I was wondering if you and your loyal readers could help me out with a family debate about a subject. Names have been changed to protect the guilty (or, maybe innocent).
My husband’s cousin, Rick, and his wife, Cindy, recently had a baby boy. When they had announced their pregnancy they had indicated that they wished to keep the gender a secret. Although, many of us found out the gender (boy) because they told some family members, but not others. We do not understand the logic behind this either.
In any event, I consider Rick and Cindy to be nice people, and we couldn’t be happier for their new arrival. Throughout Cindy’s pregnancy, I had mentioned that if I have another boy, I would name him Matthew James. I even mentioned this at her baby shower when we were discussing names. I told her and everyone that aside from Alexander John (my only son’s name), Matthew James has been one of my favourite names since I was a little girl, and that if my husband and I have another boy, his name would definitely be Matthew James.
Fast forward to the big day. The baby is born, and my husband’s aunt and uncle (the new grandparents) make the big announcement. The baby is a boy, and his name is Matthew James. At first I was in shock, and I’ll admit, a little angry. But then I realized that I don’t own the name, and that if I do have another boy, I can still name him Matthew James.
The issue is this: Did Rick and Cindy breach any etiquette? Should they have said “hey, that’s a great name. Maybe we’ll use that if we have a boy” or are they within their right to stay quiet and not say anything? DH thinks that the proper thing to do would be to say “I love that name and we’d like to use it” but my SIL thinks that they have a right to do whatever they want and not tell anyone. DH thinks they acted sneakily, SIL thinks that they did not act sneakily and they are under no obligation to share any information about themselves.
I’d be really interested to hear what you and your readers have to say on the subject. I am curious to know if there was an etiquette breach.
The good news is the baby is healthy and everyone is doing well. 0319-18
This is a lot of drama over a name for a boy child that, at this time, is only a twinkle in your husband’s eye. You claimed reservation of a name for a child that may never exist. And you lost points claiming to love the name since childhood but did not use it to name your firstborn son. Saying your preference for a name repeatedly does not establish ownership rights to that name but instead, in a twist of irony, your repeated use of the name “Matthew James” to the expectant mother likely caused her to realize what a lovely sound that name is for a boy and acclimated her to the name.
No etiquette faux pas by the new parents Rick and Cindy.