You were a famous screenwriter and didn’t tell anyone!! We were in all these different scenes and settings in my dreams..so, basically I spent the night with you!

  5. tanya

    Love that story everytime!
    R wanted to name RJ:
    Candle Light or Goldie Love

  6. Oh, this is good!

    My nephew wanted to name his little sister “Transformer Dinosaur.”

    Although, I think I know someone named Bubbles…

  7. Oh my word it’s a fantastic story. I wish you had Ben and Jerry – though every time I read your blog I’d probably have to eat some Chunky Monkey (which, speaking of bad names, is really the worst ice cream name ever because who wants to consistently overindulge in something called “chunky” which conjures unfortunate images on my in my bathing suit . . . )

    Anyways, my real point of this comment is that we had twins who came to camp the past 2 years. And no joke, their names were X’treme and X’cel. haha

  8. Too cute! I always wanted twins . . . just to be able to come up with cute twin names. Haha
    They are darling.

  9. Ralph

    First, I have to say I do love that story…it is my favorite.
    Second, Gretchen…thank you…finally someone on this post (other than my wife) doesn’t hate me.
    Third, if it is an “all skate, request night”…I would like to see the “treasure chest” story in print….just sayin’…(after all it is a very close second for my favorite story).

    • whimzie

      I KNEW you were going to say that. I really did.

      Okay. I’ll take that dare. I’ll tell the treasure box story tomorrow. But that means you have to come up with two more stories for me to tell for Thursday and Friday.

  10. Alex

    Yes, your friend Alex, who misses you VERY MUCH, will always refer to them as Bubbles and Jesus.
    I just have to.
    And it makes me love the Big Brother namer even more.
    But I am also pleased that when you put their names together in just the right way, you come up with a fruit. That makes me happy.
    And let me thank you for adding to my To Do list today: Purchase Mint Chocolate Cookie.

    • whimzie

      I forgot to mention that we didn’t fully think through the fruity name combo scenario!

      And now everyone who doesn’t know my children’s names is smushing names together to see which ones make a fruit! Or they’re not. They probably aren’t.

      • Whimzie, I’m delurking to say: I’m so glad you clarified that the fruit names went with their real-life names, otherwise I would have spent the rest of tonight squishing Busus? Jebbles? together to come up with anything that might vaguely resemble a fruit. I had already wasted about five minutes on it before coming to your comment!

        By the way, I love reading your blog. 🙂

        • whimzie

          Hi, Missy!

          Thanks for coming out in the light so we can see you better! It’s a brave, brave person who admits to reading this blog, much less liking it. Thanks!

  11. Oh.my.

    And now I have scenes from Pretty Woman running through my head.

    Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream?

  12. I’m a fanilow.
    Pulling out the cd right now, thankuverymuch!

  13. Okay, this makes me think of a story totally unrelated to naming twins, but still very funny. My son’s birthday is on Christmas Day. Everyone has always made a big deal about how he shares his birthday with Jesus. Anyway, this year the local church put Thomas’ name on the birthday calendar for the 25th and right underneath that he put Jesus. Husband and I joked that there is bound to be someone out there wondering who Thomas Jesus (hay-sus) is, especially since we live in area with a big hispanic population. Which was all very funny until the next week, when the calendar read
    25th: Thomas S.
    Jesus CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR

  14. I decided after reading CPQ’s fear post that I needed some “lighter” reading for the day, thanks for coming through for me!

  15. I looooove hearing names kids give their unborn siblings before they’re born. Cute post! And not pointless AT ALL. (wait, you said it didn’t have an ending, not that it was pointless.)

    • whimzie

      But thanks for making me now worry that it was endless AND pointless. Although is now really the time to start worrying that stories around here don’t always have a point? Guess not.

  16. Katie

    Gotta love it when children come up with names.
    Jesus and Bubbles, those are great!

    My father called my twins (who are now over 20) Frick and Frack. He never did call them that to their faces.

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