Pretentious couple says their baby's name is "the feeling that washes over you when you hear poetry"
RICHMOND HILL, ON—When expectant couple Laura and David Carter learned Laura was pregnant with their second child last summer they found themselves at a loss for the perfect baby name.
"It was so much simpler when we had [Salinger Harper-Brooklynne, 82 months]. There was just less pressure as first-time parents to get it exactly right. And when Sali started crowning, we just knew instantly she was a Salinger," Laura explains.
Terrified by the thought that their unborn baby might have a name that a supply teacher could pronounce, David and Laura began their search. After turning to the typical sources for baby name inspiration – the Coachella line-up and family immigration records pre-1800s – the Carters felt unsatisfied with their options.
They thought about repurposing a more traditional name (Murray, but pronounced mer-AY), adding a superfluous umlaut as an attention grabber (Briän), or inventing a new spelling (Payzlee instead of Paisley) but nothing seemed unique enough. David was particularly adamant they find something completely original due to his experience being one of four Davids in his class in elementary school. The trauma of being "David C." has resulted in years of intensive psychoanalytic therapy.
The Carters then tried scouring the aisles at Whole Foods for interesting ingredients. "We toyed with the idea of naming the baby Casein, but decided it could be triggering for someone with dairy sensitivities, and we felt Kombucha sounded too ethnic," David explains.
"We thought we were finally onto something when we had a monk transcribe the guttural screaming noises I made during Salinger's water birth, but it still just didn't feel like a unique enough name for our child," Laura says wistfully.
The Carters also consulted The Big Book of Animals but were discouraged when they realized their older child already had three Bears and two Newts in her daycare class.
After eight months of searching The Carters were ready to give up, as they were unable to find a name that would succinctly demonstrate both how superior their baby would be to all other infants and how cool they were as parents.
But that's when Laura had an idea.
"Instead of simply naming our child a word, we've decided that our baby's name will be an experience that evokes an emotional response," she whispers.
Laura recently had a locket made for their baby. Whenever someone inquires what the child's name is, Laura or David will simply open the locket, which will automatically play an audio recording of the first two verses of Sylvia Plath's poem Letter in November.
"The baby's name is the feeling that washes over the person when they hear those beautiful poetic words," Laura says tearfully.
Laura and David also considered naming their baby the feeling you experience when you breathe in a tiny piece of wild lavender, or the sense of calm evoked from rubbing a small piece of organic felt between your fingers. David says these names aren't off the table just yet.
"We've got to save some ideas just in case there's a baby number three!" he exclaims.